Oscar-winning actress Faye Dunaway has been let go from a Broadway-bound production for creating a ‘hostile’ and ‘dangerous’ environment backstage.
The 78-year-old was playing Katharine Hepburn in ‘Tea at Five’ at the Huntington Theater in Boston when she was let go from the show, sources explained to the New York Post.
A scheduled performance for July 10 was canceled just before curtain because Dunaway slapped and threw things at crew members trying to help her into her wig.
Sources say that Dunaway was ‘verbally abusing’ the crew and they were ‘fearful for their safety’.
The 78-year-old was playing Katharine Hepburn in ‘Tea at Five’ at the Huntington Theater in Boston when she was let go from the show
A scheduled performance for July 10 was canceled just before curtain because Dunaway threw things at crew members trying to help her into her wig
Dunaway is currently traveling in Europe.
Producers of the show said in a statement that they ‘terminated their relationship’ with Dunaway, adding that ‘Tea at Five’ was also headed to London after being well received in Boston.
The one-woman play by Matthew Lombardo follows Hepburn and her road to recovery following a 1983 car accident.
It was to be a triumphant return for Dunaway, who was excited to make her return to Broadway after 37 years – her last production was the 1982 ‘Sunset Boulevard.’
‘She seemed committed to the role, and fun to be around,’ a source claimed.
Dunaway, who won an Oscar for her role as the ambitious television producer in ‘Network’, showed signs of acting out at an early photo shoot.
Producers of the show said in a statement that they ‘terminated their relationship’ with Dunaway, adding that ‘Tea at Five’ was headed to London after being well received at the Boston theater
She was reportedly given a salad for lunch and immediately threw it on the ground. Dunaway is said to have said that she was watching her weight, adding that the salad would be better on the floor than in her hand.
Sources say that Dunaway was often late for rehearsals, upwards of two hours. She is also said to have not allowed folks to look at her during rehearsals, including the director and the playwright.
Dunaway is also said to have been fed lines and blocking through an earpiece at the Huntington theater even though she had the script for six months.
’98 percent of the play came through the earpiece,’ one source declared.
She was said to have left ‘troubling, rambling, angry’ voicemails for the creative team, late at night.
Sources say that Dunaway was often late for rehearsals, upwards of two hours. She is also said to have not allowed folks to look at her during rehearsals, including the director and the playwright
Dunaway is also said to have demanded that no one where white as it would ‘distract me.’
The actress also demanded that no one move in the theater, or she would be distracted.
She is also said to have started losing weight while rehearsing, with production members calling Dunaway’s former assistant for advice once she began looking emaciated
‘It sounds like she’s not complying with her medication,’ the assistant explained to a source.
Producers even called Actors’ Equity Association to see if it was ‘ethical’ to put her on stage.
During the last weekend in June, Dunaway is said to have had a full on diva moment and demanded staffers to get on their hands and knees to wash the floor of her dressing room.
She is said to have thrown mirrors, combs and boxes of hairpins at staff. The actress also pulled gray hairs out of her wigs so that she could play a younger version of Hepburn than the one that was intended.
The decision to fire her and cancel the show on July 10 ultimately came when producers acknowledged that she was physically and verbally abusing production members.
Dunaway has a history of being demanding during productions, as seen in the early 1990s when she demanded bellhops rearrange her hotel suites in the middle of the night because she didn’t like the ‘flow’ of the room. This was during her time as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s ‘Master Class.’
A theater in St. Louis once sent her a white limousine, prompting a fit of rage from the actress as she hates the color white. She is said to have demanded a rental car and drove that to the theater even after the limo company sent her a black car.