Faye Dunaway’s Upcoming Documentary Gives Fans a Rare Glimpse Into the Reason for Her On-Set Outbursts

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Faye Dunaway. When you hear or see the name, you probably think of two things: her legendary acting career, and the rather disturbing on-set behavior she reportedly did throughout her career. Now, at 83 years old, Dunaway is opening up about the reason behind her erratic behavior in a new HBO documentary entitled Faye.

And in this documentary that premiered at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, Dunaway revealed the cause of her outbursts: bipolar disorder.

“I worked with a group of doctors who analyzed my behavior, who gave me prescriptions for pills they thought would be good for me. And that helped,” she said in the upcoming movie via Closer Weekly. “I don’t mean to make an excuse about it, I am still responsible for my actions.”

She added, But this is what I came to understand. … It’s something you need to be aware of. You need to try to do the right thing to take care of it.”

Directed and produced by Laurent Bouzereau, a friend to Dunaway’s son Liam Dunaway O’Neill, the film follows Dunaway’s diagnosis and her difficult reputation.

NETWORK, Faye Dunaway, 1976.

What were the outbursts?

Now, Dunaway’s outbursts made headlines for decades. Per Fox, Dunaway allegedly slapped crew members and co-stars throughout the years, and was allegedly caught throwing things at them, and creating a “dangerous” environment.

She has specific rules such as no one being allowed to wear white because it would distract her, and according to the book Easy Riders and Raging Bulls, Dunaway allegedly urinated into trash cans and a disdain for flushing toilets in her dressing room; but then called it Teamsters to do the job.

Faye Dunaway. Photo by Laurent Koffel/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a common mental disorder that affects an estimated 2.8 percent of US adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

It is characterized by emotional highs (categorized as either manic or hypomanic episodes) and lows (depressive episodes). People go through extreme, unpredictable changes in mood or behavior, and many people have opened up about it; including stars like Halsey, Demi Lovato, and Mariah Carey, to name a few.

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