Monday, March 12, 2012

Mummy Dearest

Unless you live under a rock, you may know that the 21st century's answer to Norma Desmond, the inimtable Miss Faye Dunaway, has for a very long time been working on her film adaptation of Master Class, Terrence McNally's searching look at the life and times of Maria Callas, through the lens of the series of classes she gave at Juilliard in 1971-72.

She has now tweeted a production still from the work-still-in-progress, Michael Musto spread the news, and I'm not sure what to think.  Actually, I do know what to think, and it's not nice.  You would think that the worst-case scenario, for any associate of Miss Dunaway's over the past 25 years, would be to bring into play any aspect of wardrobe, hair, or makeup that recalls her cinematic Waterloo, the incredible Mommie Dearest, Hollywood's poison-pen valentine to the memory of Joan Crawford.  If this picture is to be believed, they have not only done that (I'd swear that's actually a wig from the first half of MD, before Joan's hair went Champagne with age), but the passage of all these years means that Faye's once-vaunted resemblance to Crawford has faded, replaced, to my eye, with something even more regal:

Yes, it's the beloved matriarch of Egypt's 18th Dynasty, Queen Tiye (Nefertiti's mother-in-law and Tutankhamun's grandmother).  Startling, isn't it?


  1. you're spot on.

    i did see her do this on the stage.
    it was years ago, so i recall little.

  2. Dunaway no longer looks human. I can't believe she was cast to play one.

  3. Oh no - the utter desecration of La Divina Maria Callas has begun! Tyne Daly was utterly perfect in the stage version of "Masterclass". Miss Dunaway and her "shaved baboon reflected in a spoon" face should leave well alone... Jx

  4. Buzzing around certain circles here in the land of Angels over the last several years, I have seen Miss Dunaway in person numerous times. I am here to report that what appears to be the case in photographic 2 dimension is, confirmed in 3 dimension.

    Really. Bad. Work.

  5. Ah, Jon - you would be hard-pressed to convince me that Miss Daly isn't nearly perfect in almost everything. She is the Real Thing, through and through.

    As for poor Faye - I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this is a woman who parlayed an Oscar and international fame on the level of the studio greats (at her biggest, who was more star than she?) into Troma guest spots, Lifetime movies, and (my own personal favorite) being fourth-billed in a Bai Ling picture.

    She has managed to outdo Davis and Crawford combined in trashing her own reputation - no mean feat, given that she's up against Trog and Scream, Pretty Peggy...