Faye Dunaway Gets Candid About Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis in New Documentary: 'There Were Tough Times'

The film about the Oscar-winning 'Network' star premiered at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival

<p>Gisela Schober/Getty</p> Faye Dunaway on May 15

Gisela Schober/Getty

Faye Dunaway on May 15

Faye Dunaway opens up about her bipolar disorder diagnosis in the new documentary Faye.

Ahead of the film's premiere at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, Dunaway, now 83, made a rare red carpet appearance alongside her son Liam O'Neill at the event in France on May 15.

In the film, according to a festival description, the actress "courageously explores personal discoveries — her struggles with mental health issues and bipolar disorder, her family history, and how the intensity of the characters she played still impacts who she is today." It features interviews with stars like Sharon Stone, Mickey Rourke and James Gray.

About her mental health, the Network Oscar winner says at one point in the documentary, according to Page Six, “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."

“So I am quieter. But throughout my career, people know there were tough times,” she added, per the outlet. “I don't mean to make an excuse about it. I am still responsible for my actions.”

“But this is what I came to understand was the reason for them. It's something you need to be aware of. You need to try to do the right thing to take care of it,” she continued.

Related: Faye Dunaway Makes Rare Red Carpet Appearance Alongside Son at 2024 Cannes Film Festival

Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock Faye Dunaway in the 1981 movie 'Mommie Dearest'
Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock Faye Dunaway in the 1981 movie 'Mommie Dearest'

In the documentary, Dunaway calls bipolar disorder “something that is just a part of my makeup.”

“Thank God there is medication and there are studies and there are doctors who deal with this, and I've been able to benefit from that. Medication is crucial, and without it you fall back into what is there psychologically and biologically,” she says.

Related: Inside Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway's 50-Year Friendship—and Why They Never Dated

United Artists/Kobal/Shutterstock Faye Dunaway in the 1976 movie 'Network'
United Artists/Kobal/Shutterstock Faye Dunaway in the 1976 movie 'Network'

In a Q&A posted on the Cannes Film Festival website, Faye director Laurent Bouzereau, who is friends with Dunaway’s son Liam, says the actress was at first “stressed” to make the movie.

“Faye is used to work from a script. But this was real life. No script. No rehearsal. And she was very stressed by the process. I thought it was very courageous of her to do this,” says Bouzereau.

“She started trusting us. By the end, I think she was very happy. It was something cathartic for her because she got to talk about everything she’s never really mentioned before,” the director added.

Faye is produced by HBO Documentaries.

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