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Actress Faye Dunaway filming at LOHS



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Actress Faye Dunaway speaks during a dinner-dance benefit for the Lake Orion Education Foundation. Photo by Laura Colvin (click for larger version)
November 25, 2009 - After scouting across the Metro Detroit area, it came down to two choices: Meadow Brook Theatre or Lake Orion High School.

Actress Faye Dunaway chose to film scenes for her new movie at LOHS, she said, because the school's auditorium is similar to Juilliard, where the movie is set.

The "beauty" of the surrounding area, and the "genuine" people she met, didn't hurt, either.

Dunaway talked about the film, "Master Class,"when she spoke at last week's fourth annual Lake Orion Education Foundation's Evening for Education.

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This word 'passion,'" she said. "I'm a little fed up with passion, but there it is. I think passion really translates into feeling, and that's the one thing that makes Maria: the ability to feel. You have to be undefended. You have to be vulnerable."

The independent film is an adaptation of her 1996-1997 stage portrayal of opera diva Maria Callas.

Another driving force in her life, she said, is tenacity.

"You have to never give up," she said. "You have to have belief in a dream. My mother raised me on the American dream; It's not perfect…but it tells us that if you want something bad enough, and you're willing to do what it takes, we say you can do it."

Dunaway first earned critical acclaim for her 1967 role as Bonnie Parker, in "Bonnie and Clyde," and while some roles that followed were more successful than others, the actress has enjoyed a long, distinguished career and earned many awards.

"I didn't want to be an actress growing older and hoping for a movie of the week," she said." You should be better when you're older than you've ever been."

Dunaway and her crews began filming scenes for the new independent film at LOHS several weeks ago, and will return to the school for three final days of filming in December.

The film will incorporate extras, and school administrators said there's been some discussion about using students, but no decisions had been made.

Although Dunaway left town after Friday's event, administrators said she'll be back for three final days of filming in December.

In addition to speaking Friday, the actress also agreed to hold a workshop with students, where she'll critique acting and hold a question and answer session.

With an actress with the credentials like Faye Dunaway, it's an incredible opportunity," said Superintendent Ken Gutman, noting most filming had taken place late at night, and didn't impact student learning.

And that was important, lifelong education, Dunaway, noted, is key to success.

"An educated mind is quite different than an uneducated mind," she said. "Your world views are what you bring to your art form, and you don't have world views if you're not educated."

Lake Orion Review Editor
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