The French Culture Minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, has conferred the “Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters” medal on Faye Dunaway. The American comedian, who was deeply moved by this decoration, occupies the place of honour on the poster advertising the 64th Festival de Cannes.
"It makes me particularly happy to pay tribute to an actress such as Faye Dunaway who has known how to combine glamour with vulnerability, and chicness with the ability to shock. (...) an actress who has appeared in films alongside some of the greatest actors: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford and even Johnny Depp, who you view as a prince". From Bonnie and Clyde to Network, a film for which she received the Oscar for Best Actress, Frédéric Mitterrand went on to recall the long list of films in which Dunaway has starred, including Little Big Man and Arizona Dream. Neither did the Minister of Culture neglect to mention the first film she produced and directed, Yellow Bird. Faye Dunaway then revealed that she is currently working on directing her next film due to be released in November 2011.
The American actress, who was moved and honoured, explained that being an actress and film-maker “is a constant struggle. Making a film, organising a festival, it’s a real battle. But even though Art is a battle, it is Godlike because it is a fight for humanity". Dunaway also took advantage of the medal-giving ceremony to express her admiration for some of her fellow actors: "Meryl Streep is fabulous. Johnny Depp is a king rather than a prince now, and Isabelle Huppert (President of the Jury in 2009), my favourite French actress, is wonderful". Dunaway ended by admitting: "This medal means a lot to me because I have only received this type of decoration in France. Of course, I received an Oscar, but it’s not the same".