BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Tippi Hedren says she survived working with Alfred Hitchcock, but her career was another matter.
Hedren's experience on the famed British film director's "The Birds" and "Marnie" is dramatized in the new HBO movie, "The Girl."
Hitchcock is portrayed as obsessed with Hedren and cruelly vindictive when the actress rejects his advances.
The 82-year-old Hedren told the Television Critics Association on Wednesday that Hitchcock ruined her career, but he didn't ruin her life. Hedren says she had to fight to get out of her contract with the director, and she lost roles because of it.
Sienna Miller plays Hedren and Toby Jones portrays Hitchcock in "The Girl." It debuts Oct. 20 on HBO.
Does that mean Grace Kelly and other lovely actresses who worked with Hitch and stayed popular after working with him, accepted his advances? Or did Tippi not handle the situation with grace (no pun intended.)
R1 I actually read that for some reason Hitchcock admired Grace Kelly but didn't obsess on her like he did with Hedren. Hitchcock was an extremely sexually disturbed man from all that I've read.
Nothing to do with the fact that Hedren wasn't a great actress?
So many of Hitchcock's blondes were manipulated dolls, but even Kim Novak was more interesting onscreen. With Hedren you just wanted those birds to get her.
I think Tippi's a better actress than Grace. She's mesmorizing in "Marnie" and has to carry the whole film.
Wow, what horrible casting. Toby Jones and Sienna Miller? From bootleg imitations of Truman Capote and Edie Sedgwick to bootleg imitations of Hitchcock and Hedren. Way to aim high, HBO.
They're currently filming a big movie called "Hitchcock" about Hitchcock's relationship with Janet Leigh and Vera Miles during the filming of Psycho. Lots of actors fought for the title role, but it went to Anthony Hopkins; Helen Mirren plays Alma Hitchcock.
After all I did for her. I simply made her an off color sexual offer in exchange for her star making 1963 movie role: A Bird in your Hand is Worth Two in your Bush.
I vill also haf und cameo in zie film, mein dahlinks. I vill play zie muhzer ein Psycho.
Exciting new screen personality...
Tippi hedren was a very strange actress. She was beautiful and photogenic, and she had some talent (I think she actually performed quite intelligently in both THE BIRDS and MARNIE), but she was very cold and had very little charisma onscreen. And she had that strange nasal voice.
I doubt she would have ever made it as an actress even without his blacklisting of her. And, thanks to his casting her in THE BIRDS and MARNIE in the first place (before that she really only did TV commercials) she was more or less immortalized.
[quote]but she was very cold and had very little charisma onscreen
You get a lot of chilliness with Grace Kelly, although she always hints at a much warmer--or at least, much more sexual--nature than Hedren.
We've heard this story before from Tippo -- a long time ago.
Hedren wasn't a classic beauty, but she had a look about her. She's quite stunning in MARNIE.
And I disagree with her not being a great actress. THE BIRDS and MARNIE are proof that she was, and you can't say that's entirely Hitchcock. He couldn't get a decent performance out of Julie Andrews.
People love Hitchcock for valid reasons, but they don't want to accept that the man had flaws like everyone else.
One reason Hitchcock hit on Hedren and not his other "Ice Queen" actresses was that she was nothing without him. Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Eva Marie Saint, Ingrid Bergman etc. all had solid careers outside of Hitchcock films. They worked with him, but they didn't NEED him. Hedren was an unknown when he picked her to be his handmade starlet, he regarded her as his property.
So if he really did hit on her, it was because he didn't have as much fear or rejection as he would with a real movie star, or any woman on the street. But really, how does this fit in with the Datalounge theory that secret gayness was the real explanation for his seeming asexuality?
Too bad the British play, "Hitchcock Blonde" only played London and nowhere else.
It covered a lot of creepy Hitchcock ground.
It was no mystery. I just wanted to touch Tippi, and have her touch mine.
Wasn't Hitchcock a repressed homosexual? That's what everyone says...he liked Tippi, Grace Kelly, etc. as his little doll collection.
How else do you expect that old bitch to stay in the press?
*** snnnorrrrtttt ***
Hitchcock wanted to FUCK the dolls. FUCK them in their PUSSIES.
Agree with R14 about Hedren vs. Kelly, Novak, Bergman et al. I was never convinced Hitchcock was asexual or gay.
Alfred's treatment of Tippi isn't a new story--it's detailed in Donald Spoto's book on Hitchcock and I saw an Elwy Yost interview with Tippi years ago in which she talked about it--but it's relevant again because more and more people are starting to take bullying and sexual abuse more seriously. What he did was pretty damn sick. He was probably also in the early stages of dementia, which could be why his behavior crossed the line from his habitual fetishization of his lead actresses into out and out sexual harassment and abuse.
R21-Early stages of dementia? After Tippi, he went on to direct a number of terrific films, as I recall.
And they weren't the work of someone with dementia.
Hell has no fury like a scorned man!
Hitch was a bully and a sadist and he would often play mean-spirited pranks on his co-workers.
If anyone did the same to him he would sulk and rage for days.
He did have a good sense of humour too.
Conflicted, brilliant filmmaker.
[quote] He was probably also in the early stages of dementia, which could be why his behavior crossed the line from his habitual fetishization of his lead actresses into out and out sexual harassment and abuse.
Evidently he always loved saying shocking and inappropriate things to actresses, even going back to his black-and-white movie days. Apparently just to get a reaction from them.
It's said that when he tried shocking Grace Kelly she said, "Oh, Hitch, I went to a girls' school. I heard all those things years ago"--a reply that reportedly delighted him.
I think with Tippi it was the powerlessness mentioned before. And the fact that his drinking got worse--even Truffaut admits this--as he got older. He just lost all discretion.
I don't think he was gay but he was fascinated by queerness. I think it was Farley Granger who said that Hitch was all up in his business with questions and sly insinuations when they made Rope and Strangers on a Train.
Grace Kelly was one of the only actresses who was invited to Hitchock's home and had dinner with the family in the kitchen, she was that good a friend.
Hitchcock and Hedren had a fight and Hitchcock said later, "She did the unthinkable. She mentioned my weight."
Supposedly he really loved Ingrid Bergman, but obviously nothing ever came of it.
Tippi Hedren was not an actress, she was a model. Hitchcock spotted her in a bra ad. Hitchcock gave her an acting career. Without Hitchcock, she had no career to be "ruined."
Let me introduce you to the ego of a man: fat overweight old fuck thinks he's sexually attractive to much younger slender women. Finds out he's not. Reaction: typical male nastiness.
What R28 said. She was his creation. If it wasn't for him, she may not have appeared in a film, any film. I believe Birds DVD has additional features that include Hedren's wardrobe rehearsals. They show that Hitch was not only teaching her how to behave in front of a film camera, but he was in charge of every detail of her looks.
Also, it was not unusual for actors to be under contract with one producer who had complete control over their careers. Selznick practically owned Ingrid Bergman. She was Selznick's friend, but even in her case, Selznick only looked after his own interests.
I always rememeber the Mad Magazine parody with Tipsy Headrinse.
What r29 said. How many guys here would want Hitchcock hitting on them?
[quote]I always rememeber the Mad Magazine parody with Tipsy Headrinse.
Thank you. I read this thread earlier today and was trying to remember that.
Hitchcock, for all his talent, had a habit of casting some of the least charismatic actors in Hollywood.
From what I have read, Hitchcock never thought he was sexually attractive to women. His realationships with Kelly and Bergman were just friendships.
I have a tape of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award show in 1979, the year Hitch was the person honored. He's not doing well & the show is mostly Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant covering for him. At one point, Hitchcock loudly says "whose is he?" while an actor from in one of his films is praising him.
So Hitchcock may have eventually suffered from dementia.
Ay for the dementia. They'll stick-a-roo a hitchacock to a knot in a tree!
You can only "teach" someone so much. If it were that easy, everyone would be able to act brilliantly because of a director.
It was a fifty/fifty relationship. And the fact that Hedren gave two of the best performances in Hitchcock movies should not be lost on anyone.
A Hollywood gossip book, which might have been a biography of either of them, outright stated that Hitchcock harassed Grace Kelly until he got what he wanted - to watch her undress through an open window from far away, via a telescope. I can't recall what book, but it was told in a pretty matter of fact way. Could be total bullshit, but there were some pretty definite details to it. If it's true, the idea of Hitchcock's harassment of his female cast is grotesque.
[quote]Hitchcock, for all his talent, had a habit of casting some of the least charismatic actors in Hollywood.
R34, some actors were forced on Hitchcock either by the studio or the producer. For example, Hitchcock never wanted Robert Cummings in Sabateur (and I think he didn't want Ruth Roman in Strangers on a Train).
I guess we can blame him for Melanie Griffith, then.
Was Tippi the last of the blondes in his movies...
Who followed Tippi.
Was there a blonde in "Frenzy"
If he wanted to force her to sleep with him he should have done it before he cast her.
Julie Andrews in Torn Curtain followed Tippi, and she was a blonde.
[quote]A Hollywood gossip book, which might have been a biography of either of them, outright stated that Hitchcock harassed Grace Kelly until he got what he wanted - to watch her undress through an open window from far away, via a telescope. I can't recall what book, but it was told in a pretty matter of fact way.
Apparently that story was in 'Hollywood Babylon II', R38.
[R35] I remember Hitchcock's speech at the AFI was wonderful and it took him forever to get to the stage.
The actor he said "who is it" about was Sean Connery, bald.
So many of the entertainment personages from decades ago have been revealed to be either fucked up mentally or into one sort of perversion or another. Hitchcock was a weirdo, Charles Laughton enjoyed shit sandwiches, what next?
What did he actually do to her?
Hitchcock gave his acceptance speech sitting down at his table. He never attempted walking to the stage. His speech was very good, but patched together. He did stand up at the end to greet Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, but otherwise stayed sitting throughout.
[quote]Conflicted, brilliant filmmaker.Not gay.
I seem to remember Hitchcock saying to someone who WAS gay, that he almost went that way (or this way)...
I can't remember who he said it to, but as far as I can remember it was a reliable source. There must be some kind of link to it...there always is re a famous person's gayness.
Tipi was a no-talent 'one hit wonder' who now has sour grapes. She owes everything to Hitch and is an ungrateful old bag trying to cash in on whatever 'fame' she still has.
Were it not for Hitchcock she would be giving bj's for $20/per.
The Birds was Hitch's last huge commercial hit, was it not? He went on to make Torn Curtain, Frenzy and Family Plot and maybe more but I cannot think of another huge hit after The Birds. Hedren's unlucky timing was to have been in a Hitchcock film at the END of his reign.
And any other Hitchcock blonde did quite well without him. They ALL did EXCEPT for Hedren. I think it was much more to do with her lack of talent/charisma than anything Alfred Hitchcock did to blackball her. It just makes a convenient story for her.
It is possible we would have never heard of her were it not for Hitch. He saw her picture in some add and asked to meet her. Did some film tests with her and convinced the studio she could play the lead in Birds. Some actresses go through years of struggle to get a part like that, if they're lucky.
Frenzy was a hit.
There are some interesting insights into Hitch in the memoirs of Arthur Laurents. Of course, Laurents wrote ROPE and dated Farley Granger. There are some revealing things Laurents has to say about Hitch's proclivities and hang-ups and the constant desire for complete control. Also, Hitch repeatedly tried to convince Laurents to pen the screenplay for UNDER CAPRICORN, but it never happened and Hitch cut him out of the inner circle after his refusal, never to return.
I'm fairly sure Tippi does the voice over in this 1969 commercial for Scatter Perm that features Ali MacGraw, Erin Gray, and Cheryl Tiegs.
She was also in "A Countess from Hong Kong." The movie was highly anticipated--I think it got a LIFE cover, which was a huge deal at the time.
She can be seen in the clip below. I don't find her presence very compelling
[quote] Hitchcock and Hedren had a fight and Hitchcock said later, "She did the unthinkable. She mentioned my weight."
Supposedly during the filming of "The Birds", she was talking to someone on a telephone about how fat and gross Hitchcock was and he was able to hear her and he despised her after that
If Hitchcock had really wanted to hurt her, he would have cast her in "Topaz."
Tippi gave wonderful performances in The Birds and, especially, Marnie. Hitchcock did tailor these roles for her, too. Kind of a symbiotic success, IMO.
Don't know if this has already been discussed ad nauseum, but did Hitchcock purposely want to cast an unknown girl for The Birds?
Or had he offered it to other more prominent actresses who turned it down?
Except for Julie Andrews and Paul Newman in Torn Curtain, his last few movies all starred relatively less famous names. Why was that?
I don't think she ever had a chance at a big career. She was very lucky that she fit the mold of "Hitchcock Blonde", because she had zero talent or screen presence. He was good enough to make her expressionless face seem cool rather than blank, but he couldn't give her charisma and he couldn't do anything about that awful schoolteacher's voice!
I suspect that Hitchcock's onset "abuse" of her were his attempts to get something, anything to show in her eyes.
Tippi was eye-opening as ''Marnie''.
Ms. Hedren is also very sensitive about wild animals and specifically about big cats and felines.
She supports the fight against animal abuse and her aim is ultimately to educate the public in regards to the inhumane treatment of circus animals and the need for this outdated form of entertainment to go away.
She was first league in ''Marnie'' though.
Tippi was also very fitting in ''Birds''.
I have read that Hitchcock was infatuated with her and tried his best to manipulate her because he wanted to fuck her.
She was not interested in getting fucked by him. You blame her for that? Lol
"Does that mean Grace Kelly and other lovely actresses who worked with Hitch and stayed popular after working with him, accepted his advances? Or did Tippi not handle the situation with grace (no pun intended.)"
No. If Hedren is to be believed - and I have no reason to doubt her - Hitchcock's obsessions with his leading ladies reached their apotheosis with Hedren. And Hitchcock's manipulation of his other leading ladies is corroborated. I don't think Hedren at all suggests that the others slept with Hitchcock.
To the contrary, if the script for The Girl is any indication of Hedren's position, Hitchcock only slept with one woman in his entire life, his wife Alma. And his need to have a goddess reached its peak with Hedren. Also, Hitchcock's vindictive feelings for actresses who didn't do what he wanted is born out by the portrayal of Vera Miles (who like Hedren was contracted to Hitchcock, appeared in two of his films, and whose career was screwed with by Hitchcock). Biehl by the way is good in Hitchcock, bears a satisfying resemblance to Miles, and shows that Miles didn't care all that much about being a megastar but wanted a normal life and got what she wanted.
" Or did Tippi not handle the situation with grace"
I wouldn't handle an old bloated whale throwing himself repeatedly all over me with "grace". He was just so repulsive.
R79, nice observation. Actually, Hitchcock was infatuated with Tippi Hedren. Perhaps, with the other actresses, especially with Grace Kelly he felt he didn't stand a chance. So he set his eyes on Tippi, expecting the impossible from her...to sleep with him. Lol. I think that Hitchcock felt a strong sexual desire about Miss Hedren and he was maybe more capricious with her than with the others, because for him she was like a door that he wanted desperately to open and come in and despite his hopes, he couldn't enter it.
If Hitchcock really did hit on Hedren and none of his other leading ladies, it was because she owed him so much more than the others. Gracy Kelly and his other "Hitchcock blondes" had successful careers away from him, while he completely created and controlled Hedren's work. If he really was a straight self-loathing man, he would have felt no (or less) fear of rejection from a woman he "owned".
I still have my doubts about the presumption of heterosexuality, though.
Hedren gave an amazing performance in "Marnie". Very taleneted actress.
They say the first half of our lives are ruined by our directors, the second half by our children.
Tippi Hedren with her daughter's boyfriend
I guess BBC/HBO are making a film about Hitchcock/Hedren relationship called The Girl, and there is a big backlash already.
This is a web site called Save Hitchcock where you can read recent interviews with people who were involved in the making of The Birds and Marnie, and, apparently, they're all saying that Hedren exaggerates her claims about Hitch.
This is from Louise Latham, who plays the mother in Marnie:
[quote]Louise: “I find some of the allegations hard to believe. My observations are so far from what Tippi claims, and I’m a rather observant person, and was trained in the theatre. She’s a lovely woman, but I don’t think Tippi should have said those things about Hitch. But if you have some guy come on to you, and it happens all the time, a bright woman knows how to deal with it. Because she was so ambitious and dependent on Hitch she didn’t dare to say what are you doing? But I wasn’t aware of her being hassled on the set.”
I have to chuckle at the posters here who think she's so wonderful in MARNIE. She's competent only in scenes that don't tax her much, but she can't manage a big emotional scene to save her life. She's in way over her head, though she tries hard.
It's almost a relief when Diane Baker appears so you can watch a real actress.
THE GIRL was such a piece of shit - so poorly made - that it didn't do any damage to Hitchcock's rep.
And HITCHCOCK is much more friendly toward him.
Nobody would have ever heard of Tipi Hedren if she hadn't been in two Hitchcock movies. He didn't "ruin" her career; she never had one in the first place.
It's either one extreme or another, you either love Tippi Hedren in Marnie, or you hate her. There has never been an opinion in between.
I thought she was very good in that movie, very watchable and not just because of her Scandinavian beauty.
If anyone is interested, Bodega Bay is putting on some events for the 50th anniversary of "The Birds". Tippi Hedren is appearing, there are special screenings, and they're planning a parade of Hedren and Hitchcock lookalikes!
Check it out, SF film buffs.