Alfred Hitchcock’s creepy infatuation with his leading ladies
From left to right: Tippi Hedren, Kim Novak, and Grace Kelly. Photo credit: Everett Collection
Alfred Hitchcock was one of the greatest film directors of all time. But, like many great artists, Hitch had some issues. One issue that has gotten a lot of press over the years (including a controversial 2008 book) was the icon's infatuation with his blond leading ladies.
Indeed, a look back at Hitchcock's most famous films reveals that he almost exclusively cast blondes as female leads. Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Doris Day, Eva Marie Saint, Tippi Hedren, and Janet Leigh, to name a few.
When asked to discuss Hitchcock's feelings for her, Hedren, who is Melanie Griffith's mom, didn't hold back.
"I don't know what to call it," the still-stunning 82-year-old said. "It was something I'd never experienced before. It wasn't love. When you love someone, you treat them well. We are dealing with a mind here that is incomprehensible. And I certainly am not capable of discerning what was going through his mind or why. I certainly gave no indication that I was ever interested in a relationship with him."
Hedren was at the panel discussing the upcoming HBO movie "The Girl," in which Sienna Miller will star as Hedren and Toby Jones will play Hitchcock. Hedren remarked, "He was an extremely sad character. You're dealing with a brain here that was unusual, genius, and evil and deviant, almost to the point of dangerous because of the effect he could have on people who were totally unsuspecting."
"The Girl" is sure to draw strong reactions when it airs October 20. In one scene, Hitchcock aggressively attempts to kiss Hedren in the back of a car while filming "The Birds." Later there is a scene in which Hitchcock insists that Hedren make herself available to him sexually, something Hedren refused to do in real life. Hedren is then subjected to grueling work on the set of "The Birds." In one scene, Hitchcock throws stuffed birds at Hedren without warning. In real life, he apparently required Hedren to work in an attic with live birds for five days. Hedren says she suffered cuts to her face as a result.
Alfred Hitchcock may have presented Tippi Hedren with more than she bargained for. Photo: Everett Collection.
[Related: Anthony Hopkins takes on 'Hitchcock' Role]