When the world got noisy with the #metoo action, Tippi Hedren said “this is nothing new”. The actress, whom the famous director engaged for the main role in “The Birds”, on the set had to fight off not only the brutal attacks of live gulls and crows, which pecked her blood, but also the games of the famous director.
Tippi Hedren remembers the relationship with Alfred Hitchcock with gratitude and disgust at the same time, and she decided to tell about it many years after his death. In the era of the #MeToo movement, which redefined the approach to sexual violence, the film “Tippi Hedren and wild animals” is an extremely important voice in the fight for the subjective treatment of women.
He was obsessed with her
Tippi Hedren is privately the mother of Melanie Griffith and the grandmother of Dakota Johnson. In the 1960s she gained fame thanks to the main roles in the films “Birds” and “Marnie” directed by Alfred Hitchcock. He saw her by accident in a TV commercial, in which she charmed him with her elegance, sense of style, confidence, independence and beauty. He invited her to an outrageously expensive test film, during which he tested her acting skills and engaged her in a film.
“It was a hard but fascinating job that I enjoyed and needed a lot. Hitchcock was not only a director but an acting teacher, which was great. There was no better teacher,” recalls Tippi Hedren.
Alfred Hitchcock was obsessed with Tippi Hedren
Photo: press materials / Arte.tv / Ofeminin
The director not only helped her create the character of Melanie Daniels, but shaped her into the perfect “Hitchcock blonde” – inaccessible and desirable, the type of women he liked. It turned out to be disastrous for her …
Hitchcock soon became obsessed with Tippi Hedren. During this period, he controlled her entire professional and private life. He even asked a costume designer to design her private outfits to wear off-screen. “I couldn’t help noticing that he was still staring at me. No matter where he was or what he was doing, even though he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the set, his eyes were staring at me.” – adds the actress.
The situation got complicated because the director had bad intentions towards her. He played Pygmalion and wanted to make an actress from a perfect, beautiful woman, whom he could use as an instrument of his desire. In the film, he suggested that Melanie, played by Tippi, was attracting the birds to Bodega Bay. It is she who is dangerous, because she is a self-confident woman, full of inner strength, so she must be punished for it. It was the basic dynamics of their relationship and the reason why it became a threat to both of them. “I’ll never give you details, but suddenly he grabbed me and started touching me. It was sexual, kinky and horrible. I couldn’t be more shocked and disgusted.” Says Tippi.
She always said no
In addition, on the set, the actress had to patiently endure the brutal attacks of artificial and live gulls and crows. After the scene where the birds attack her in the telephone booth, the doctor took shards of glass out of her face all afternoon. During the filming of the film’s ending, trainers threw birds alive and screaming at her for a week, pecking her for blood. For this role, she received a Golden Globe and another engagement in the psychodrama “Marnie” – stories about sexual obsession, domination and control. She played a kleptomaniac robbing her bosses, raped by her husband on their wedding night. Apparently it was a hidden fantasy of Alfred Hitchcock …
Tippi Hedren in 1964 decided to stop working with the director, but she paid a high price for it
Photo: photo: press materials / ARTE.tv / Ofeminin
Whenever Hitchcock behaved inappropriately towards her, Tippi would say “no.” Eventually, she decided to end her cooperation with him in 1964, but she paid a high price for it. She signed a contract under which she could not play in any film for 3 years.
The documentary “Tippi Hedren and the Wild Animals” is available on the free streaming platform ARTE.tv. The movie is available until October 17 at the following link:
“Hejt polski”, a new book by Maja Staśko. The activist exposes all the dark sides of hatred
They left one by one: father, son, then his wife … The tragic fate of the family of the famous mountaineer
What’s next for “The Crown”? After the queen’s death, shooting was suspended