At Cinema Village last night, Tippi Hedren–star of Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie (the 1964 psychological drama in which she was a frigid klepto)–made the above allegation.
After a showing of The Birds, Tippi told interviewer Robert Milazzo, “Apparently I was up for a nomination for Marnie, and Hitchcock killed it.”
Tippi said that when she tired of Hitch’s increasingly obsessive possessiveness, she wanted out of any dealings with him, and in return, he threatened to destroy her career, which included kibboshing the nomination.
He also kept her under contract for two more years so she couldn’t work. Tippi says she later found out that Truffaut had wanted her for Fahrenheit 451, and she was heartbroken about the missed opportunity.
Her revelations about The Birds:
*She’d been promised that she’d work with mechanical birds. That was a lie. They threw live birds at her. Cary Grant stopped by the set once and told Tippi, “I think you’re the bravest woman I’ve ever met.” Said she last night, “I don’t know if that was the right adjective for it.”
*She asked Hitchcock why her character, Melanie Daniels, would go up the stairs alone, knowing about the bird problem. His reply: “Because I tell you to.”
*After the contract was up, she landed a part in Charles Chaplin‘s last film, A Countess From Hong Kong, opposite Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren. But when she got to the set, she found out her part was tiny. “Why didn’t you tell me it was a cameo?” she asked Chaplin. His reply: “Because I was afraid you wouldn’t come.”
As Milazzo pointed out, powerful men withholding info from poor Tippi seems to be a recurring theme.
Men are not only dogs, they’re for the birds!
But Tippi’s still swanlike, even with all her lions.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 9, 2012