Hedren filmed The Birds and Marnie with Hitchcock and now she's using the new TV biopic about the revered director to reveal all about what a tyrant he was on movie sets - if he didn't get his own way.
The 82-year-old star claims Hitchcock tried to romance her and when she spurned him, he turned life on set into a living hell.
She says, "When I first heard Toby's voice as Alfred Hitchcock, my body just froze. It was hard to go through all of those years that had been eclipsed into an hour and a half. HBO (network bosses) very graciously granted me a screening for 30 of my friends, and at the end of it, nobody moved. Nobody said anything until my daughter, Melanie Griffith, jumped up and said, 'Now I have to go back into therapy.'
"I had not talked about this issue with Alfred Hitchcock to anyone. Because all those years ago, it was still the studio kind of situation. Studios were the power. And I was at the end of that, and there was absolutely nothing I could do legally whatsoever. There were no laws about this kind of a situation. If this had happened today, I would be a very rich women."
Hedren can only hope that young actresses see the film and take a stand against demanding directors: "I hope that young women who do see this film know that they do not have to acquiesce to anything that they do not feel is morally right or that they are dissatisfied with or simply wanting to get out of that situation, that you can have a strength, and you deserve it."
And she only wishes more of Hitchcock's leading women came forward with their on-set horror stories, adding, "I know Kim Novak, and she never said a word about anything wrong. I didn't bring it up. I really didn't talk about this issue for such a very, very long time.
"While we were doing The Birds - because this manifestation happened during the latter part of filming The Birds - I remember Suzanne Pleshette saying to me, because I was a newcomer in the business; she said, 'It isn't always like this.'
"As far as I know, Vera Miles had a terrible time with Hitchcock, and she wanted to get out of the contract. He didn't let her. She did Psycho, and I believe there isn't one close-up of Vera, not one. But she would never even speak about him to anyone. So I think it is common knowledge that Hitchcock had fantasies or whatever you want to call them about his leading ladies, which is very confining.
"Peggy Robertson, his assistant for so many years, and I remained friends until she died, and she, at one point, said to me that he would have these kind of feelings for his leading ladies, and she said, 'But he never got over you'."
The actress is portrayed by Sienna Miller in the film, which chronicles Hitchcock's treatment of Hedren.
In other words The Holiday probably falls under the “guilty pleasure” category. Its not a classic romantic comedy by any standards but darn it it still makes you smile more often than you want to admit. The story centers on two women: Iris (Kate Winslet) a British newspaper columnist hopelessly in love with a man about to marry someone else and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) a highly successful L.A. career woman who just broke up with her latest cheating boyfriend. Being at the right place at the right time these two gals meet online at a home exchange website and impulsively switch homes for the holiday. Shortly after arriving at their destinations both women find the last thing either wants or expects: A new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris' handsome brother Graham (Jude Law) and Iris with inspiration provided by legendary screenwriter Arthur (Eli Wallach) mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Jack Black). Oh just go ahead and take a big gooey bite. It’s good for the soul. The biggest problem in The Holiday is unfortunately the casting—which is real shame because you really want the chemistry to zing. They get it right with Winslet and Law who are both trying something a little different as romantic leads. Winslet in fact admitted to Reuters this was one of the more nerve-wracking parts she’s ever played because she couldn’t hide behind an American accent or a costume playing someone closer to well herself. But you would think these two Oscar-nominees had been making these type movies all along especially the insanely gorgeous Law who should have every woman swooning with his sensitivity. Where they get it wrong is with the Americans as the Brits just act giant circles around them. Black is clearly out of place. Although being very charming and funny looking like he made Winslet laugh a LOT (and who wouldn’t with that guy around?) their connection on screen is somewhat amiss. Diaz comes off looking even worse. Even though she’s the veteran of the romantic comedy (There's Something About Mary My Best Friend's Wedding) her screechy neurotic klutzy Amanda is in no way appealing. You have to scratch your head wondering why Law’s Graham would fall so hard for her. What does make The Holiday work however is writer/director Nancy Meyers. She’s proven herself quite adept at the genre with films such as What Women Want and Something's Gotta Give under her belt. With The Holiday Meyers skillfully crafts individual moments of refreshing comedy as well as heartening scenes of blossoming romance. The initial seduction scene between Amanda and Graham is particularly sweet and quirky with the crisp dialogue flying at a nice clip. And isn’t it comforting to see a holiday movie minus feuding neighbors commerciality or any sort of mean-spiritedness? But Meyers has the tendency to go more for the superficial rather than dig deep with her characters. The Holiday has a one of those glossy rosy glows whose only aim is to make you feel good. True the film will mostly speak volumes to the women in the audience (that’s a polite way of saying its a “chick flick”) but oh well. It’s fluff may be a nice reprieve during the hustle and bustle of the season.