Speaking to reporters today about “The Girl,” HBO’s upcoming Sienna Miller starrer about the legendary director’s obsessive relationship with his “Marnie” and “The Birds” leading lady, Hedren offered a chilling portrayal of Hitchcock:
“We are dealing with a brain of unusual genius and evil, deviant, almost to the point of dangerous,” she said, “because of the effect he can have on people who are totally unsuspecting.”
But Hedren says “The Girl,” based on the book “Spellbound by Beauty” by Donald Spoto, fails to capture the “times of delight and joy” she shared with Hitch, who was also her “brilliant” drama coach. “It wasn’t a constant barrage of harassment…If it had been constantly the way [it is portrayed] in this film, I would’ve been long gone.”
After viewing the film in a private screening with family and friends, Hedren said, “Nobody moved, nobody said anything, until my daughter, [the actress] Melanie Griffith, jumped up and said, ‘Now I have to go back into therapy!'”
But Hedren insists that she survived the experience “beautifully”: “He ruined my career, but he didn’t ruin my life.”
Nor did he ruin her sense of humor. “If this had happened today,” she noted with a chagrined laugh, “I would be a very rich woman.”
“The Girl” debuts Saturday, Oct. 20 on HBO.