HBO's latest documentary/film "The Girl" is set to premiere on Saturday night and reveals the backstage drama between actress Tippi Hedren and producer Alfred Hitchcock. The actress recently described what it was like to see the film on-screen, with friends and family.
"I've never been in a screening room where nobody moved, nobody said anything. Until my daughter [Melanie Griffith] jumped up and said, well, now I have to go back into therapy.'"
Sienna Miller was chosen to portray Hedren, no small feat given Hedren's exceptional performances and extremely tenuous relationship with Hitchcock.
Hedren was a model before being hired by Hitchcock for his masterpiece, "The Birds." After that, she was placed under contract and worked on "Marnie," another well-known Hitchcock classic. While Hedren enjoyed acting, she did not appreciate Hitchcock's behavior and treatment while she worked with him.
"There were times of delight and joy," Hedren told reporters. "I think he was an extremely sad character. The effect that he could have on people was totally unsuspecting," she explained.
"I think we're dealing with such a devious mind, one of genius, of incredible creativity," she told the Associated Press. "There was so much wrong with that mind… He was evil."
That included a horrifying scene from "The Birds" in which real birds were actually used in the scene, injuring Hedren. "Hitch said we had to keep filming. The doctor said, 'What are you trying to do, kill her?'" Hedren said.
Because of her contract with Hitchcock, Hedren was prevented from working on other roles that were offered to her. Hitchcock also refused to let her work for others after she finished work on "Marnie." Finally, Hedren was able to break free and establish her own career.
"He ruined my career, but he did not ruin my life," Hedren has famously said of her time with Hitchcock.
"The Girl" airs Saturday at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.