Tippi Hedren on the real Alfred Hitchcock: Manipulation, assault and fear

She said: “When I got to the set I found out there had never been any intention to use mechanical birds because a cage had been built around the door where I was supposed to come in, and there were boxes of ravens, gulls and pigeons that bird trainers wearing gauntlets up to their shoulders hurled at me, one after the other, for a week.” 

After days of injuries and mental torment from working with the birds, Hedren collapsed into hysteria, and was medically ordered to have a week of rest. 

The following film Hedren worked on, Marnie, would earn her a nomination for a Photoplay award, but Hitchcock allegedly refused to let her go to New York to accept it. 

In her memoir the actress penned that the situation with Hitchcock escalated during Marnie’s filming, writing: “It was sexual, it was perverse.”

Now at the end of her rope, Hedren demanded to be released from her contract with Hitchcock, and shared his response with NPR in 2016. 

The actress said: “He said, ‘Well, you can’t, you have your daughter to support and your parents are getting older.’ And I said, ‘They wouldn’t want me in a situation in which I’m not happy.’ And he said, ‘Well, I’ll ruin your career.’ And he did.”


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