Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Sienna Miller (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) are set to play the Master of Suspense and his beautiful discovery in BBC Two’s drama, The Girl. The film will tell about Alfred Hitchcock’s discovery and subsequent obsession with Tippi Hedren, the young model he pulled into the movie world.
In the 50s and 60s, Nathalie Kay ‘Tippi’ Hedren was a successful model appearing on magazine covers and doing commercials. Hitchcock saw her in an advertisement for a diet drink called Sego and groomed her to act for him. She appeared in The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964). Unfortunately, she was deeply criticized for both performances; she was ‘too passive’ in The Birds and ‘too expressive’ in Marnie. Still, she became quite famous.
Unfortunately, Hitchcock’s hold on her was ironclad as professional courtesy turned into obsessive love. He would pay her weekly to do nothing, but in return would not allow her to work for other directors. When she tried to escape her contract, he threatened to ruin her career. She believed that the threat was not idle, so she remained stifled under his control. When finally she was allowed to go to Universal and work in television, her career was already on hold.
For BBC Two’s drama, Hedren herself gave interviews to keep everything as accurate as possible. Hitchcock’s biographer, Donald Spoto, has also been on retainer. Gwyneth Hughes (Five Days) is writing the script.
“It’s been the most enormous privilege to talk at length to Tippi Hedren, the last ‘Hitchcock blonde’ in the life of Britain’s most original and successful film director,” says Hughes, “At the time…the American star suffered in silence. But now, at the age of 81, her wisdom and insights have helped me to put her real life ordeal on to the screen.”
Amanda Jenks (The Gray Man) is producing, with Leanne Klein (Who Killed Scarlett?) in the executive producer’s chair. No director or other cast has yet been announced.