Published On: Mon, Mar 19th, 2012

Tippi Hedren Quotes

Discussing her new memoir, “Tippi,” with Variety, Hedren discusses Alfred Hitchcock’s dangerous obsession and the “sexual abuse” she was forced to endure while making his films. The term “Sexual Abuse” is and was used, but the situation, as chronicled below would be “unwanted sexual advances” and NOT rape or something physical which would warrant the term

“I did it because this is legion all over the world. There’s nothing unique about it. Women complain all the time about somebody trying to make a pass at them or have a relationship in which they are not interested. I don’t put up with that kind of thing. I wanted to let women, especially young women, know never to allow that kind of approach and to be forceful in telling people you’re not interested in having that kind of a relationship. It’s not a bad thing to say no.”

When asked about the critics who don’t believe her claims: “They weren’t there. How about that? I was the one living that life. They weren’t. How can they possibly have anything to say about it?”

Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren in promotional photo for “The Birds”

The account as summarized via Wikipedia:

Hedren asked Hitchcock’s permission one day to travel to New York to appear on The Tonight Show where she was supposed to be presented an award as the Most Promising New Star. Hitchcock refused, according to his biographer, because he claimed the break would affect her performance.It was during that meeting that he apparently “made an overt sexual proposition” that Hedren “could neither ignore nor answer casually, as she could his previous gestures”. In Spoto’s third book about Hitchcock, Spellbound by Beauty (2008), Hedren revealed that Hitchcock actually made offensive demands on her. “He stared at me and simply said, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, that from this time on, he expected me to make myself sexually available and accessible to him–however and whenever and wherever he wanted”. Hitchcock’s demands led to a “horrible, horrible fight”, according to Hedren. “He made these demands on me, and no way could I acquiesce to them”.

Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in “Hitchcock” Fox searchlight


Sienna Miller was cast as actress Tippi Hedren in the Alfred Hitchcock biopic “The Girl.” The film follows the director’s obsessive relationship with Hedren while they filmed “The Birds” and “Marnie.”

“I am thrilled Sienna is playing me. She is terrific for the part,” Hedren told the Daily Mail. “[However] If I have one reservation about the film, it is that I worry they will not portray me as as strong a character as I was — and still am. I had to be extremely strong to fight off Mr Hitchcock.”

“He wanted to possess me completely… There were so many wonderful films we could have made together but it was all thrown away because of his mindless lust.”

To take a work of art like that and try to copy it is like trying to imitate the Mona Lisa. I think Hitch would call them tiny tots trying to make movies and ask why they don’t have an original thought in their heads. – August 9, 2009  regarding a planned remake of “The Birds”

On first meeting Alfred Hitchcock: “Hitch placed a very, very beautifully wrapped package in front of me from Gump [an upmarket store] in San Francisco and I opened it and it was a very beautiful pin of seed pearls and gold of three birds in flight. He said ‘We want you to play Melanie Daniels in The Birds.’ Well, I was so stunned. I just all welled up, got tears in my eyes, and I looked over at Alma and she had tears in her eyes and Lou Wasserman had one tear in his and Alfred Hitchcock sat looking very pompous and thrilled with himself.” – recalling events in interview with London Times April 5, 2005

“I said, ‘Hitch, you know I’m not a Method actress but I need motivation for this. Why is she doing this?’ And he said, ‘Because I tell you to’.” – Tippi recalling interaction with Hitchcock for motivation of the birds attacking her in the attic scene, interview with London Times April 5, 2005

On filming the bird attack scene in the attic:

The morning before filming, an embarrassed looking assistant director came to her dressing room. “He couldn’t look at me,” she recalls. “He looked at the floor. He looked at the walls. He looked at the ceiling. I said, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ And he said, ‘The mechanical birds don’t work. We have to use real ones’.”

She believes, however, that there had never been any intention to use props. “There were cartons, huge cartons, filled with ravens — very nicely — I mean they weren’t in misery or anything — and three prop men with great big leather gauntlets up to their shoulders. And they hurled birds at me for five days. By the very end of it they had me on the floor.

“Rita Riggs [the wardrobe supervisor] had put bands around my body, about an inch thick, and they tied the birds very loosely to me with the elastic around their little ankles and finally, on the last day, one of them jumped from my shoulder and really cut me, way too close to my eye. And I just got the birds off and just sat in the middle of the set crying, because I was totally exhausted.”

Tippi Hedren has called upon mourning fans of Michael Jackson to honour his memory by coming to the aid of the exotic animals rescued from his Neverland ranch. In 2005, Hedren adopted Jackson’s two tigers, Thriller and Sabu, after the singer gave up the private zoo at his Santa Barbara estate.

“I went up and sat with them for a while and let them know that Michael was gone. You don’t know what mental telepathy exists from the human to the animal. But I hope they understood.” – Source

If you want to be an actor, be independently wealthy or have a backup plan.

In fact I had several studios come to me while I was modeling. That was in the fifties. During that time television had taken over everybody’s home and people weren’t going to the movies. That was the demise of the big film studios, that’s when it started to crumble. – Interview with “Stumped” 2006 on early successes in her career and her aspirations to model

I love Melanie’s ‘Antonio in a heart’ tattoo, so I just decided to get one as well. – Tippi  on getting a “Birds” tatoo on her 80th birthday with the support of her daughter Melanie Griffith

I’ve decided this birthday is going to be all about me. – 80th birthday celebration January 17, 2010

It is really comforting as I grow older to see that impatience decreases and I don’t let the little things in life bother me as much. I see the humor in almost everything. – 80th birthday celebration January 17, 2010

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