Actress Tippi Hedren, best known for her roles in the Alfred Hitchcock films "The Birds" and "Marnie," told HuffPost Live host Jacob Soboroff Friday that the renowned director threatened to ruin her career if she stopped making films with him.
"I went into Hitch's office on the set to ask him for two days off so that I could go to New York to accept an award on the Tonight Show," Hedren said. "And he thought that was outrageous and he then made this demand on me -- and I said 'you know what I want to get out of this contract.'"
"He said, 'I'll ruin your career,'" Hedren continued. "I said 'do what you have to do' and out the door I went."
"And, did he ruin your career?" Soboroff asked.
"Yes, he did," Hedren said. "He kept me under contract and paid me my $600 a week. You know what? It's all gone."
The story of Hedren's relationship with Hitchcock has come into prominence recently following the release of "The Girl" in October. According to the Associated Press, the film "is as jarring to watch as one of the master's own dark suspense dramas."
From the AP:
In one horrific sequence, the filmmaker withholds from Hedren that real birds, not mechanical ones, will be used in a scene in which she'll be attacked at close quarters. Then he subjects her to five days of shooting, take after take, leaving her injured and distraught.
A physician forced Hitchcock to suspend production for a week to allow Hedren to recover.
"Hitch said we had to keep filming," the actress recalled. "The doctor said, `What are you trying to do, kill her?'"
Hedren also told HuffPost Live that she's glad she is able to now speak up about the abusive relationship for the benefit of other women who may be in similar situations.
"I kind of look at my modeling career and the Hitchcock years as stepping stones to what I'm doing now," she said.