British actress Sienna Miller (G.I. Joe) is set to portray Tippi Hedren in the BBC2 network’s Alfred Hitchcock-based tele-pic The Girl. Directed by Julian Jarrold from a script by Gwyneth Hughes, the film examines the iconic filmmaker’s obsessive relationship with Hedren after picking her from obscurity to star in his 1963 classic The Birds.
According to Hughes’ research, which includes interviews with a now 81-year-old Hedren and surviving members of Hitchcock’s film crews, Hitchcock grew obsessed with the alluring blonde starlet—then an aspiring fashion model—while taking her under his wing during the making of The Birds and Marnie.
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.
At the time, in the early 1960s, 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.
Hedren, who refused to work with Hitchcock after Marnie, was kept under contract by the director and forced to pass on other projects up until he finally sold her contract to Universal Pictures some two years later. Hedren has often said that Hitchcock ruined her career.
The Girl stars character actor Toby Jones (The Hunger Games) as Hitchcock, Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) as his wife Alma Hitchcock and Penelope Wilton (Shaun of the Dead) as his assistant Peggy Robertson. Hitchcock biographer Donald Spoto serves as consultant on the project.