Photo: Page Six
When she was just a young girl, Melanie Griffith received the most petrifying gift from Alfred Hitchcock, a director famous for molding horror film history and supposedly damaging the career of her mother, Tippi Hedren.
“What happened with my grandmother was horrific because Hitchcock was a tyrant,” said Dakota Johnson, Griffith’s daughter, told Vanity Fair. “He was talented and prolific – and important in terms of art – but power can poison people.”
In a recent Vanity Fair cover story, Johnson revealed that her family was forever pained by Hitchcock’s venom, particularly a horrifying Christmas gift the filmmaker allegedly handed Griffith when she was a child: A miniature replica of Hedren in a tiny coffin.
“It’s alarming and dark and really, really sad for that little girl,” said Johnson of her mother. “Really scary.”
Hedren and Hitchcock’s professional ties were vividly portrayed in HBO’s 2012 film, where Hedren and Hitchcock were portrayed by Sienna Miller and Toby Jones, respectively, during the making of The Birds in the 1960s.
The film, directed by Julian Jarrold, documents the duo’s toxicity when working together, which significantly impacted Hedren’s future work.
According to Johnson, she watched a film screening with Hedren, which instilled a lasting impression on her.
“We sat at HBO, my family, and watched that movie together,” Johnson revealed.
“It was one of those moments where just like, how could you not have warned us? We’re in a room with some execs. Maybe this warranted a little conversation beforehand? You look over, and you see a woman who’s just been reminded of everything she went through, and it was heartbreaking. She was an amazing actress, and he stopped her from having a career.”
Griffith revealed in 2012, guesting on Jimmy Kimmel Live, that she indeed got the doll Johnson mentioned in the Vanity Fair story, which she said was donning “the green suit and the hair in the French twist” that Hedren wore in The Birds.
“Can you imagine the psychological effect?” she queried Kimmel. “[Hitchcock] was really weird. He was a really weird guy.”
She then talked to Kimmel about The Girl; however, she described it as a “really wonderful” project.