Factory Girl and Layer Cake actress Sienna Miller had to undergo a two-hour “bird attack” while filming The Girl, a television drama about Alfred Hitchcock’s obsession with the blonde star of his 1963 movie The Birds.
“I did go through a bird attack for two hours. It pales in comparison to what she was subjected to, but it was pretty horrible,” Miller told the Radio Times.
“There were men off-camera with boxes of birds, throwing seagulls and pigeons in my face.”
Miller, 30, plays Tippi Hedren, whom Hitchcock cast after seeing her in a television commercial.
Hedren famously rebuffed Hitchcock’s advances and his subsequent vindictive treatment of her during filming, in particular when he had live birds wired into her clothing when her character Melanie Daniels is attacked in an attic, is believed to have been fuelled by the rejection.
“I think [Hitchcock] wanted to create his ideal blonde, his ideal woman,” Miller said. “He found this unknown so that he could mould her. Initially she trusted him. Then it started to get really weird.”
The Girl, which airs on BBC2 on Boxing Day, is not the only current cinematic offering about Hitchcock and his blondes. Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role, alongside Helen Mirren as Alma Reville and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh (star of Psycho), hits UK cinemas in January.
The Girl, 26 December, 9pm, BBC2Reuse content