UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 01 Fall 14 Library
Photo: Sanjay Suchak
Virginia Film Festival

Special Guest: Tippi Hedren

Friday night at the Virginia Film Festival is always fun. Last year, you might even say it was a scream – thanks to special guest Tippi Hedren! The 84-yearold star of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds regaled audiences with tales of life on the set, including details of her famously troubled relationship with the director, for whom she also went on to star in Marnie. When she initially read the script, for The Birds, Hedren told the crowd with a smile, there were a lot of things she questioned. “One was why did she walk up those stairs all by herself ?” In an answer that would define their relationship as much as anything else could, “Hitch,” as she called him, answered, “I haven’t thought of that… because I tell you to.” The day she shot that iconic scene brought another revelation. “There was not a mechanical bird in sight. But there was a cage by the door, filled with gulls and ravens and pigeons and four bird trainers with birds up to their shoulders, and they just hurled birds at me for a week.” U.Va. students got their own “Birds-eye view” of Hedren’s career and life thanks to a special visit to Andrea Press’s class, where Ms. Hedren shared more stories and answered questions.

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