Can the end really justify the means? A question that certain directors really should have asked themselves when pushing their actors to the absolute limits in pursuit of a great performance.
We're not just talking hard taskmasters who demand endless takes or are notorious for having tantrums on set (mentioning no names, except, um, they're both called David), these are the times when directors went beyond reasonable limits to get something extra special from their stars – and fortunately succeeded.
A genius auteur, undoubtedly, yet Hitchcock's bullying relationship with Tippi Hedren on The Birds is so notorious, 2012 HBO movie The Girl is dedicated to it. According to Hedren, Hitch made sexual advances towards her and ordered other cast members not to talk to her.
When they were filming the phone-box scene, one of the mechanical birds broke through the shatterproof glass, shards of it hitting her in the face. Later, in the attic scene, he told her the mechanical birds wouldn't work, so instead she had real-live birds thrown at her and attached to her with elastic.
After five days of this, during which one of the birds almost pecked her in the eye, she was shattered and exhausted and spent a week in bed.
The performance was great but she never got the recognition she deserved. This was her first film, she made one more with Hitch (Marnie), and then because she was under contract to him, he wouldn't let her work for anyone else for two more years, effectively curtailing a very promising career.Read More...
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