Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tippi Hedren In Person

Last week, I dragged a group of friends and family to see The Birds at a local movie theater. And as if going to see The Birds on the big screen isn't exciting enough, Tippi Hedren herself made an appearance. (Yes, this is the same event at which I ran into Veronica Cartwright in the bathroom a few years ago. She was not there this time.)

When we arrived an hour early Tippi wasn't even there yet. Reports said that she was sitting in her limo eating dinner. Now, I understand that we all need to eat dinner, however, there was quite a line forming to get her autograph and she was a half hour late. Not to mention, those in line wanted to also get decent seats in the movie theater. And she was supposed to talk to the audience before the movie started. It quickly became apparent that none of this was going to go as scheduled. Prima donna? Maybe a little. However, she's quite old and we don't want her passing out or anything.

Anyway, all was forgiven when Tippi finally showed up and she was lovely and seemed very nice. My friends and I stood off to the side near where she was coming in and thanks to one of my particularly loud friends and her enthusiastic clapping, Tippi just kept walking toward us, despite the fact that she was supposed to make a right turn to get to the autograph signing area. She seemed delighted that everyone was clapping for her and she actually looks quite good for being like 80 (and wearing tight leather pants). She was seemed very pleased to be there and spent plenty of time talking to each fan who came for an autograph. There was one lady there with birds taped all over her dress.

The Birds on the big screen was excellent as usual. Watching movies like that by yourself at home can't compare to sharing the experience with a theater full of people. After the film, Tippi came in and played a trivia game with the audience and answered some questions. Most of the questions were pretty standard fare, but one audience member asked about the rumors that Hitchcock prevented Tippi from working after Marni when she was highly sought-after, thereby ruining her career.

Tippi said that Hitchcock developed an obsession with her that caused her to refuse to make more movies for him. However, she still had a contract with him for two years after Marni which he refused to break, preventing her from working during that time. She joked that he did essentially ruin her career, but then awkwardly tried to take it back when the audience seemed completely disgusted with Hitchcock. No doubt Hitchcock had borderline disturbing relationships with most of his leading ladies. I'll just try not to think about that.

On a side note, we almost got attacked by birds while walking into the movie theater. In the Chicagoland area, seagulls tend to hang out in parking lots. It's just a thing that happens, I don't know why. Anyway, there must have been some food thrown near the door to the theater because just about all the seagulls who live in the parking lot were circling near the theater entrance. At first I figured the theater planned this, but it only happened for a short time and then never again, so I'm not giving them that credit. Nevertheless, it was slightly disturbing and made our experience that much more exciting.