Anthony Hopkins Talks About Alfred Hitchcock Presents
by Alex Billington
November 5, 2007
One of Anthony Hopkins many upcoming projects is a film where he plays the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. Titled Alfred Hitchcock Presents, news of it first arrived back in February with not too much being revealed since then. Over the weekend we spoke with Anthony Hopkins while he was promoting Beowulf and he talked briefly about his role as well as the story and feel of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Hitchcock fans will definitely perk up their ears when they hear what Hopkins has to say and this definitely sounds like a film just for them!
The film will be directed by Ryan Murphy, who directed Running with Scissors and some episodes of "Nip/Tuck." Alfred Hitchcock Presents is actually about the making of Psycho and what Hitchcock was going through in the 1950's. When asked to elaborate further on what exactly it would involve, Hopkins attempts to clarify:
"Well [Hitchcock] had some problems… It's basically about his, I can't really describe… he was quite a difficult man. He had strange relationships with the actresses. He loved blonde actresses. Like voyeurism. But his making of Psycho is based on the man Ed Gein who kept his mother in a closet."
"It starts in a field of the actresses he had murdered and the camera pans up and it's Hitchcock with a cup of tea [saying], 'Good evening. So what you just saw, if you didn't see that, we wouldn't have a movie.'"
In a separate interview at MTV, Hopkins presents a more clearer explanation of the starting scene.
"It starts off in a Wisconsin field with the man Gein -- the man who killed his own brother and kept his mother's body in the closet -- it starts off these two brothers digging in the soil around this place on the farm, and one says to the Geins guy, 'You're just a mommy's boy.' And suddenly this shovel hits him on the back of the head, BANG, and kills him. The camera pans to Hitchcock standing there in the middle of the field having a cup of tea, 'Good evening. I hope you didn't miss that shot. Without that we wouldn't have a film.' And that's how it starts."
In essence, Alfred Hitchcock Presents is Hitchcock telling the audience the story of what happened in the making of Psycho. If that opening scene description didn't excite Hitchcock fans enough yet, then how about one more. Hopkins continued on trying to explain more of the concept behind the film but ended up only just confusing everyone further.
"And his complex relationship with [Anthony Perkins, who plays Norman Bates]. There's a scene where he's actually… there's Tony Perkins in a cell when he's at the police station and he's talking about the fly, but it's Hitchcock reading that."
From the sounds of it, Hitchcock is basically in the movie, narrating along as things are happening. In terms of playing Hitchcock, Hopkins explains that he's not exactly impersonating him, instead that the key is to "just go to the edge of representing the character you play." So far it sounds like Hopkins is pretty fit to play Hitchcock and that the result is going to be great.
This definitely seems like a movie that all Hitchcock fans will be immensely excited about. Although Ryan Murphy's Running with Scissors didn't get great reviews, I could tell from the sense and feel of that film that he might be able to tackle Hitchcock and the making of Psycho with a very unique style. No matter how Murphy attacks the direction of this film, I know I'll be in theaters the day it arrives.