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.
I'd be looking forward to this movie if it wasn't for the fact Anthony Hopkins is playing Hitchcock, the man has an acting range more limited than Nicole Kidman. It feels like he's be playing Hannibal Lecter for the last 16 years, minus the lashing of tongues . Surely Bob Hoskins would be a better choice.
Bob on Nov 5, 2007
I would agree as far as image and appearance go, Bob Hoskins would be a cool dude to tackle Hitchcock. although I think Hoskins would have been convinced, due to the likeliness between them, to impersonate Hitchcock rather than simple portray him in character, which could result in unnecessary parody. As far as Hopkins is concerned, he should try to break out of the Hannibal mold that has influenced his roles to date. I would want to see him go back to "Meet Joe Black" caliber.
Dave on Nov 5, 2007
I find it interesting that Universal Florida removed the King Kong ride, then released the Kong remake, and now they took out the Hitchcock area (which I loved) and are making a Hitchcock film. Simply put, WTF? Where's the synergy?
Drake on Nov 6, 2007
I think this will be an interesting challenge for Hopkins, I wouldn't automatically have cast him to play Alfred Hitchcock. He'll have to put on a few stone as well.
Hopkins Fans on Jan 9, 2008
No disrespect, but there are a lot of errors in this story. I know several people intimately invovled with this project since the beginning. First off, it is not now and never has been called "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." Ever. That title came from an internet blogger/reporter who is widely known for being sloppy with the facts. The project is based on the book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" by Stephen Rebello and the script drafts to date all have that same title. The opening of the film as described by Hopkins is now very different and, frankly, far better, more surprising, startling and "Hitchcockian." Hitchcock is not a narrator and is shown throughout the script as a funny, sad, complex, frightened, powerful and fascinating individual, as his wife, Alma. Their unusual relationship is the motor of the movie. Early drafts of the script were not particularly good but the newest one -- which involves Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and many Hitchcock associates -- is really strong. The script is nothing at all like the HBO film about the making of Citizen Kane. It's much more emotional and entertaining -- closer to, say, The Queen or Gods and Monsters.
Charles Oakley on Jan 10, 2008
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