Dakota Johnson Says Her Family Should Have Been 'Warned' About 'Heartbreaking' Tippi Hedren Movie

"You look over and you see a woman who's just been reminded of everything she went through, and it was heartbreaking," Dakota Johnson said of Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren
Dakota Johnson (R) and Tippi Hedren. Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Dakota Johnson is recalling the jarring experience of watching her grandmother Tippi Hedren being portrayed onscreen in The Girl.

The HBO film, which premiered in 2012, starred Sienna Miller as Hedren and Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock, the famous suspense filmmaker who directed Hedren in The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964) — and who allegedly abused her.

In Vanity Fair's July/August 2022 issue, Johnson, 32, said she and her family (which also includes her mother, Hedren's daughter Melanie Griffith) watched the movie together "at HBO."

"It was one of those moments where you're just like, 'How could you not have warned us? We're in a room with some execs. Maybe this warranted a little conversation beforehand?' " Johnson said.

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Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson on the cover of Vanity Fair's July/August 2022 issue. Ryan McGinley/Vanity Fair

In her 2016 memoir titled Tippi, Hedren, now 92, claimed she was sexually assaulted by Hitchcock (who died in 1980) several times during the making of both films.

She also recalled allegedly inhumane conditions she endured (upon which Hitchcock insisted) while filming the climactic scene in the 1963 horror-thriller The Birds.

"You look over and you see a woman who's just been reminded of everything she went through, and it was heartbreaking," Johnson told Vanity Fair of her experience at The Girl's screening, adding of Hedren, "She was an amazing actress and [Hitchcock] stopped her from having a career."

"What happened with my grandmother was horrific because Hitchcock was a tyrant," she also said. "He was talented and prolific — and important in terms of art — but power can poison people."

RELATED VIDEO: Dakota Johnson Brings Her Grandmother, The Birds Actress Tippi Hedren, to Horror Film Premiere

According to The Guardian, Louise Latham, who costarred with Hedren in Marnie, contradicted Hedren's version of events while speaking with Tony Lee Moral, an author and historian who has written about Hitchcock.

Latham, who died in 2018, said in part, "I find some of the allegations hard to believe. She's a lovely woman, but I don't think Tippi should have said those things about Hitch. … I wasn't aware of her being hassled on the set. For Hitchcock to go down as this monstrous thing, to the degree that [Tippi] was vulnerable is not accurate."

Speaking with NPR in 2016, Hedren alleged that Hitchcock threatened her career — and followed through on his statement.

"It became such a problem for me that I demanded to get out of the contract. And he said, 'Well, you can't, you have your daughter to support and your parents are getting older.' And I said, 'They wouldn't want me in a situation in which I'm not happy,' " she recalled at the time. "And he said, 'Well, I'll ruin your career.' And he did."

She added of telling Griffith and Johnson about Hollywood, "I think they just learned from living with me. And actually, my experiences with Hollywood were really wonderful, except for that. So I'm very happy and very busy."

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