Dakota Johnson says Alfred Hitchcock gave mom Melanie Griffith a miniature of grandma Tippi Hedren in a coffin
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Dakota Johnson claimed that Alfred Hitchcock once gave her mother Melanie Griffith a miniature of her grandmother, Tippi Hedren, in a coffin.
Hedren, one of the renowned filmmaker’s “Hitchcock blondes,” or muses, starred in two of his films: 1963’s “The Birds” and 1964’s “Marine.” The actress previously claimed that Hitchcock became controlling as he groomed her to be a star.
Johnson revealed that her mother received the creepy mini coffin as a Christmas gift when she was just a child.
“It’s alarming and dark and really, really sad for that little girl,” the “Fifty Shades of Grey” star told Vanity Fair on Tuesday. “Really scary.”
‘THE BIRDS’ STAR TIPPI HEDREN SAYS ALFRED HITCHCOCK ‘RUINED’ HER CAREER: HE HAD ‘A DARK SIDE’
“What happened with my grandmother was horrific because Hitchcock was a tyrant,” the 32-year-old continued. “He was talented and prolific — and important in terms of art — but power can poison people.”
Johnson recalled attending a screening of the Emmy-nominated HBO movie “The Girl,” which depicted Hitchcock’s obsession with Hedren, now 92. Johnson said that she nor Hedren, who attended the screening with her granddaughter, were warned about the film’s content.
“It was one of those moments where you’re just like, ‘How could you not have warned us?'” said Johnson. “We’re in a room with some execs. Maybe this warranted a little conversation beforehand? You look over and you see a woman who’s just been reminded of everything she went through, and it was heartbreaking. She was an amazing actress and he stopped her from having a career.”
This isn’t the first time Johnson has spoken out about Hitchcock’s treatment of her grandmother.
In 2021, she told The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast about the alleged abuse Hedren endured.
“She’s always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself,” said Johnson at the time. “That’s what she did. Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn’t want to sleep with him, and he terrorized her.”
Johnson claimed that Hitchcock was “never held accountable” and called it a “completely unacceptable” abuse of power.
“It’s completely unacceptable for people in a position of power to wield that power over someone in a weaker position, no matter the industry,” she explained. “It’s hard to talk about because she’s my grandmother. You don’t want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother.”
Johnson noted she and Griffith, 64, have learned from Hedren that “you do not put up with that s— from anybody.”
“She would say it in a far more eloquent way,” said Johnson. “She’s such a glamorous movie star, still.”
Hedren alleged that she was sexually assaulted and had her career threatened by Hitchcock, who passed away in 1980 at age 80. In 2017, she wrote a memoir titled “Tippi,” which detailed her rise to stardom and what it was like working with Hitchcock. That same year, she told Fox News Digital that her complicated relationship with Hitchcock was “a sad situation.”
“There’s really nothing more to talk about,” she explained. “It was … a sad situation. It was a wonderful, wonderful time. I’d never done a film before and I was — I guess he saw a commercial that I did — and … he found out who I was, where I was. He then quickly put me under contract. And then to discover that I was going to be in a major motion picture was incredible. He and his wife Alma were my drama coaches. It was absolutely fabulous. And then he pulls that … card.”
“I wasn’t a young woman who fell off the vegetable truck,” she continued. “I was saddened that he did this, you know, that he decided to pull that card. I said, ‘I’m not interested in this. I’m not going to fall for this.’ He kept pursuing it and then I said, ‘I want to get out of the contract.’ He said, ‘Well, you can’t. You have your daughter to take care of, your parents are getting older.’ And I said, ‘You know, they would not want me to be doing something I am not interested in. I want to get out of the contract.’
“He said, ‘I’ll ruin your career.’ And he did. He kept me under contract and wouldn’t let me work. It was just one of those Hollywood nightmares … It was just so unnecessary. That’s what was so awful about this. It was just … just a sad situation. Just sad. But anyway — life goes on!”
Despite the setback she endured after working with Hitchcock, the star insisted she has “had an incredible life.”
“I look back at my life and think how fortunate I am to have had the opportunities that have been presented to me,” she said. “My parents were really wonderful with my sister and me, and they taught us so much about life and how to hold our heads up high. If there is something that happens and we don’t like it, there’s a reason for that. You can tell if a situation isn’t good. So get out of it!”
“I think what I was really trying to get across is, if a door opens to you and you like what you see on the other side, walk through it,” she shared. “If you don’t like what you see on the other side of that door, slam it shut! I’ve walked through many of those doors and slammed a lot of them shut.”