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Film

Dakota Johnson says Alfred Hitchcock "terrorised" grandmother Tippi Hedren and ruined her career

Dakota Johnson has discussed the relationship between director Alfred Hitchcock and her grandmother, Tippi Hedren. At one point, Johnson claimed that the filmmaker “terrorised” Hedren and “ruined her career”.

Famously, Hedren worked with the British auteur in the 1960s on the films The Birds and Marnie and alleged in her 2016 autobiography that the director sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions. 

Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, the interviewer asked whether Hedren had anything to say about her granddaughter pursuing the same career. “She was encouraging, and she’s always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself,” the actress said. “That’s what she did. (Alfred) Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn’t want to sleep with him, and he terrorised her. He was never held accountable”.

“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,” Johnson continued. “It’s hard to talk about because she’s my grandmother. You don’t want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother.”

She concluded: “I think the thing that she’s been so amazing for me and with my mother is just like, no you do not put up with that shit from anybody. She would say it in a far more eloquent way. She’s such a glamorous movie star, still.”

Meanwhile, Johnson has also recently spoken out on the abuse allegations pointed at her former co-stars including Johnny Depp, Shia LaBeouf and Armie Hammer. “I never experienced that firsthand from any of those people,” Johnson maintained to The Hollywood Reporter. “I had an incredible time working with them; I feel sad for the loss of great artists. I feel sad for people needing help and perhaps not getting it in time. I feel sad for anyone who was harmed or hurt. It’s just really sad.”

Johnson gave her thoughts, adding: “I do believe that people can change. I want to believe in the power of a human being to change and evolve and get help and help other people. I think there’s definitely a major overcorrection happening. But I do believe that there’s a way for the pendulum to find the middle.”

She continued: “The way that studios have been run up until now, and still now, is behind. It is such an antiquated mindset of what movies should be made, who should be in them, how much people should get paid, what equality and diversity should look like. Sometimes the old school needs to be moved out for the new school to come in.”

She appended with a line that made headlines: “But, yeah, cancel culture is such a fucking downer. I hate that term.”

Listen to the podcast, below.