Shock Video: Hitchcock Director Sacha Gervasi


There have been many great biopics about famous people we all think we know so well, and the best of them often find one particular pivotal period in that person’s life that had a dramatic effect on their legacy.

That is the case with Hitchcock, the new film starring Anthony Hopkins as the legendary “master of suspense” Alfred Hitchcock, a filmmaker whose very name has become synonymous with dark and shadowy thrillers. What many may not know is how much his wife Alma Reville, played in the movie by Helen Mirren, contributed to and influenced everything he did, even doing rewrites on his scripts uncredited.

The film takes place during the period around the time when Hitchcock was inspired by the murders of Ed Gein and a book by Robert Bloch to make the movie Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and Vera Miles, played by James D’Arcy, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel, respectively. At the same time, Alma was involved in a collaboration with another writer, played by Danny Huston, as jealousy flared due to the attention Hitch was paying to his buxom blonde starlets.

The movie is directed by Sacha Gervasi, who a couple years back made the rock documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which introduced many people to the long-forgotten but heavily influential Canadian band Anvil.

This past weekend, sat down with Gervasi to talk about his narrative feature debut, realizing that our very first attempt at a flip cam interview was with Gervasi back in April 2009 when we spoke to him about Anvil!. (You can watch that interview here – hopefully we’ve improved a little since then. If nothing else, we now use a tripod.)

In our more recent video interview below, conducted at an undisclosed hotel (for reasons that will become obvious once you watch it), we spoke with Gervasi about:

  • How he got sidetracked from making “My Dinner with HervĂ©” by Joe McClaughlin’s script for “Hitchcock”
  • The similarities and connections between “Hitchcock” and “Anvil!”
  • How he was fascinated with the relationship between Hitchcock and his wife Alma
  • How Alma’s contribution was rarely if ever taught in film schools
  • How the making of “Psycho” was not meant to be the main focus of the movie
  • How Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren got involved
  • What was involved with getting Hopkins to look and sound like Hitchcock
  • How the cast came together
  • Whether it was hard recreating scenes from “Psycho”
  • What happened with “My Dinner with HervĂ©” and when that might happen
  • How he’s reuniting with Anvil for a sequel called “Anvil II: Quest for World Peace”

And more!

Hitchcock opens in select cities on Friday, November 23. Look for our interviews with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren later this month.