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For 'Hitchcock' director, a different kind of suspense

Sacha Gervasi laid his finances on the line to make his documentary 'Anvil! The Story of Anvil.' Hitchcock made his own financial outlay to bring 'Psycho' to the big screen. They both succeeded. Gervasi's success led to a new opportunity: a film about Hitchcock's making of 'Psycho.'

November 10, 2012|By John Horn, Los Angeles Times

Hopkins went through a series of makeup tests to make him look more like Hitchcock, but ultimately makeup artists Howard Berger and Gregory Nicotero ended up ditching more elaborate prosthetics, including a fake lower lip. "It looked like a slug," Hopkins said of the appendage. "I thought it best not to push it too much. If they covered me up completely, I wouldn't be visible at all."

Mirren said she has little resemblance to her character. "I don't look anything like Alma. She was a tiny bird of a woman," Mirren said. The movie's real authenticity, the actress said, was in how "Hitchcock" portrayed a marriage. "We all make these sacrifices and compromises with our partners," she said. "Sometimes, you have to claw back and regain some territory. You're constantly trying to find equilibrium in your marriage."

Yet there was one thing Gervasi couldn't get right. In a homage to the real Hitchcock, who gave himself cameos in his movies, Gervasi cast himself as a background performer near the film's end. Mirren took one look at her director and said he looked totally out of place, like a "third-rate bookie from Brighton."

Having come this far, it was an easy decision. Gervasi cut himself from his own movie.

john.horn@latimes.com

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