Scarlett Johansson cast as Psycho star in Hitchcock biopic

Mar 2, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the shower: Johansson plays Janet Leigh in Psycho drama

Getty Images

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is to play Janet Leigh - the actress whose terrifying shower scene in Psycho became one of the most iconic in film history - in a new movie about the making of the Hitchcock classic.

 Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho will star Anthony Hopkins as the famous London-born director and Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville. The behind-the-scenes drama is directed by Sacha Gervasi, journalist and director of the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil.
Johansson's role as Leigh, who played Marion Crane, the doomed heroine of Hitchcock's 1960 horror, has been compared to Michelle Williams's role as Marilyn Monroe in /My Week with Marilyn/. Variety magazine predicts it could win Johannson Golden Globe and Oscar award nominations akin to those attained by Williams this year.
/Psycho/ was made by Hitchcock in 1959 on a low budget of £806,000 after Paramount refused to give him the budget he wanted. The famous shower scene took a week to shoot, with Hitchcock fitting 78 separate pieces of film into a 45-second episode.
Leigh, who died three years ago at the age of 77, told the Associated Press in 2001 that after watching the scene she took baths rather than showers for the rest of her life. She said: "That staccato music and the knife flashing. You'd swear it's going into the body. I still don't take showers, and that's the truth."
According to The Daily Telegraph, Hitchcock used ice-cold water to make Leigh's screams more realistic and played pranks on Leigh, such as hiding various versions of the ‘Mother corpse' prop in her dressing room. The director apparently made every member of cast and crew raise their hands on their first day of filming and pledge not to divulge one word of the story.

Sign up for our daily newsletter