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Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren in ‘The Girl’ (Photo: HBO)

Sienna Miller has been picking up some good reviews for her portrayal of actress Tippi Hedren, the focus of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock’s obsessions, in the new HBO film The Girl.

The telefilm, which is a co-production with the BBC, is set in Los Angeles in the 1960s, and it chronicles Hedren’s relationship with Hitchcock during the making of The Birds and Marnie, two of his classic films.

Hitchcock is played by Toby Jones, who’s also winning praise for a strong performance.

The celebrated director had a liking for blonde actresses and Hedren, an unknown fashion model, fit the bill perfectly when he cast her in The Birds which was released in 1963.

As they worked together, as the HBO film details it, the director developed a poisonous fascination with Hedren.

Miller says: “I think initially it was a very friendly, director-actress, professional, and quite wonderful relationship that gradually spiraled into something much more sinister as he became more and more obsessed with her, and that’s the story, the demise of that relationship is what the story really focuses on.” (Watch interview with Sienna Miller below)

Hitchcock became preoccupied with the idea that he’d be able to win Hedren’s love — but he never succeeded.

The telefilm doesn’t paint a very flattering portrait of the British filmmaker.

“I don’t think it’s any revelation to hear that Hitchcock had a slightly darker side. You only have to watch his films to see that his relationship towards women is slightly misogynistic,” says Miller.

Adding to the film’s authenticity is that eighty-two-year old Tippi Hedren was involved in the project. Miller says: “She was very supportive and very involved in the writing, with the writer, so she was very involved every step of the way, but nevertheless it’s a daunting prospect to have somebody playing you and daunting for me to be playing somebody who’s still alive and will then ultimately critique your performance.”

The Girl premieres on HBO on Saturday October 20 at 9pm.

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By Tom Brook