Scarlett Johansson Expresses Genuine Fear as Anthony Hopkins Stabs Her in ‘Hitchcock’


How Scarlett Johansson reacted to Anthony Hopkins’ performance as Alfred Hitchcock

Scarlett Johansson | Nathan Congleton/Getty Images© Provided by Showbiz CheatSheet
Johansson portrayed the late Janet Leigh in the 2012 feature Hitchcock. The movie primarily covered the making of Hitchcock’s classic 1960 feature Psycho, and had Hopkins playing the legendary director. In one of the film’s scenes, Hopkins reenacts a moment where Hitchcock rehearses Psycho’s famous shower sequence with Johansson. Johanssonn had to muster up a lot of courage to do the take with Hopkins.

“You have got to be brave, get into the shower, and face Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock jabbing you in the face with a 12-inch kitchen knife,” Johansson once told V Magazine (via Daily Actor).


But Johansson still couldn’t shake the fear that came with the moment.

“As much as Anthony Hopkins is a pussycat, he’s terrifying. Maybe I watched Silence of the Lambs too many times when I was a kid. Maybe I was having some flashbacks. So I didn’t need too much preparation for the scene,” she said.

The rest of the crew was also worried about the scene, but for different reasons.



“We only had the luxury to shoot the scene for a day, and everybody was feeling very nervous because it involved water and nobody wants the actor to get wet. They were concerned with modesty and all these things – but I don’t care about any of that stuff and Janet Leigh never did either,” she said.

Scarlett Johansson turned her meeting about the film ‘Hitchcock’ into a rehearsal

Johansson gave somewhat of an audition for Hitchcock before she officially decided to do the movie. Hitchcock director Sacha Gervais scheduled a time for the actor to meet him about the flick.



“I was rehearsing with Tony Hopkins at my house, he was working on the script with me. Scarlett was going to come over and tell us whether she wanted to work on the movie or not. It was the first meeting,” Gervais once told Ain’t It Cool News.

But when the Marvel star visited Hopkins and Gervais, the meeting took an unexpected turn.

“She came over and we stopped working and she said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Well, we’re just working on [the movie].’ She said, ‘Can I see?’ We were working on the peephole scene, just figuring out how to do it, and she said, ‘Why don’t I do this?’ It was a meeting about whether or not she would do the movie that turned into a rehearsal. Immediately. And she just went for it,” Gervais remembered.

Johansson called Gervais within a week to let the filmmaker know that she’d do the project.

How Jamie Lee Curtis reacted to Scarlett Johansson playing her mother in ‘Hitchcock’


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Before fully committing to the project, Johansson tried to get Jamie Lee Curtis’ blessing to do the role. Curtis is Janet Leigh’s daughter, and has often spoken about their close relationship. When Johansson contacted Curtis about her Hitchcock opportunity, Curtis was nothing less than gracious.

“I just think, more than anything, it must be very strange to have somebody play your mother — and especially someone as beloved and celebrated as Janet,” Johansson once told Today (via The Hollywood Reporter). “And I just wanted to reach out — and Jamie was lovely. She sent beautiful photographs and gave me some wonderful stories.”

Meanwhile, Curtis felt Johansson did a respectable job portraying her mother in the feature.

“She was treating this with a lot of gravitas,” Curtis said. “She was taking this very seriously, and she wanted us to know that.”

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