Yvonne Hessler, who worked at Hitchcock’s Paramount Studios from 1960-1962, was interviewed on Friday July 19th, 2013 in Los Angeles:
I worked at Paramount, because Hitchcock’s offices were there, and I was a secretary. Hitch was doing a lot of publicity for Psycho and going around the world for public relations and he was preparing later for The Birds. He was a very generous person and highly intelligent, and had a business side to him that was very conscious of costs. He hired you because you knew your job. If you didn’t, then that was terrible. It was a pleasure to work for him.
Hitch was very conservative. He was in the same navy blue suit, black shoes, black socks. Very conservative, never made a pass to anyone professionally, and anyone who says he did must have been imagining things, because he was not that kind of person.
I met Tippi a few times, she came into the office, She was a very quiet person, photogenic, very polite, very conservatively dressed, was very ladylike – and that’s what Hitch liked. She was in his office for 10 minutes at a time, and I saw nothing unusual. None of us could understand why he thought he could make a great actress out of this person at that time. We were all a little puzzled. But nevertheless he went ahead with that. He just felt that she would photograph well. Blonde hair photographs better than dark hair.
We were puzzled because Hitch had worked with Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly and some great, great actresses, and we couldn’t see that this person was a great actress. We saw that she was photogenic and photographed well and that was about it. But Hitch became determined – and could have been something like a Pygmalion complex. But that sort of voyeurism and sexuality (as depicted in the movies) was not ever evident to me – ever.
They played this up in the play Hitchcock Blonde and the Anthony Hopkins’ film – it was so obviously made up to sell the picture and sell the play. It was not Hitch – he was a conservative individual who was very cost conscious which is why they loved him at Universal.
He did not have to harrass actresses if that was on his mind. I don’t believe that story one bit, knowing Hitchcock as I did. It was something that didn’t interest him, his only sensual pleasure was food and all you have to do is look at him to know that. He adored his wife, I never witnessed anything else. There was never a pass to me or Peggy or Joan Harrison or any woman and we were all very ladylike.