Alexandre of Paris and Grace of Monaco’s hairstylist, Gwendoline, defends Hitchcock on the set of Marnie

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In November 1963, Alfred Hitchcock invited Gwendoline, a young French assistant to Alexandre of Paris, to style Tippi Hedren’s hair for Marnie. She was also hairstylist for Princess Grace of Monaco at the time. Gwendoline was interviewed in Paris on June 8th 2014:

1) What does she remember about working with Alfred Hitchcock?
It was such a pleasure, he made everyone comfortable. He was super organized. I was at the Cannes film festival for “The Birds” and it was there that he told me about his next movie “Marnie”. He told me he will call me for me to come to USA and he did it, I was impressed.

2) What does she remember about styling Tippi Hedren’s hair?
It was very nice. She was a substitute to Princess Grace.
At this time, Princess Grace and Hitchcock had the same Press manager.

3) Did she observe anything strange between Tippi and Hitchcock as the media reports?
No I didn’t notice anything at all.

4) Does she think that Hitchcock is capable of sexual harrassment?
No I don’t think so.

5) Does she think that Hitchcock has been unfairly criticized in the press?
Yes unfairly is the word. Princess Grace would not stay if Hitchcock did things like that. She was not obliged to stay, she was famous and rich, she didn’t need help from Hitchcock, she was free to stay or not.

6) Who came up with the designs for Tippi’s hair – Gwendoline or Alexandre?
Alexandre. The preparation was huge: hairdress, costumes, shoes, everything.
On stage, labor union were so important that I couldn’t come to the set. I was based at the hotel and I was dedicated for the preparation only. Everyone liked Hitchcock and I could feel it, his Press manager was very friendly and everything was great.

One day, I had a surprise when I came back into my hotel room: there was a letter and a bottle of champagne for me. It was a Hitchcock gift for me. He thanks me for my work and wrote that the Champagne was for me and my parents in France. He also organized a sightseeing trip for me to New York, very kind.

French Translation:

J’ai participé au festival de Cannes pour “les oiseaux” et c’est là qu’Hitchock m’a parler du prochain film qu’il allait faire: “Pas de printemps pour Marnie”. Il m’a dit qu’il m’appelerai pour que je vienne aux Etats Unis et il a tenu parole.

Très agréable. Elle remplacait la princesse Grace.
A l’époque la princesse Grace et Hitchcock avait la même attaché de presse.

Avez vous remarqué un lien particulier entre Tippi et Hitchcock, comme les medias ont pu en parler?
Non pas du tout, je n’ai rien remarqué de tel.

Pensez vous Hitchcock capable d’harcelement sexuel?
Non je ne pense pas.

Oui très injustement. La princesse Grace ne serait pas rester si il avait été l’homme décrit par la presse. Elle n’avait aucune obligation et n’avait pas besoin d’Hitchcock pour exister.

Il y avait une énorme préparation, aussi bien pour les coiffures, mais aussi pour les costumes, les chaussures, etc.

Sur le plateau il y avait les syndicats, donc j’étais basé à l’hotel et je m’occupais de la préparation uniquement.

Je me rappelle d’un diner chez Hitchcock, c’était vraiment magnifique, et l’ambiance était très agréable.

Tout le monde l’aimait et cela se ressentait, son attaché de presse était adorable, tout se passait bien. J’ai eu la surprise un jour en rentrant dans ma chambre d’hôtel de trouver un mot accompagné d’une bouteille de champagne. Hitchock me remerciait pour mon travail, la bouteille de champagne était un cadeau pour moi et ma famille: il me disait de la déguster avec mes parents en France.

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