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Jones, who donned elaborate prosthetics and a fake belly to simulate Hitchcock’s distinctive profile and girth, said the filmmaker can’t be forgiven for behaving “appallingly” toward Hedren.

“But I also think he was very naive emotionally and I don’t think it was sexual. There was something so beautiful and radiant about her that he worshiped her,” the actor said.

Jones cautioned against making one chapter into a biography: “We’re not saying this is Hitchcock. This is a section of Hitchcock’s life based on verified, carefully research facts.”

Director Julian Jarrold said Hitchcock biographer Donald Spoto, along with Hedren, were the main sources for screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes. Hitchcock died in 1980 at age 80.

Hedren, who offered high praise for Jones, Miller and “The Girl,” said she never discussed Hitchcock’s behavior with his other famous leading ladies, who included her friend, Kim Novak (“Vertigo”), Eva Marie Saint (“North by Northwest”) and Grace Kelly (“Dial M for Murder,” “Rear Window” and “To Catch a Thief”).

She first brought herself to talk about it two decades afterward, Hedren said, and she’s now counting on “The Girl” to carry her story further.

“I hope that young women who do see this film know that they do not have to acquiesce to anything that they do not feel is morally right or that they are dissatisfied with,” she said. “I can look at myself in the mirror, and I can be proud. I feel strong. And I lived through it beautifully.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE _ Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber(at)ap.org.

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