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Eva Marie Saint - quotes

Quotations relating to Eva Marie Saint...


MGM suggested their contract player Cyd Charisse to play Eve Kendall but Hitchcock didn't think she was right for the part and suggested me. I had just starred in "Raintree County" for MGM who thought I was wrong for the role of the sexy double agent. Regardless, Hitchcock insisted, and I was hired.

When I got the role, I had just given birth to my daughter Laurette Hayden. So, after I lost a few pounds, Hitch began the process of transforming me into Eve Kendall. He personally oversaw all of the details of Bill Tuttle's glamorous makeup designs and the sophisticated hairstyles of Sydney Guilaroff. But he wasn't so crazy about MGM's costumes for me. The studio designed a wardrobe for my character but Hitchcock didn't like it and threw out almost everything. Then he took me to Bergdorf Goodman in New York and we selected the rest of my wardrobe right off the models. I often joke that he was my one and only sugar daddy!

I loved playing Eve because it was so different from "On the Waterfront" or anything else I'd ever done before. Hitch said, "You don't have to cry in this one, Eva Marie. No more sink parts for you." Meaning the dowdy wife at the kitchen sink. Cary thought I should play nothing but glamorous leading ladies for the rest of my career. But, I wanted to do it all, the real and the unreal and I pretty much have.

Film Production

As a director, Hitch was mostly concerned with the technical aspects of getting his vision on-screen. "Your hand goes here. You're looking up there." He wasn't like Kazan who would whisper wonderful intimate direction in your ear. Hitch gave me three basic pieces of direction: First, lower your voice. Second, don't use your hands, and third always look directly into Cary's eyes. One of his greatest gifts was that he made you feel you were the only perfect person for the role and this gave you incredible confidence in playing the part. And then, he'd leave you to your own devices. It was really a wonderful set to work on.

Saint describing the crop duster scene...

Even though it was early October, the climate was like a sweltering desert. This was one of the only times Hitch wore short sleeves on the set. For three days, poor Cary ran with a stunt plane swooping down at him or so it would seem. As nobody would think of putting Cary Grant in the position of getting decapitated by a plane some trick photography was used. I feel like a traitor telling you this but first the crew shot a swooping plane from a ditch and then, later, Cary was shot on a sound stage jumping into a fake ditch with the plane footage on a process screen behind him.

When we were doing the auction scene, he whispered something to Cary, he whispered something to James, he whispered something to Eva Marie and he passed me by. And I walked up to him. I said: "Is there anything you want to tell me?" I was a young actor, eager, you know. They were getting direction. He said, "Martin, I'll only tell you if I don't like what you're doing. You're projecting very well." I said, "Well, okay. That's nice." But I did feel left out. Hitchcock said, "Actors are cattle". He never said that. He said, "You must treat actors like cattle."

The [Mount Rushmore] set was largely a very safe place, but once the man who was to catch me if anything happened looked away as I slipped and fell several feet, scraping my arm badly — an injury we used in the final film. I hung from a cliff that appeared to be miles high but was only a few yards from a scaffold below. Cary saved me from a ledge that appeared to drop straight down. Actually, it was on a 45-degree angle. I couldn't have fallen if I wanted to. It looks dangerous, but really it was just a lot of fun.