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Janet Leigh - quotes

Quotations relating to actress Janet Leigh...

Leigh describing her reaction to seeing "Psycho" for the first time...

When I saw it and I saw it cut together and I saw the boom, boom, and the music and everything, I absolutely went... I just was crazy. I really screamed. I never take a shower. I cannot take a shower. 'Cause it never dawned on me until that moment how vulnerable and defenseless one is. It never entered my head until I saw that.

Janet Leigh (1997)

Film Pre-Production

In the book, Norman Bates is actually a middle-aged man, a reprobate, drinks, overweight, wears big, thick glasses, peeps through holes. I thought he was incredibly unsympathetic. I didn't like him. So when Marion gets killed, I am then expected to switch my empathy toward this man. I couldn't do it with the character as he was written. I perceived a young man, vulnerable, good looking, kind of sad, makes you feel sorry for him. Hitchcock said, "What would you think of Tony Perkins?" Of course, that was practically what I had described.

Once I had written the first draft — which, incidentally, is the one that he shot — he told me that Anthony Perkins was available to play Norman Bates. I told him that was sensational, and that was what was going to happen. He mentioned Janet Leigh for the star part... because he felt, among other things, that no one would be able to accept that we had killed her this early in the movie.

Joseph Stefano (1997)
keywords: Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Psycho (1960), pre-production, and screenplay

Film Post-Production

It was time for the film to go to the censors, to the Hayes Office. So Hitch said, "Let's get Luigi Luraschi..." who was the intermediary for the studio and the censorship, a very nice man... "to look at the film and see if there are any problems with it." So immediately after we got the first cut, we had the screening for Hitch, Luigi, George Tomasini, the editor, his assistant and me, in the theater at Universal.

So we start running it and Luigi laughs at Hitch's appearance in the film, which took place in the beginning of the film. And then... we're watching everything. Then comes the shower sequence. We're all sort of looking on placidly. Luigi: "Stop! Stop! My God!" So Hitch said, "Yes, Luigi, what is it?" Luigi: "I saw her breast." "No, you didn't, Luigi. It's just in your dirty mind. You didn't see a breast at all. Yes, we'll run it again."

So we ran it again. "Well, Luigi, did you see a breast?" "No, but we're going to be in a lot of trouble with it." We talked him out... Oh, we didn't. Um, we made him realize that he was wrong, that he hadn't seen a breast, that it was a perfectly charming little Sunday afternoon shower sequence, and we sent it off with Luigi to the censor. We did have a few problems with the censor. They said they didn't like Janet in her slip in the beginning and a few odd things like that, but tidied them all up.

Peggy Robertson (1997)