Toby Jones and Sienna Miller tackle the relationship Alfred Hitchcock shared with actress Tippi Hedren. The HBO film premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. | AP
Updated: November 21, 2012 6:05AM
NEW YORK — Sienna Miller is nestled on a sofa, barefoot and clad in a fuzzy sweater. Her dad has just stopped by, giving his daughter a new cellphone that she has yet to program. Her infant daughter, Marlowe, is asleep in the closed-off bedroom.
It’s mom’s first day back at the office since hibernating with Marlowe and her fiancé Tom Sturridge, in London, and Miller feels a bit discombobulated, but also pleasantly revived.
“I have a great job because my baby can come to work with me. We’ve been the three of us and that’s been fantastic. And now I have to do some work,” she says. “I’ve fortunately hired a nanny. I’m feeding every three hours so I’m still in it. She’s a fast feeder. It’s fortunate. When she gets older and is in school, we’ll work it out. She’s the most important thing. I don’t want to be anywhere except near her.”
At this point, where mom goes, baby follows. And Miller, 30, is in Manhattan promoting HBO’s “The Girl,” which tells of the creepily obsessive relationship that legendary director Alfred Hitchcock had with actress Tippi Hedren. She starred in two films for him, 1963’s “The Birds” and 1964’s “Marnie.” After she rejected his advances, he shut down her career.
Playing Hedren was daunting. “The biggest challenge was emulating the grace she had,” Miller says. “I spent a lot of time working on that. She had this incredible mix of austerity and warmth. It was daunting trying to get that right.”
Toby Jones, the Hitchcock to Miller’s Hedren, calls her “ideal casting. The striking thing about working with Sienna is that she had to grow up so fast in so many ways because she’s had attention for often the wrong reasons, but remains enthusiastic and positive. She’s unpretentious, very keen to learn, very keen to be supportive.”
Miller says that when circumstances call for it, she can be as resolute as Hedren is portrayed in the film. “I have my moments. If I was put into a corner, I would be intolerant of that sort of behavior. I can’t imagine what it was like, being a woman in that world,” she says.
Despite her image as unconventional and perpetually chic, Miller is maternal and affectionate. She’s not a glamazon, showing off the slightly messy at-home pedicure she just gave herself because newborns and spa days don’t mix. “I did them myself, as you can see. It’s not happening yet,” she says, of anything resembling a grooming routine. “The sleep deprivation is pretty amazing. I’m still in the thick of it. You’re so out of it, you’re not even aware of it. We can stumble through together.”
And like any mum, she demands to see photos of your child before displaying her own. “She’s got proper chunk going on,” she says, staring at a cellphone shot of her daughter.
Gannett News Service