Photo Credit: V magazine
Scarlett Johansson is taking a stab at being a scream queen. In the new docu-drama Hitchcock, which chronicles the making of the 1959 horror film Psycho, Johansson takes actress Janet Leigh's place in that iconic shower scene.
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Johansson, 27, also hopped into the shower for the cover of V Magazine this month. In the accompanying interview, she talks about how that bloody Psycho scene (featuring her costar Anthony Hopkins as director Alfred Hitchcock) was actually terrifying to shoot.
"You have got to be brave, get into the shower, and face Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock jabbing you in the face with a 12-inch kitchen knife," she says. "As much as Anthony Hopkins is a pussycat, he's terrifying. Maybe I watched Silence of the Lambs too many times when I was a kid. Maybe I was having some flashbacks. So I didn't need too much preparation for the scene."
Hopkins may have given her a fright, but Johansson was unfazed by the other scary part: being wet and naked in front of the camera.
"We only had the luxury to shoot the scene for a day, and everybody was feeling very nervous because it involved water and nobody wants the actor to get wet," recalls the actress. "They were concerned with modesty and all these things -- but I don't care about any of that stuff and Janet Leigh never did either."
In another recent interview, director Sacha Gervasi praised Johansson's performance as Leigh, calling her "a real screamer."
"That's the great thing about Scarlett -- she's all chilled out and then you call, 'Action!' and she just goes nuts," the director told E! News. "She gave everything."
And then there's Hopkins as Hitchcock, in a role that's already generating Oscar buzz. "The guy just morphed into another person completely," Hopkins' costar Richard Portnow told E! News. "He wore a fat suit. They shaved his head and gave him a fake nose and jowls. He had the waddle and sounded like him -- but just enough. He didn't mimic the guy."
Hitchcock, also starring Helen Mirren as Hitch's wife Alma, opens in limited release on Nov. 23.