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Alien's Veronica Cartwright says Ridley Scott and Alfred Hitchcock use the same techniques of suspense

Cartwright has the distinct history of having worked with two of cinema's most famous directors

Poster with Alien and The Birds
Image credit: 20th Century/Universal

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Veronica Cartwright has the distinction of working with two of cinema's greatest masters of suspense: Alfred Hitchcock and Ridley Scott. At C2E2's 45 Years of Alien panel (moderated by Popverse's very own Ashley V. Robinson) panelists Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright did a lot of talking about Alien, but in response to a fan question, Cartwright had a little to say about The Birds as well.

Veronica Cartwright was only thirteen years old when she worked with Alfred Hitchock in the classic horror film The Birds, but she remembers working with Hitchcock quite well. Cartwright shared a memory about filming the movie and noticing some fake prop birds amongst the live ones. When Cartwright asked whether or not people would notice the fake birds when watching the movie, Hitchcock replied, “Eye sees movement and just assumes that everything is alive." Now, Cartright agrees! "And it’s true. I can see the movie now and I can’t see where the damn bird is.”

Related: Ridley Scott & James Cameron are among first viewers of the new Alien sequel Romulus - and they love it!

As for the connection between Hitchcock and Ridley Scott, Cartwright believes that Scott has pulled a lot from Hitchcock's work. “I think that Ridley really admired Hitchcock, he used a lot of the things... Alfred Hitchcock’s thing was less is more, and one of the things that I think was great about Alien was that you’re not quite sure what it looks like. You as an audience sort of create what it is, and you don't see it until the very end.”


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