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Before filming the role of Janet Leigh in Hitchcock, Sacha Gervasi‘s film about the making of the 1960 horror classic Psycho, Scarlett Johansson says she spoke with the Hollywood legend’s daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis.
“I just think, more than anything, it must be very strange to have somebody play your mother — and especially someone as beloved and celebrated as Janet,” Johansson said Tuesday in an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today. “And I just wanted to reach out — and Jamie was lovely. She sent beautiful photographs and gave me some wonderful stories.”
Curtis, for her part, has praised Johansson for capturing Leigh’s sweet-natured personality. “She was treating this with a lot of gravitas,” Curtis told CNN last week. “She was taking this very seriously, and she wanted us to know that.”
Responding to Curtis’ feedback, Johansson observed: “As an actor, it’s the most rewarding thing you could hear. … Janet, first and foremost, was a loving, loving mother and wife, and she reiterated that.”
As for the famous Psycho shower scene, with that instantly recognizable soundtrack, Johansson said re-enacting the filming of that moment was all the more authentic with Anthony Hopkins (as Alfred Hitchcock) in the picture.
STORY: Scarlett Johansson to Star on Broadway in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’
“You kind of make it your own, you sort of wing it,” she said. “I think when you have Tony Hopkins there, stabbing at you, with a completely frenzied, psychotic look on his face, you don’t need that kind of music. It sort of puts you right there.”
In her Today sit-down, Johansson also faced probing questions from Lauer on the subject of her latest tattoo: a horseshoe with the words “Lucky You” inked on her ribcage. A photo of the design became public when Johansson’s tattoo artist shared it with friends — Lauer, in turn, shared it with Today’s viewers.
“Some photos, as I’m sure you might know yourself, are meant for personal consumption,” said Johansson, gently admonishing the morning-show host.
Watch the footage below.
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