The publication of that interview also earned him the trust of Hitchcock's circle of collaborators, including the late screenwriter Ernest Lehman (“North By Northwest,” “The Sound of Music,” “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “Family Plot”), who became a friend and mentor, plus Hitchcock leading ladies such as Kim Novak (“Vertigo”), who has also become a friend and the subject of one of Rebello's celebrity profiles.
Rebello is also the co-author of “Reel Art — Great Posters from the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” and has sold screenplays and teleplays to independent companies and the Walt Disney Company.
“Hitchcock,” starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role and Helen Mirren as his wife and creative partner Alma Reville, is Rebello's first produced screenplay.
“So the portrait certainly that I was trying to paint in the book, and certainly the portrait that is being painted by all of the filmmakers involved in ‘Hitchcock,' is based not only on personal experience of my own but also the personal experience of the many, many people with whom I spoke, and the many people that everyone on the production spoke to,” Rebello said.
“Jessica Biel, for example, sought out Vera Miles and spent a lot of time with her grandson, who's a remarkable guy. And Scarlett Johansson spent a lot of time with Jamie Lee Curtis trying to get at the essence of what Janet Leigh's relationship was with Mr. Hitchcock.
“This was a real labor of love for everyone involved. It was not just a job for anybody. In fact, the actors would come to the set when they weren't working. They just wanted to be around their fellow actors and felt they were part of something special. To me, that's a real tribute to Mr. Hitchcock and to the material.”
Rebello said he hasn't seen the HBO movie “The Girl,” which depicts Hitchcock as a lecher who subjected actress ‘Tippi' Hedren to physical and psychological abuses during the making of “The Birds” and “Marnie” to punish her for her rejection of his alleged sexual advances.
“I don't know what kind of relationship she had with him. I don't know what that looked like, felt like, but clearly from what she has said recently and from the HBO movie ... it was a very painful and difficult time for her. You know, I wasn't there so I don't know what happened, but I do hope that if what she has said is true, that she may come to some peace or some content within her heart and soul about what that was like. Because if it was in fact the way she describes it, that would be a very terrible thing to have happen to anyone.”
As for Hitchcock's taste for cool, blonde leading ladies — and his special affection for Grace Kelly in particular — Rebello observed: ”If you're referring to an implication that he took those relationships beyond that, we have to remember that Mr. Hitchcock said publicly and often said to people on the set of ‘Psycho' that he was impotent. And so those relationships — quote, unquote — were really relationships of the imagination.”
This was a real labor of love for everyone involved. It was not just a job for anybody. In fact, the actors would come to the set when they weren't working. They just wanted to be around their fellow actors and felt they were part of something special. To me, that's a real tribute to Mr. Hitchcock and to the material.”