LOS ANGELES — "Vertigo" leading lady Kim Novak isn't keeping quiet about her disdain for "The Artist."
The 78-year-old actress said in a statement released by her manager Monday that she feels violated because music from the Alfred Hitchcock film is used in the French black-and-white homage to the silent-film era. Novak said "The Artist" filmmakers had no reason "to depend on Bernard Herrmann's score from `Vertigo' to provide more drama."
"My body of work has been violated by `The Artist,'" Novak said. "This film took the love theme music from `Vertigo' and used the emotions it engenders as its own. Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart can't speak for themselves, but I can. It was our work that unconsciously or consciously evoked the memories and feelings to the audience that were used for the climax of `The Artist.'"
Novak, who played the dual role of both a suicidal trophy wife of a rich San Franciscan and a morose working girl opposite Stewart in in the 1958 thriller directed by Hitchcock, said that even though Herrmann was given "a small credit at the end," she believed "this kind of filmmaking trick to be cheating."
"The Artist," which was written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius and stars Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo as silent film actors, leads Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony with six nominations and is expected to be a front-runner at this year's Academy Awards. The wordless film combines a mostly original jazzy score, sound effects and old-fashioned title cards which display dialogue.
"`The Artist' was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crew's) admiration and respect for movies throughout history," Hazanavicius responded in a statement. "It was inspired by the work of Hitchcock, (Fritz) Lang, (John) Ford, (Ernst) Lubitsch, (F.W.) Murnau and (Billy) Wilder. I love Bernard Herrmann and his music has been used in many different films and I'm very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly, and I'm sorry to hear she disagrees."