Audrey Hepburn once said, “I never think of myself as an icon. What is on the minds of others is not on mine. I only do my things. ” Well we can say it, it wasn’t exactly like that. Certainly, Audrey Hepburn has become a cinematographic and fashion icon. And if there is a film that more than others has contributed to making it so, it certainly is Breakfast at Tiffany’s which was released in the first week of June 1961, 59 years ago.
We are in New York, it’s dawn: an elegant girl gets out of a taxi that stops on Fifth Avenue. It is Holly Golightly who looks at Tiffany’s shop windows, has a quick breakfast, before returning home on foot. That legendary film, which is also a great hymn to the New York of the 50s, has guaranteed her the position of true style star which for all years to come has been continuously replicated, emulated and celebrated. “My look is achievable,” Hepburn told Barbara Walters in 1989. “Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by pulling on their hair, buying large glasses and sleeveless dresses.”
So in the name of his contribution to fashion and cinema, here are five things that perhaps we still don’t know about Tiffany & Co.’s most famous client in Hollywood.
Audrey Hepburn was discovered at the age of 22 on the French Riviera by Colette, pseudonym of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette famous writer and theatrical actress who wrote the novel Gigi in 1944. At that time, Hepburn had a small part in the film, Nous irons à Monte-Carlo. During production, Colette saw her in a hotel lobby and immediately chose her for the main role of the musical adaptation of the story on Broadway. “I had said only a few lines in my entire acting career,” Hepburn later recalled. At first glance, Colette reportedly whispered, “Voilà, cest Gigi”.
The star of Roman holidays Gregory Peck (who starred with Audrey of course) revealed that the producers initially thought of Elizabeth Taylor in the role. But the director, William Wyler, was so impressed with the Hepburn audition that he chose her despite the fact that she was still relatively unknown. It was truly a legendary audition: while reciting a scene from the film, the cameraman was told to continue shooting even after the director had said “Stop”. Those more spontaneous Audrey Hepburn minutes earned her the part. “It was absolutely delicious,” said Wyler when he saw the test. “Acting, appearance and personality”.
It was Audrey Hepburn to suggest to Hubert de Givenchy to design the costumes for Sabrina. While Edith Head was to be the designated one, the director of the film, Billy Wilder claimed that it was she who made him change his mind and schedule. The actress then said about fashion on Sabrina’s set. “Clothes are definitely a passion for me. I love them to the point that I’m practically my vice.” Not surprisingly, Paramount allowed Hepburn to use the costumes as her wardrobe, a habit she maintained throughout her collaboration with Givenchy for the rest of her career for films such as Cinderella in Paris (1957), Ariadne (1957) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). “Givenchy gave me my ideal look, the right silhouette,” he once said. “It has kept that freestyle that I love. What could be more beautiful than a simple sheath made in an extraordinary way in a precious fabric and only two earrings? “
Truman Capote wanted that Marilyn Monroe played Holly Golightly in the film adaptation of his 1958 novel, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “Paramount played a kind of double game and launched Audrey,” said the author. “It was the biggest casting mistake I’ve ever seen.” Monroe turned down the role, it seems, because it didn’t benefit her image. “Marilyn Monroe won’t play an evening woman,” said her agent Paula Strasberg. Hepburn also had her doubts. “I hesitated a long time before accepting the part,” he said before the film was released. “It was a complex part, it was Blake Edwards who ended up [mi persuase]. It was a perfect choice and he was a great director who knew how to emphasize my spontaneity “.
Hepburn said that the Breakfast at Tiffany scene where he abandons his cat, named Gatto, causing him to get off the taxi on the rainy streets of New York it’s the most unpleasant I’ve ever starred in a movie. Hepburn, you know, loved animals very much: he had a Yorkshire terrier, called Mr. Famous, (see his Cinderella cameo in Paris on the train) and spent part of his first Hollywood salary on a diamond collar for his puppy. He also adopted a deer cub that he nicknamed “Ip” (short for Pippin) and who drag themselves on the set of Verdi Dimore of 1959. In any case, it seems that after that famous scene with the cat, associations for animals and pet shops have had an unprecedented demand for orange cats.