Not a lot of movie scenes are so famous that entire documentaries are made about them, but not a lot of scenes are like the shower sequence in “Psycho.” One of the most iconic moments in all of cinema gets analyzed in Alexandre O. Philippe’s “78/52,” the title of which refers to the number of setups (78) and cuts (52) it features. Among the interviewees in that documentary is Marli Renfro, who served as Janet Leigh’s body double.
“I usually tell people that I’m not famous, but I did something famous,” Renfro says in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly. Renfro, who began as a pin-up model before transitioning into acting, recalls disrobing for both Alfred Hitchcock and Leigh herself (“our bodies were very similar — that’s the reason that I got hired”) as well as the director’s (in)famous meticulousness: “He knew exactly what he wanted with every shot.”
When the film came out, Renfro was reluctant to actually go see it. “Oh, how boring,” she remembers thinking. “I saw a lot of it being filmed.” In spite of that, it “scared me half to death. I really was surprised”; even now, she hears from people who “wouldn’t take a shower for months, or even years afterwards. Some to this day still lock the door.” Watch her full interview below.