Hitchcock didn’t have a belly button | 2009

Karen Black, Family Plot (1976)

Hitchcock didn’t have a belly button:
Karen Black interview by Johan Grimonprez1

There was this story going around on the internet that Hitchcock actually didn’t have a belly button. It was Ron Burrage, a professional Hitchcock doppelgänger, who first mentioned this during an interview at his place in London. Together with Hitchcock himself, Ron Burrage went on to become one of the protagonists in Double Take (2009), the film I was working on at the time. I liked the story of Hitchcock not having a belly button, as it sort of alluded to the fact there might not have been an original Hitchcock after all. If he didnt have a belly button, so I reasoned, he might be a clone and there might actually be many doubles of the master, of which Ron Burrage was one. Ultimately this became also part of the plotline in the film.

I was able to verify this anecdote when I stumbled onto the transcript from an all women’s panel on Hitchcock2 during the research stage of the film. Indeed Karen Black, the last in a row of Hitchcock’s famous female protagonists who featured in the master’s final film Family Plot (1976), recounted this little story as participant in the panel, invoking in a funny way Hitchcock’s sardonic way of speaking. Now while I was completing Double Take with editor Tyler Hubby in Los Angeles, he mentioned that his wife was big pals with Karen Black. Maybe we could interview her for the film and check if the story of Hitchcock not having a belly button was really true? So, in August 2008 that’s what we set out to do: Karen Black, who really is the most wonderful storyteller, honored us in her house and this is her testimony she told us about the master without a belly button.