Dame Helen Mirren hated Alfred Hitchcock when they first met.

The Oscar-winning actress plays the iconic director's wife Alma Reville in new biopic 'Hitchcock', but she has revealed she once endured a disastrous audition for the filmmaker's thriller 'Frenzy' in the early 1970s because she felt he disliked the way she looked.

Helen told The Huffington Post newspaper: ''When I was a very young actress I was sent for an audition with him. I don't think he would have auditioned me; I think he either thought you looked right or you didn't. I was arrogant and ignorant and, at that time, he was just not my kind of film director...

''So, I didn't really like him, and I know he didn't like me very much. He certainly didn't cast me. He took one look at me and went, 'Oh, good God. She's going to be a nightmare' ... I didn't want to do it because all those roles were horrible anyway.''

Helen's co-star Sir Anthony Hopkins - who stars as Hitchcock in Sacha Gervasi's new film - also found the psychological horror expert to be rather unpleasant at times, and his extensive research to play the role led him to describe the director as ''paradoxical''.

Anthony mused: ''He can be dark, troubled, cold, ruthless and obsessive and also big-hearted, warm and ingenious. That was all part of his nature.''