(IMO it was mainly Macliammoir, not Hilton, who had feelings of jealousy and resentment about Orson's great success, while he was toiling on the stage and not being noticed - in Leaming you find the story of Macliammoir playing Rochester on the Dublin stage while Selznick's Jane Eyre was playing in cinemas, and the press saying Macliammoir didn't compare to Orson. I think Macliammoir resented Orson's ability to be a leading man in those days, and then perhaps later on, resented Orson's going from a sexually desirable man to what he perhaps considered less than desirable. I haven't read Macliammoir's books, but i don't think these are the sorts of things one would admit if one was telling events from one's own perspective. They are just subtleties, private feelings you can only speculate about)
I found (and i think Welles was aware of this) the discussion of jealousy between those three men in Filming Othello to be filled with subtextual irony. We know that Welles enjoyed slipping in personal references in his work that only he, and sometimes close friends, could follow (like the name Mr Bernstein in Kane, Bogdanovich calling Huston "Skipper" in Wind and his early play Devil's Something, about a young boy manipulating two elder mentors). I believe that scene in Filming Othello is filled with such irony: the moment where Macliammoir says (as if daring Orson to ask him who) that he's been jealous of people, staring at Orson, coupled with the moment later when Hilton says he envies two people principally and Orson insists on knowing who they are, and they turn out to be the two people he's sitting there with.
I agree that in that conversation you get the feeling that they are old friends, and there is a definite warmth there - and that no matter what feelings you've had in the past, when you've known somebody for that long, a friend is a friend. I felt a definite tension in the conversation (particularly whenever Macliammoir spoke). I thought Orson made a show of carrying on the conversation, answering as if there was nothing wrong, but somehow by his doing this i knew he sensed what Macliammoir was thinking.
Some people will call all this superstition, but i believed that the topic of this conversation excited Orson so much because of these personal references. It struck me as a poignant moment, probably the most so in the film - just watching these three people with such long pasts discuss themes of a play, and though they seldom directly discuss it, their pasts reverberate through the talk and the themes, and you can see all three of them know it.
You may remember me from such sites as imdb, amazon and criterionforum as Ben Cheshire.