Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins are reflecting on Hannibal Lecter ahead of the 20-year anniversary of “The Silence of the Lambs”.
Foster and Hopkins join Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” to reflect on the legendary introduction of the bone-chilling serial killer.
“We didn’t get to speak too much before the actual read-through,” Foster said of her first time meeting Hopkins. “We just sort of kind of waved from across the room and then sat down at the table.”
“And as you launched into Hannibal Lecter, I felt a chill come over the room,” she told her co-star. “In a way, it was like we were almost too scared to talk to each other after that.”
Hopkins detailed the moment the character really clicked for him.
“I was naturally nervous, an Englishman — a Limey like me, a Welshman — playing an American serial killer,” he told Foster. “And I remember [director Jonathan Demme], when the camera picked me up, he said, ‘Oh, my God. That’s it. Hopkins. You’re so weird!’”
“And I said, ‘Why, thank you.’ And they wanted the lighting girl to come into my cell, and I said, ‘What are you doing in my cell?’ And [Jonathan] said, ‘Oh, my God.’ So I knew I had pressed the right button,” he added.
Moving onto a larger conversation about acting, Foster revealed she is often at odds with her acting career.
“I felt like I never had an actor’s personality,” she shared. “Much to my chagrin, it does not come naturally to me, or easily. I’m much more of a reader or a thinker. I’m a chess mover. Acting was just something that was my family’s job, my family’s profession, that I fell into.
“I have to say, at least once a week, I say, ‘Oh, I’m never going act again.’ But it draws you back in,” she added. “I think it’s good for somebody like me, who does live in their head a lot — to get out of my head and have to live in my body. And I think that’s benefited me as a person.”
“The Silence of the Lambs” premiered Jan. 30, 1991, to commercial and critical acclaim.