Clarice Starling: an iconic role played by an iconic actress that was almost played by another iconic actress.
If you’re unfamiliar, Clarice Starling is the heroine famously played by Jodie Foster in the 1991 classic “The Silence of the Lambs”. And while the role led Foster to Oscar glory, it was first offered to — and turned down by — Michelle Pfeiffer.
In a new interview with The New Yorker, Pfeiffer says she stands by her decision not to take the role. “With ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ I was trepidatious,” Pfeiffer said. “There was such evil in that film.”
She only has one regret about not working on the project. “The thing I most regret is missing the opportunity to do another film with [director] Jonathan [Demme],” she explained.
But for Pfeiffer, the message of the film didn’t sit right with her. “It was that evil won in the end, that at the end of that film evil ruled out,” she said. “I was uncomfortable with that ending. I didn’t want to put that out into the world.”
The character of Clarice Starling is once again in the limelight as CBS is set to air its new spinoff of the 1991 Hannibal Lecter flick later this month. The TV series, titled simply “Clarice”, takes place a year after the events of “The Silence of The Lambs”. Rebecca Breeds plays Clarice in this iteration. The show is said to focus on Clarice’s “untold personal story” and her return “to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high-stakes political world of Washington, D.C.”
“Clarice” debuts on CBS in the United States on February 11.