Another one that hits us right in the ‘90s nostalgia feels, Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins reunited for the 30th anniversary of The Silence of the Lambs. The Mauritanian and The Father actors met for an hour-long virtual chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, presented by Amazon Studios.
Hopkins, turns out, initially thought the film was a children’s story, which as fans might recall, is instead about one of big screen’s creepiest serial killers ever, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and FBI trainee, Clarice Starling. In the film, Starling tries to unravel another killing by getting into the bad doctor’s head, but not without consequence.
The movie released on February 14, 1991 and all but cleaned out the Oscars the following year, winning five awards, including for best actor and best actress.
In the chat, Foster and Hopkins discussed their upcoming films and reminisced about filming Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins revealed that reading through that initial script he phoned his agent right away and let him know it was the best part he’s ever read. He also shared that he was initially scared to speak with Foster. “She just won an Oscar,” he reminisced of her prior award-winning role in 1989’s The Accused.
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The voice for the bad doctor had come to Hopkins after the first reading. “He’s like a machine. He’s like HAL, the computer in 2001: ‘Good evening, Dave.’ He just comes in like a silent shark,” shared Hopkins.
And he also recalled the impact Foster had on her role, thinking, “This is brilliant, because you are a smaller person in this big, macho male world, coming in as the hero.” Foster added: “My mom said to me, ‘Why do you want to play this character who’s kind of quiet and mousey?’ She had this quietness. There was almost a shame that she wasn’t bigger, that she wasn’t stronger, this person trying to overcome failure of the body they were born in. I understood that was her strength.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Foster took on a role to defy stereotypes, nor her last. Her latest film, The Mauritian is based on a true story of a Guantanamo inmate held without cause and his attorney, working to free him.
See Foster’s and Hopkins interview, below:
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