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(LOS ANGELES) — Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins reunited virtually in part to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film that netted them both Best Actor trophies, The Silence of the Lambs, Johnathan Demme’s adaptation of Thomas Harris novel.
The conversation was part of Variety‘s ongoing “Actors on Actors” series.
Hopkins, who of course played the brilliant Hannibal Lecter, admitted to being confused by the film’s title at first. “My agent sent a script. He said, ‘Why don’t you read this? It’s called Silence of the Lambs.’ I said, ‘Is it a children’s story?”
For all of Lecter’s icy menace — modeled after an old acting teacher of Hopkins’, he revealed — it was he who was at first intimidated by Foster, who played newbie FBI recruit Clarice Starling. “I was scared to speak to you. I thought, ‘She just won an Oscar [for The Accused].”
Calling the Best Picture-winning film, “a life-changing adventure…for both of us,” Foster, who played newbie FBI agent Clarice Starling, recalled the pair’s first read-through of the script, sitting opposite each other at a table. “And as you launched into Hannibal Lecter, I felt a chill come over the room.”
Foster also wondered if people “still ask [Hopkins] if he would like a nice chianti,” as one would expect, to which Hopkins replied, “all the time.”
As fans would hope, Hopkins ended the conversation with an in-character “Goodbye, Clarice,” to which Foster laughed and responded, “Goodbye, Dr. Lecter.”
By Stephen Iervolino
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