In 1991, Jodie Foster brought to life Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs, a character who would go on to be one of the most memorable investigators in cinema history. The actress reprised the role last week for an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
In the sketch, Colbert plays the serial killer Hannibal Lecter and, rather than helping Starling track down a murderer, he offers clues about the investigation into Donald Trump's ties to Russia for the 2016 presidential election.
While the sketch was only made for comedic effect, Foster never appeared in any subsequent Hannibal Lecter sequels or remakes, making her performance as the character even in a comedy notable.
Despite being a "horror" film, Silence of the Lambs was one of the most acclaimed films of its time, shattering expectations of what a genre film could accomplish. The film went on to not only receive nominations at that year's Academy Awards
The film remains acclaimed to this day and recently was admitted into the Criterion Collection, which celebrates the highest achievement in film by releasing the movie with a wealth of supplemental materials, in addition to the original print of the film getting remastered.
Sir Anthony Hopkins has been the defining Hannibal Lecter for many audiences, yet Brian Cox portrayed the murderer in his first theatrical outing with Manhunter. Contemporary audiences might also consider Mads Mikkelsen their defining version of the killer, having portrayed Hannibal in three seasons of his own TV series.
Foster herself recently revealed that, before Hopkins was cast for the film, actors like Robert de Niro and Al Pacino were considered for the role.
When introducing the film at the British Film Institute, Foster shared a variety of insider information about the production, pointing out that the aforementioned actors were considered for the role but that director Jonathan Demme specifically wanted a British actor.
"Lecter is a manipulator and has a way of using language to keep people at bay… you wanted to see that Shakespearean monster. That’s why we jumped the pond," Foster pointed out.
Despite the relationship between Foster's Clarice and Lecter being intrinsic to the plot, Foster also revealed she hadn't even met Hopkins until halfway through the film's shoot.
“I did the whole first part of the movie without him; he went off [after rehearsal] to go and shoot another movie," she admitted. "He only shot for seven or 10 days or maybe even less. I never saw him until halfway through the movie."0comments
You can get your copy of The Silence of the Lambs Criterion Collection on Blu-ray February 13, 2018.