Thanks to the age of social media, classic old movies are getting new chances to shine, as old footage like outtakes and behinds-the-scenes featurettes can now be shared with fans. Today brings one such fascinating case: Sir Anthony Hopkins in character as Hannibal Lecter on the set of Silence of the Lambs, doing his best impression of Rocky Balboa. Yes, you read that right: in a rare outtake from director Jonathan Demme, we now have the gift of Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter doing his best Stallone. It's as funny as it is creepy, and once seen, it cannot be unseen. Check it out below:
Anthony Hopkins, as Hannibal Lecter, does an impression of Rocky Balboa. pic.twitter.com/J5JiXPda1C— Nick de Semlyen (@NickdeSemlyen) June 19, 2020
What makes this scene so haunting, is Anthony Hopkins is doing his Rocky impression while filming the infamous sequence in which Dr. Lecter makes his escape from custody. In the scene being filmed in the video, Lecter brutally murders two police officers guarding him, carving off the face of one man and wearing it, to disguise himself as the officer, who is then rushed away by medical staff. Lecter escapes custody by killing the EMTs and stealing the ambulance, ultimately fleeing the country and setting up the events of the Hannibal book/movie, in which he returns to Agent Clarice Starling's life, many years later.
That's all to say: when you think about the kind of mindstate that Anthony Hopkins had to maintain for that scene as Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, it's even more (Impressive? Amazing?) to see just how drastically he can shift out of that dark persona. It's also just a great piece of '90s movie trivia to see this outtake, as 'Hannibal Lecter Rocky' is definitely the kind of idea that the Internet can get behind in a meme.
Silence of the Lambs' legacy has lasted the test of time, and has new chapters on the horizon. The 2000s brought both a new sequel (Hannibal) and prequel (Red Dragon) starring Hopkins as Lecter, thereby completing author Thomas Harris' trilogy. The series got a new reboot on TV in the 2010s with the Hannibal TV series, which is currently back in the limelight (as of writing this) as one of Netflix's featured shows. While fans continue campaigning for Hannibal to get a season 4 revival, a new chapter of the franchise, the upcoming Clarice TV Series, will act as a sequel to the Silence of the Lambs movie.