You would think that a playing a cannibal would be difficult. Not so for Sir Anthony Hopkins!
“I think Hannibal [Lecter] was one of favorite roles because it was so easy. Dead easy,” Hopkins tells host Larry King in a brand new interview on Larry King Now. Dead easy? Pun intended, Sir Anthony?
Hopkins is best known for his role as the man-eating Hannibal Lecter in the film adaptations of Thomas Harris’ series of novels. He’s earned acclaim for his role as the former psychiatrist who turned patients into meals, winning himself an Oscar for the role in the 1991 screen adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, opposite Jodie Foster’s newbie FBI agent, Clarice Starling (which also gave Foster an Oscar win). Hopkins later portrayed the character in the films Hannibal and Red Dragon.
Hopkins tells King that, in order to make Hannibal a memorable character, he had to “trick” the audience. “Play the opposite,” Hopkins states. “Don’t play a monster. Just play someone who is, ‘Good morning. You're not real FBI are you, Clarice?’ “
The actor, who also expanded upon his storied career in Hollywood in the interview, explains that the role of Hannibal was all about playing against expectations. “The first 20 minutes or so are built-up, describing this monster to Jodie Foster. And then, she goes to the prison, and then the governor of the prison says, ‘Oh, he’s a monster.’” Hopkins explains in the clip below. “So it’s all built up that I’m this monster in a cage somewhere.”
Check out the full interview only at Ora.TV, in which Hopkins discusses many of his upcoming projects, including the highly anticipated Westworld reboot for HBO.