September 21, 2021

Jodie Foster was scared of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter

Jodie Foster was scared of Sir Anthony Hopkins when they filmed ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ together.

In January 2021, the 1991 horror movie – which is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris – celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Jodie portrayed FBI trainee Clarice Starling opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins as imprisoned murderer and cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who is helping her catch at-large serial killer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine).

The 58-year-old actress admits she was genuinely frightened of Anthony due to his performance as Lecter and it wasn’t until shooting had ended that she plucked up the courage to talk to him out of character.

In an interview with OK! magazine, she revealed: “He is an extraordinary actor and he’s such a kind man.

“The first time I met him was when we were reading around the table. He started to read and suddenly I felt so afraid.

“On the last day of shooting, we were at lunch and I said, ‘Well, you know, I was a bit afraid of you.’ And he said, ‘Yes, well, I was afraid of you, too!’ After that, we gave each other a big hug and became staunch friends.”

‘The Silence of the Lambs’ was a critical and commercial success and it earned Academy Award wins in the main five categories: Best Picture, Best Director for Jonathan Demme, Best Actor for Hopkins, Best Actress for Foster and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Jodie won her first Best Actress Oscar for playing a rape survivor in 1988 drama ‘The Accused’ – which was directed by Jonathan Kaplan.

The two-time Academy Award winner can recall the movie – which contains a graphic rape scene in a bar – was considered controversial upon its release, and she is proud that she was able to star in it and change some outdated, incorrect and repugnant attitudes of the time.

She said: “Things have changed, but even making the film we had all sorts of difficulties with people saying, ‘Well, she was wearing a skirt so it’s normal that she’d be raped.’ Or the other boys in the room who were shouting, ‘Well, that’s normal.’

“At the time, people viewed this behaviour as normal. Film critics even said, ‘Well, you know, it’s normal.’ So, for us, it was a very important discussion point at the time. And I do think it changed things. This is a discussion that has been underway for a long time. But for the cinema, I think it was really a turning point – it’s when discussions changed about rape and women.”

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