Hannibal Lecter Is Still “One of the Best Parts” Anthony Hopkins Has Ever Read

Anthony Hopkins still considers the role of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs to be “one of the best parts” he’s ever read.

The Oscar-winning actor recently opened up to People magazine about his time on the film and recalled when he first got the script from his agent while doing the play M. Butterfly in London. Originally, Hopkins thought the film was a children’s story because of its name.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

“[My agent] said, ‘I want you to read this,'” he shared. “I said, ‘Is it an offer?’ He said, ‘It’s a film with Jodie Foster called The Silence of the Lambs.‘”

The actor began reading the script in the dressing room of the theater he was in and again asked if it was an offer. If it wasn’t, he didn’t want to keep reading, he told his agent, “because this is one of the best parts I’ve ever read.”

Hopkins later found out that director Jonathan Demme did want him for the role, so badly, in fact, that he flew to London from New York to see his eventual starring man in the play he was working on at the time.

“We went out afterwards, and we had some dinner,” Hopkins recalled. “And I said, ‘Why’d you cast me?’ He said, ‘Why? Have you got problems?’ I said, ‘No, no. Why did you cast me?'”

He continued, “So we talked, but I knew how to play the part, and I don’t know. I do have an instinct about these roles. I could understand Lecter. I could understand the mystery of the man, the loner, the isolated voice in the dark, the man at the top of the stairs who’s not really there.”

Best of The Hollywood Reporter