Just ahead of CBS’s premiere of Clarice, a Silence Of The Lambs sequel series, Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins have connected to chat about the beloved thriller’s legacy on its 30th anniversary. Variety facilitated the reunion, which consists of lively chatter about their initial reactions to the script, their first impressions of each other, and the story’s enduring place in the pop culture canon. (Do we people still ask Hopkins if he’d like “a nice Chianti”? Of course they do.)
There’s plenty of compelling moments in the 30-minute chat. Hopkins, for example, recalls telling his agent that Hannibal Lecter was “the best part I’ve ever read.” The giddiness he felt upon pleasing director Jonathan Demme is also palpable. “I was naturally nervous, an Englishman—a limey like me, a Welshman—playing an American serial killer,” he says. “And I remember Jonathan, when the camera picked me up, he said, ‘Oh, my God. That’s it. Hopkins. You’re so weird!’ And I said, ‘Why, thank you.’” He and Foster also discuss his supremely eerie choice to stand perfectly still in his cell when Foster’s Clarice first arrives, a choice Hopkins says he offered up himself.
It’s also somewhat amusing to hear Hopkins, who here plays one of the most terrifying characters in film history, chat about how “scared” he was to work with Foster. “I was scared to speak to you,” he says. “I thought, ‘She just won an Oscar.’” Foster adds that they were “almost too scared to talk to each other” after the first table read, which she says was powerful enough that “a chill [came] over the room.”
You can watch the full discussion over at Variety.
Clarice debuts on CBS and CBS All Access on Thursday, February 11.