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Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Dustin Hoffman Were Considered for Hannibal Lecter Role!

Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Dustin Hoffman Were Considered for Hannibal Lecter Role!

Oscar-winning The Silence of the Lambs actress Jodie Foster introduced the Jonathan Demme-directed movie to an audience at the British Film Institute (BFI) over the weekend. While calling Lambs a “timeless” film that is still “relevant” today, she also dove deep into the production and revealed several actors who were considered for the now infamous role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

Foster told the audience that a number of U.S actors, including Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Dustin Hoffman, had been considered for the role, but that Demme wanted a Brit.

“Lecter is a manipulator and has a way of using language to keep people at bay… you wanted to see that Shakespearean monster. That’s why we jumped the pond.”

This coincides with previous stories that Demme originally approached and was turned down by Sean Connery. In fact, other actors considered for the role included Derek Jacobi and Daniel Day-Lewis.

Even more interesting, Foster admitted that she and Anthony Hopkins didn’t film together much during the shoot.

“I did the whole first part of the movie without him; he went off [after rehearsal] to go and shoot another movie. He only shot for 7 or 10 days or maybe even less. I never saw him until halfway through the movie.

“Much of the dialogue is straight to camera, a Hitchcock technique so some days I never even saw him,” she continued. “It was the last day of shooting and I was eating a tuna fish sandwich and I said ‘I was a little scared of you’ and he said ‘I was scared of you’ and then we had a big hug.”

The rest is history as The Silence of the Lambs won Academy Awards in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Adapted Screenplay.



  • steeler74386

    Idk I couldn’t pic anyone else playing Hannibal the cannibal lector other than Anthony Hopkins …”ate his brain tasted like fava beans and w Chianti “

    • Necro

      “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”

    • Neither can I (as far as this specific version of the character is concerned; the TV show went in a much different direction).

      • Tetra-Gramaton-Cleric

        Mads version is much more in line with how the character is written in the novels.

        I vastly prefer Mads to be honest; he sold the elitism and cerebral nature of Lecter in a way Hopkins simply did not.

        For me, Mads is the Definitive Lecter.

        • Not for the movies he’s not. The TV series went in a vastly separate direction. For this particular version, Anthony Hopkins is Hannibal.

  • Dan Warren (Forgottenretroworl

    De Niro and Pacino? LOL! “Heyyy, Starling, wassamatter with ju?”. Would have been hilarious. Also, unintended innuendo with the tuna fish sandwich quote?

  • All great actors, but we dodged a bullet there. Anthony Hopkins was perfect casting, and probably the definitive actor for this specific version of the Hannibal franchise.

  • guest

    deniro lecter: i ate his liver wit some a dem fava beans an’ a brew. -just a lil’ bit. -a lil’ bit.

    • David

      Pacino lecter: “I ate his FUCKIN’ LIVA with some a dem FUCKIN’ fava beans and a nice FUCKIN’ Chianti.. Whataya gonna do about it?”

      • DC_Fan38


      • guest

        lol thats great!

  • Nicolas Caiveau

    Another actor I think would have been perfect as Lecter is Jack Nicholson !

    • David

      Didn’t you read the article? The filmmaker basically wanted an actor who could play both a menace and a intellectual. Jack is iconic for playing menacing characters but an intellect?

      • Nicolas Caiveau

        In “As Good As It Gets” he proved he can be intellectual (though in a very special way, sure)

  • DukeStKing

    Should have continued with Brian Cox.

  • Matt Miller

    This film is exceptional and Anthony Hopkins will always be my favorite Hannibal Lecter but Jodie Foster is also the most amazing performance in that film in my opinion. She is so great that while there are several actors playing Lecter , Foster will always be the definitive Clarice.

  • Luca Vasto

    Anthony IS Hannibal

  • TrackRecord162

    There’s a reason he won Best Actor is was AWESOME!

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