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Q: People know you as the baddest guy on TV now — in the best possible way! What’s that like for you? How do people treat you?
A: They treat you nicely. They’re afraid not to, I guess. No, I enjoy playing the baddie. I’ve played a lot of good guys in my life. One of the good things is that people get curious about what we’ve done before and they start watching Danish films.
Q: How do your children (Viola, 21, Carl, 17) feel about you playing this sociopath who eats people?
A: My daughter one time had a nightmare that I was chasing her, which was not the best thing that could happen. But they’re used to it. They’ve seen me as many different characters and this is just another one. I’m sure my son would rather see me playing a zombie someday.
Q: Your character has this really deliberate way of smelling a glass of wine. You pause and you do this (interviewer pretends to swirl a glass of wine counterclockwise under her nose) —
A: It’s the other way, from left to right, actually. I don’t know where I got that.
Q: The other way around. Right. Hannibal does that every time!
A: I know NOTHING about wine. I drink beer. The thing is, he’s such a cultivated person, right? And just pulling out a chair for someone has never been in my genetics. So I have to invent things for myself. And sniffing the wine, it was my own little idea, but you know, no one has complained so far. And I didn’t want him to sniff directly because his nose is so sensitive, right. So I wanted it to be just a little ways away from his nose.
Q: What do you enjoy doing a Comic Expo like this?
A: Basically you meet the fans. I mean, people don’t line up to tell you that you suck! (Laughs) So there’s a lot of love in the room. You meet and you can chit chat a little. On the street you don’t always have time. It’s just interesting for us to see how big an impact it has. It means a lot to people, and it means a lot to me to once in awhile actually be able to meet these people and it enables me to continue my work.