Mads Mikkelsen Source
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Question: What was your first encounter with the Hannibal Lecter mythos?
LAURENCE FISHBURNE: It was Brian Cox in Manhunter. “I’m sorry, operator. I haven’t the use of my arms.” Ooh, okay. Smart guy.
MADS MIKKELSEN: I saw The Silence of the Lambs when it came out. I was way too old to be scared that much, but it was a fantastic film. We owe Anthony Hopkins a lot.
HUGH DANCY: I also saw The Silence of the Lambs. What I remember thinking was how beautiful it was, specifically in that crime scene that he creates when he slaughters the two police officers, and they come in to see it splayed out like an angel. I thought, “Oh, my god, that’s beautiful!” And then, I thought, “What’s wrong with me!” It did that very well.
BRYAN FULLER: I saw Manhunter and thought Brian Cox was amazing. He gets eclipsed by Anthony Hopkins ‘cause it’s an Oscar-winning performance, but I think Brian Cox is just as good. I think they’re two fantastic performances. And then, I went and read the book, and that blew me away.

Bryan, why is it important to you to change the gender of some of these characters and add that female energy to the story?
FULLER: Well, if we didn’t change some of the genders of the characters, it would be a sausage party. There would just be a lot of guys. I think we need female energy in all entertainment. What’s exciting about Season 3 is that we have a lot more female energy.

Hugh and Mads, there’s an interesting undercurrent of love between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham.
FULLER: He’s penetrated him. It’s true!

How does that shape your own portrayals, and your understanding of the characters?
DANCY: They love each other. That’s unquestionable. I think it’s a platonic love, but it’s rich. They recognize each other as unique in the world. They reflect each other, in that way. It’s a profound recognition and relief that comes with it.
MIKKELSEN: Going through what Hannibal did with Will, in the two seasons, is probably the closest he’s ever been to loving anyone. What love means in his universe, we’ll have to see, later on. Everything heartbreaking that happens to poor Will is also heartbreaking to Hannibal.
FULLER: One of the reasons that I was really excited about this project was to explore heterosexual male friendship, not just between Will and Hannibal, but also Jack. I feel like there is a three-way between those men. I think Jack has a friendship with these two guys, as well. It’s a very interesting exploration of male friendships.
MIKKELSEN: I think there’s an honesty to what Bryan writes, and there’s an honesty in how we try to give the scenes justice. That mean that there is never the big plan from Hannibal. When I’m with Jack, it’s honest. There’s no lie. It’s an honest relationship. We’ve become strong friends, as I have with his wife. What I did with Alana was honest. It might change tomorrow. We don’t know. But, it’s always honest. That’s one of the reasons she can walk in that door without the audience going, “No!” There’s an honesty in the whole project. We’re not trying to be behind the characters going, “Gotcha!” Honesty is one of the keynotes that allows us to get away with some of these things.

Mads and Laurence, how was it to shoot your fight scene that opened Season 2?
MIKKELSEN: That was a really long day.
FISHBURNE: We felt really long and we looked really young, while we were doing it. But the day after, we really felt our age.
MIKKELSEN: We shot that for 14 hours.
FISHBURNE: No, we did 21 hours. You just blocked out the other seven.
MIKKELSEN: That was a beautiful day.
FISHBURNE: It was great.

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