IGN: Season 3’s first half was so different, changing the show’s location and placing Hannibal and Bedelia off on their own. Having done the show for a couple of years, did you enjoy getting to shake things up?
Mikkelsen: I think we all looked forward to moving somewhere else. As far as I’ve hear, on many shows, in the third season, they always try and shake it up. They also have to try and keep the atmosphere of the original show. So this is what we did. It was according to the books, of course. We went to Europe and it was just amazing to be there and spending so much time shooting with Bedelia, with Gillian Anderson, and then having some very intense moments with her. So yes, it was a gearshift in many ways for the show, and then it comes back to something that we recognize later on.
IGN: It was always fascinating to me to wonder what Hannibal thought about the people he was interacting with. On some level he seemed to have… I don’t know if respect is the right word, but he must have had some fascination with Bedelia, or he just would have killed her, rather than spend so much time with her, right? Was it simply his curiosity about how far he could push someone and maybe change them?
Mikkelsen: It’s a combination of all that. We discussed that, me and Bryan [Fuller]. We discussed it to a certain degree, but it’s always a combination of many things. Hannibal is not necessarily rational in what he does, always, and as an audience member you can turn and say, “Oh, that’s just a role he wants to play. He wants to play cat and mouse. He wants to push her somewhere special.” But I think, in general, he never would have done that if he didn’t have respect for her. All these people that come close to him, to a degree, he has a certain amount of respect for. Obviously, they’re not on his level, if you ask him, but they’re all interesting. And in the case of Bedelia, they had history together. They had a past. There’s something that binds them together, which we also shed some light on during these episodes.
IGN: TV shows usually can’t do this, just for budget and logistic reasons, but you guys did actually get to shoot a bit overseas. Hannibal was always visually gorgeous, but was it great for you to actually be in that atmosphere, even just for awhile, and add that to the show?
Mikkelsen: Well, there’s nothing like going to the real place. We experienced three seasons in Toronto and they are wonderful in Toronto and have been very, very generous to us and our show, but it’s also very cold! [Laughs] So eventually, to go to Florence in the midst of December and have it be, what was it, 18 degrees celcous or something, it was just absolutely stunning to be there. And to spend time in the real Duomo and the real churches and the chapels and streets, that was something special, absolutely.