Over the years, Hollywood has seen some of the best psychological horror films but no other film has reached the heights like the 1991 movie The Silence of the Lambs. Directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Ted Tally, the movie is adapted from Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel. It is often referred to as one of the greatest films to be ever made by critics. The plot of the film revolved around a young FBI trainee who is on a hunt for a serial killer. She seeks the help of imprisoned Dr Hannibal Lecter who is a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.
Jodie Foster was interested in playing FBI agent Clarice Starling immediately after reading the novel. However, in spite of the fact that Foster had just won an Academy Award for her performance in The Accused (1988), Demme was not convinced that she was right for the role. Having just collaborated on Married to the Mob (1988), Demme’s first choice for the role of Starling was Michelle Pfeiffer, who turned it down, later saying, “It was a difficult decision, but I got nervous about the subject matter.” He then approached Meg Ryan, who turned it down as well for its gruesome themes, and then Laura Dern, of whom the studio was skeptical as not being a bankable choice. As a result, Foster was awarded the role due to her passion towards the character.
In an interview, Jodie Foster had revealed that she never spoke to Anthony Hopkins on set. “Nope, never spoke to him. He was scary!” Foster explained that the two were separated nearly the entire shoot by the glass partitions and jail cell where his Hannibal Lecter spent much of his time. “We got to the end of the movie and had never really had a conversation.”
“I avoided him as much as I could. I really avoided him,” Foster added. But it turns out, the fearful feeling was mutual, as she discovered on their last day of filming. “He came up to me… And I said — I don’t know, I sort of had a tear in my eye — I was like, ‘I was really scared of you.’ And he said, ‘I was scared of you!’”