The only thing that could make watching The Silence of the Lambs any scarier is finding out Dr. Hannibal Lecter is right beside you!
Asked whether he ever re-watches any of his films, the 81-year-old actor described a screening he once went to with actress Rene Russo in Atlanta.
“I remember being in the cinema. I was in Atlanta doing a film called Freejack,” he explained. “And Renee Russo said, ‘I want to go and see your film.’ ” Hopkins went on to recall Russo asking him to come along because she was “scared.”
Agreeing to attend the screening, Hopkins wore a “baseball cap and sunglasses” and remembered his costar grabbing his hand during the film during a suspenseful moment.
However, things went awry when a sudden thunderstorm interrupted the showing.
“All the power went out in the movie theater,” Hopkins recalled. “And people got up to go to the bathroom and all that, and Renee got up and she heard someone say, ‘it’s probably Hannibal Lecter.’ ”
The actor, who later won an Academy Award for his work in the film, explained that at the time he had “just taken off my sunglasses and looked at him” which had the moviegoer completely spooked.
Hopkins went on to say that he “didn’t mean” to prank the audience, as he looked back fondly on the memory.
The British actor, who plays Pope Benedict XVI in the upcoming Netflix film The Two Popes, recently opened up about the famous role in the Dec/Jan issue of AARP the Magazine, saying that he immediately recognized Dr. Hannibal Lecter wouldn’t be just another character.
“I have an instinct for those kinds of people. They’re narcissists. I don’t know if that’s in me — I just understand them. And I’ll never escape from that guy,” he said of the role. “When I started reading The Silence of the Lambs script, I told my agent, ‘This is the part of a lifetime.’ It changed everything for me.”
The Two Popes begins streaming on Netflix Nov. 27.