Esteemed actor Anthony Hopkins has been a mainstay in films for the past 3 decades, largely in part to his spine-tingling overall performance because the psychotic asylum inmate Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter in the 1992 Best Picture Oscar winner “The Silence of the Lambs.” Jodie Foster stars in the movie as FBI Agent Clarice Starling, who is been given the daunting undertaking of interviewing Lecter in hopes of figuring out and catching a brutal serial killer. The movie became so effective that it earned the top actor Oscars for Foster and Hopkins, in addition to best director for Jonathan Demme, and best adapted screenplay for Ted Tally.
Perhaps what made Hopkins’ best actor win so fantastic is that the performer only has 24 mins and 52 seconds of screen time (through Gold Derby) in the 1-hour, 58-minute movie. While moviegoers likely picture Lecter wearing a masks in their minds as they reflect on consideration on the movie, the majority of Hopkins’ scenes take area in an asylum in which he is free of restraints. It’s there in which Hopkins’ flip as Lecter burns with depth as he manipulates the susceptible Starling to show disturbing details about her very own past as a “quid seasoned quo” to trade information that could assist her investigation.
Apart from such memorable traces as, “A census taker as soon as attempted to check me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti,” Hopkins’ actions as Lecter speak simply as loudly as his words. Among the ones actions are the piercing stares he gave Starling with out blinking, which Hopkins mentioned with TV talk show host Dick Cavett a few weeks after he won his Oscar in 1992.
Hopkins observed in a communication with a ‘madman’ that he did not blink
In an interview on “The Dick Cavett Show,” Anthony Hopkins discovered what stimulated the individual’s demanding trait of not blinking. “I truly met a madman who was on the loose in London and that’s quite scary,” Hopkins recalled for Cavett. “I had coffee with him one day and I realized how nuts he was. He never blinked, so basically [he] never kept asking me questions. And before you can ask him one, he might ask me another one and another one. In the end, it made me feel [like I was in] a unique reality.”
As such, Hopkins would not blink in the scenes in which he’s speaking in “The Silence of the Lambs.” He explained in an interview with ABC News reporter Barbara Walters in 2001 that there is a certain power that incorporates the ability not to blink. “It’s a trick I discovered because, if you don’t blink, you know you can hold the audience mesmerized,” he said. “It’s not a lot not blinking, it’s just being still. Stillness has an economy and it has a power about it.”
Just as chilling in the movie was Hopkins’ voice. In a joint Vanity Fair interview with Foster in 2021 to have fun the 30th anniversary of the release of “The Silence of the Lambs,” Hopkins revealed for the first time that Lecter’s voice was stimulated through Christopher Fettes, a “charismatic” teacher the actor studied under at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. “This teacher had stayed in my conscience all my life. I got a phone name afterwards: ‘Tony, it’s a wonderful performance. Did you base that on me, by any chance?'” Hopkins recalled.
Hopkins also based Lecter’s voice on “In Cold Blood” writer Truman Capote, legendary actress Katharine Hepburn, and HAL 9000, the AI character from “2001: A Space Odysse.