Can you imagine what The Silence of the Lambs would’ve been like without Sir Anthony Hopkins’s chilling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter? Neither can we.
It just feels a bit wrong to think of somebody else playing the unusual villain. However, Sir Derek Jacobi has recently revealed that he was very nearly cast as Lecter in the film instead of Hopkins, reports Digital Spy.
Jacobi claims that he “would have been malevolent in a very different way” if he had taken on the role rather than Hopkins, who went on to win an Oscar for his performance.
Jacobi spoke about the 1991 film in his new autobiography, As Luck Would Have It. “I was one of the three finalists for the casting of Hannibal Lecter for The Silence of the Lambs: the others were Daniel Day-Lewis and Tony Hopkins.”
Giving us a little insight into the casting process, Jacobi continued, “They were determined to have a Brit for their villain - I’m not sure what this says about us. Goodness knows how it would have turned out if I had played the part, but I would have been malevolent in a very different way.”
However, there were no hard feelings towards Hopkins as he also celebrates the film’s final choice, stating, “Tony has harder eyes than I have. He was wonderful.”
The Silence of the Lambs made serious waves amongst critics in 1992, going on to win five Oscars at the following year’s Academy Awards, scooping up statues in all five of the top categories.