To think Anthony Hopkins was a rubbish Hannibal Lector?(43 Posts)
I saw all the films when I was younger - I always thought Brian Cox was better, but Hopkins just wasn’t in the least bit frightening to me (and I’m a wimp when it comes to horror films) and I never got the acclaim.
Having seen the series Hannibal, in which Mads Mikkelsen is so incredible, I tried rewatching The Silence Of The Lambs and he’s just so bloody hammy (not to mention his wobbly accent which is very annoying). His performance is more parody than horror. By the time you get to Hannibal and Red Dragon it’s just daft.
'His performance is more parody than horror'
I think you're right. He's very campy. The rest of the film is so dark and so chilling though, he doesn't really fit in with it
I think it was a different interpretation - Hannibal as more animalistic, bestiality hidden behind a very thin veneer. Mads Mikkelsen provided a interpretation that emphasised the inhuman control that fills a fundamental emptiness. Personally I preferred the latter, but I recognise the quality of acting in the former.
He’s a crap actor, I don’t know why he is so highly rated. He always looks as if he’s acting
While I don’t profess to be a great actor, I did my degree in Drama so have reasonable knowledge - Hopkins is known as the antithesis to (equally annoying) method actors, since he claims he just reads his lines 300 times and turns up. I’m sure he’s understating it and I have thought he’s been great in other things. I just really don’t understand how this performance has become to seminal, I find it hard not to chuckle at most of it to be honest.
Absolutely agree, different interpretation from Mads - maybe it’s just that he is so fantastic, all else is spoiled!
I've seen him a few times in plays at the theatre. He has great presence and kept you spellbound.
I think he is a great actor in the theatre - perhaps not everyone's favourite in films.
I was just thinking of Dawn French! I suppose as well the scenes have been parodied so often it’s difficult not to see it through that lens isn’t it? But yikes, it’s so hammy.
I agree that Hopkins is a fantastic actor (not a bad composer either!), this portrayal just bothers me - and I have no idea why they thought it was a good idea to make Red Dragon, it’s even worse when he’s older!
I love Silence of the Lambs, I think he intended it to be a bit camp and deranged. Mads is divine though, Hannibal S1&2 were fantastic and I think he was perfect for a younger, polished and darker Hannibal (I also love that they kept his accent)
Just snorted at the memory of Dawn French.
I think it depends if you want your Lecter to be more of a serial killer or a vampire, tbh - Hopkins was good at being someone you'd not really look twice at until he was killing you (the danger coming from that) whilst Mads had more of the excessive charisma angle that comes through in the later Lecter books (where it is all maroon eyes and charming eastern european gentry).
I’m not sure it’s aged well as a film to be honest, and I understand he made specific choices, I just don’t really understand them I guess. I admit I am maybe being influenced by Mads’ brilliance (when things progress in season 2 I found him absolutely bloody terrifying) but I felt like this before Hannibal too.
Each to their own of course - ordinarily it wouldn’t bother me, but it’s one of those performances that’s held up for high praise and I can’t really fathom it.
And his accent really does change every 10-15 seconds (not just when he’s obviously imitating another accent, but randomly mid sentence).
His pronunciation of 'chianti' in that famous line has always bothered me. It's like he's never said the word before.
At a few points he seems to revert to welsh for a word or two. And he doesn’t seem to know which part of America he’s supposed to be from / emulating - I’d love to say it’s a conscious choice to reflect Lector’s travelling around but I suspect not. He’s definitely not sounding like anyone from Baltimore 😂
Agree about “chianti” - very odd
Ah! The dangers of comparing actors and films from different centuries!
Hopkins was rght then, as was Brian Cox, Iloved his Lector.
No idea who Mads is, haven't seen any of the TV serial, shich would be a very different kettle of fish!
As were the later books. I suspect that each actor has been fairly true to the written character. Harris definitely writes the latter (2006) much differently than the original of 1981. He has reason to, they are now a franchise!
I’m not directly comparing, I appreciate it’s a very different medium and indeed time, but I find it almost painful to watch TSOTL now - it just feels so hokey in a way that I don’t feel is entirely down to age, although I don’t think it’s aged very well.
Mads Mikkelsen plays Hannibal in the TV series, I would definitely recommend it - starts out as a prequel focussing on the relationship between Hannibal and Will Graham, and that extra context to their relationship gives the Red Dragon plot line much more power when it happens. It doesn’t accurately follow the books and mixes things up a lot in terms of chronology, getting rid of some things and adding in others, but I love it.
It's 28 years old! Of course it is 'hokey'. What was stunningly impactful then is just a smear on the screen now!
What you are describing in the series is a show that has had the best, most popular bits of recent TV woven into it. I bet you an apple that in 30 years time that'll look odd and the original, re-digitised, updated film will be back to being a classic
I llved the first series of Hannibal with Mads.
The second series, not so much. I still liked the characterisation, but the arty farty cinematography bored me rigid.
I know. I am a philistine.
I also quite liked Hopkins as Lecter in that particular film.
Hannibal Lecter isn’t frightening, though. He’s a psychiatrist who people willingly confided in. He’s a cultured man, very well educated, scholarly, a superb cook and had countless women adoring him.
I think Anthony Hopkins got him exactly right. Those sudden turns, when he went for Will Graham, attacked the policemen during his escape, were all the more terrifying for it - and he remained calm and in control even then.
Noooo! I love Antony Hopkins in Silence if the lambs! I agree It is over the top but thats’s what’s so good about it. i think it’s more to do with the originality of the Lector character rather than the performance. He plays the line between psychopath and intellectual very well.
I'm crying with laughter as I didn't know of another Brian Cox before reading this thread and read most of it wondering how on earth he ended up playing Hannibal and how I could have missed it.
Really, there are tears on my face
Funny how everyone who is critical of Hopkins as Lector seems to be blaming him for his choices. I haven't seen one person point a finger at the director Jonathan Demme when it would have been his call on how Hopkins played the role. Had he wanted it played differently, he'd have asked for a different performance.
As someone who works in the theatre, I am astonished there are people who think Hopkins isn't a good actor. Admittedly in some films he can be OTT (usually when the film requires a prime slice of ham or its a shit script) but he can also be stunningly good when underplaying. He is superb in The Elephant Man, Howards End and Remains of the Day.
Apologies for the misspelling too - I am waiting on my new glasses and can’t see properly! Shameful.
Plenty of films I love and don’t find “hokey” are far older than TSOTL though. I don’t think it’s aged particularly well. I’m still amazed Demme won the Oscar over Stone that year, and when I watch it I don’t really see it as a “big five” winner.
Clearly some don’t feel the same, which is all well and good
shart yes I could see how that would be a funny thought 😂
I quite liked his performance, it was a bit campy etc but you could argue at that point Lector had been in that little cell for years so was enjoying the attention and hamming it up as part of his 'performance' for Clarice and the FBI which he so clearly loved.
I also really enjoy the 'all the way to the FBI' speech.
And casting Lector as a small, unassuming looking man also added to the effectiveness - he doesn't look like he has the strength and capability for violence that you've heard about, which adds a chilling element. Mads is tall, broad, strong in the TV series and does have that physical presence.
It's very interesting to see how different actors approach the role.
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