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Behind the scenes of ‘Silence of the Lambs’

Hannibal Lecter’s second appearance on the screen was in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs, the film that allegedly helped sales of chianti, fava beans and skin lotion. Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs starred Anthony Hopkins as serial killing cannibal, Doctor Lecter, and Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling.

Though he can be chilling, I always found Hopkins interpretation of Lecter far more cartoon-like than the nuanced performance given by Scottish actor Brian Cox in Michael Mann’s first Lecter film Manhunter. Cox as Lecter (or “Lecktor” in the film) seemed believably sane, normal even, but allowed enough glimpses of the deadly psychopath lurking underneath to make his Lecter far more menacing. Interestingly, Demme originally had another Scot in mind for the role, Sean Connery.

As for Clarice Starling, Demme had wanted Michelle Pfeiffer for the role as they had worked well together on Married to the Mob. But the actress was nervous of the subject matter and turned the part down. It then fell to Foster, who had read the book and was keen to make the role her own, which she did. The film proved to be a major hit and cleaned up at the Oscars deservedly winning awards for the actors and director. This selection of photographs gives a sneak on to what was happening during the making of The Silence of the Lambs.
More behind the scenes photos after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Jodie Foster, age 9, for View-Master
07:29 am


Jodie Foster
Henry Fonda

jodie foster
I abidingly loved my Viewmaster when I was a kid. If you’re not sure what one is, I feel badly for you, but it’s the descendent of those old stereoscopic photo viewers, evolved over a century to become a brilliant children’s toy. My favorite slides were the Hanna-Barbera character tie-ins, which, looking back, were of VASTLY higher quality than the cheaply ground-out cartoons themselves. I also quite loved the travelogues - I may never have been to the Alps, but by god, I saw them in full 3D glory when I was five! I’d love to wax rhapsodic at length about these things, but DM’s Paul J. Gallagher beat me to the post by about a year. It’s a wonderful post, you should have a look.

In this Viewmaster ad from 1971, Jodie Foster, a full five years before her show-stealing performance as an underaged prostitute in Taxi Driver brought her to America and John Hinkley Jr.’s attention, similarly (though far less scandalously) stole the show from the venerable Henry Fonda!

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
15-year-old Jodie Foster sings a Serge Gainsbourg tune
10:57 am

Pop Culture

Serge Gainsbourg
Jodie Foster

A 15-year-old Jodie Foster sings Serge Gainsbourg’s “Comic Strip” with Claude Francois on French TV in 1977.

Foster speaks French impeccably and pulls this off beautifully.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment