“I don’t find you that interesting,” Hugh Dancy’s disturbed FBI profiler tells Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s new serial-killer thriller, Hannibal.
Maybe, but we certainly do. Since coming to life in Thomas Harris’s 1981 novel, Red Dragon, Lecter has tantalized and terrorized readers and moviegoers alike, most notably in The Silence of the Lambs, the 1991 movie that won Anthony Hopkins his Best Actor Oscar.
Tonight, Lecter is reborn — younger and more stylish than ever — with Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen playing the brilliant psychiatrist long before he’s captured or even suspected of his gruesome crimes. Counseling Dancy’s Will Graham, whose ability to envision the most evil of deeds comes at a psychological cost, Mikkelsen’s Lecter is still safe behind a mask of respectability.
Mikkelsen, no stranger himself to playing a memorable villain (Casino Royale), initially hesitated at the opportunity to step into the role, but creator Bryan Fuller (Heroes) sold him on the relationship between Lecter and Graham. “It’s all about Will,” says Mikkelsen. “Everything circles around his character, and he’s a troubled man. I believe I can help him, either to get out of that trouble or to embrace that trouble.”