Making her small screen comeback in the critically lauded Hannibal TV series, Gillian Anderson said she is happy to stay with the cannibal.
“I don’t think anyone knows what’s going to happen in the series. However, I will continue to be on it, until he eats me,” Anderson says.
Hannibal will continue to feast as NBC recently announced that it has renewed the series for a 13-episode second season. Audiences around the region can watch Hannibal on Friday’s at 9 p.m. on AXN. It is currently in the middle of its first season and its finale will air late this month.
The dark but thoroughly captivating drama created by Bryan Fuller is based on Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon, whose iconic villain won a spot in pop culture following the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs.
The series focuses on the lives of troubled FBI profiler Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy) and the titular Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), long before the Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs timeline where he is discovered as a serial killer and captured by the FBI.
Anderson joined the series last month as Dr. Bedelia du Maurier, Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s psychotherapist. She is making her return after having already appeared in three episodes.
She said that joining this series was not in the cards, at first. But she was then offered the role and had a couple of conversations with Fuller.
“There were a few considerations because I was not really interested in doing network television for a while, but the idea playing Hannibal’s psychiatrist is really cool,” Anderson said in a recent telephone interview with a group of journalists from the region.
“Ultimately, Bryan convinced me that it would be really fun to come and join with really good quality actors. That what made the decision.”
She said she did not need to prepare a lot for the role.
“It didn’t really call for it. I’ve been in therapy myself at various moments in my life, I’m familiar with the process,” she says.
“My character has been his psychiatrist for a long time and in retirement, but he’s her only remaining patient. The question was more about what kind of woman – professional woman – would Hannibal choose to be his psychiatrist, what would she look like, how would she speak, the dialogue, the rhythm of the dialogue.”
She had fun sharing a scene with Mikkelsen, a Danish actor who reached worldwide fame playing Le Chiffre in the James Bond film Casino Royale in 2006. Mikkelsen also won the Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award for his 2012 film The Hunt.
“He’s incredible and really amazing to work with. He has so much emotion in his fingertip. Watching him really coming out with his character is a fascinating thing to do,” Anderson said.
“I’m pretty sure from now on people will see Hannibal the way it is painted by Mads, Anthony Hopkins’. Mads’ rendition is very contemporary, very detailed and very disturbing. He does it so well. When I think of Hannibal, I think of Mads’ more than Anthony Hopkins’.”
Although Anderson has played numerous characters throughout her career, it is hard to forget about her most famous role to date as X-Files’ Dana Scully.
“I’ve been doing a lot of different stuff, there are a lot of things I would like to be remembered by.
“Hannibal is a very sweet thing to have in my acting experience and collection of characters. I wouldn’t say I want to be remembered by this role but I’m glad to be a part of the whole,” she said.
Anderson said she had received many television series lead role offers but had turned most of them down.
“A lot of them didn’t interest me. I have three children, I live in the UK; most of the stuff that I choose to do are stuff that takes me away from them as little time as possible,” she says.
“It’s an interesting balance between finding material that I really like, and finding material that doesn’t mean I abandon my kids for too long.”
Speaking of her character Bedelia du Maurier, Anderson thought that it would be much more interesting and dramatic if it ends with her being eaten by Hannibal.
“But so many things could happen. Bryan’s imagination is so much more twisted than any of us could imagine. If it does end it would be interesting and disturbing when it happens.”
If you are cooked by Hannibal, what dish do you want to be?
“Maybe some kind of pudding. They’d have to figure out some kind of way to turn my meat into some type of dessert. Kind of like a tofu pie, a Bedelia pie,” she said.