Anthony Hopkins: How to Play a Serial Killer

Anthony Hopkins: How to Play a Serial Killer

How does one best play the role of a serial killer? Just ask one of the most well-known film serial killers in human history: Mr. Anthony Hopkins. Known for his creepy character, Hannibal Lecter, in cult classic, Silence of the Lambs, the award-winning actor tells legendary television host, Larry King, in a fascinating interview that the part is one of the roles he has most enjoyed throughout his acting career. So, how did he do it?

Hopkins tells King that playing Lecter was actually quite easy for him. A large portion of the movie’s storyline is spent solidifying the idea among the audience that Lecter is a gruesome monster, so that is what they expect to see from him. To ramp up the creepy factor in the role, Hopkins explains to King that it was easier and more impactful for the performance if he delivered the opposite of what the audience expected – a more prim and proper, well-spoken, intelligent man who was not so monster-y. Add the eerie voice he created for the role and voila! You have the Hannibal Lecter no one will ever forget.

Although he had been acting for many years before Silence of the Lambs, the Academy Award-winning performer says this is the film that launched him into stardom. Hopkins explains that he did not have to audition for the part because the director had already seen his role in the film, Elephant Man, and knew he was perfect for the part of Hannibal Lecter. And boy was he right! Now, film lovers around the world revere this talented artist for his epic acting abilities.



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