Laurence Fishburne Talks Foibles and Fun of 'Hannibal'

Manila Bulletin, June 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Laurence Fishburne Talks Foibles and Fun of 'Hannibal'


A prequel TV series about Hannibal Lecter, the character made popular on the big screen by no less than Sir Anthony Hopkins (in 1991's "The Silence Of The Lambs"), may have had a lot to overcome in the beginning, but "Hannibal," the show developed by Bryan Fuller, has received such critical acclaim and is now back for its third season.

With characters based on Thomas Harris' novel 1981 "Red Dragon," which predated the author's "The Silence Of The Lambs" by seven years, the psychological thriller mainly focuses on the central trio of FBI special investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), forensic psychiatrist Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), and Graham's boss, Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), head of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences department.

At a recent media junket in Toronto, Fishburne gave a teaser of the upcoming season of "Hannibal," noting, "It's changed for everybody." As for his own character, he related, "Jack has lost a lot of blood since we saw him last. He's lost some other things, suffered great losses. He's trying to re-group, lost the job... he's lost Will Graham, he's lost Hannibal... It's all about trying to reclaim some things, I think."

But Fishburne's character isn't the only one that doesn't seem tethered to the core. Crawford may be in Florence when Season 3 begins but Fishburne said, "It opens with everybody separately... and you follow Will's individual journey, you follow Hannibal's... and Jack's individual journeys..."

It's a tall order to run a series like "Hannibal" and keep it fresh, certainly a big challenge to keep things creepy but continually interesting. As compelling as the actors' performances are, which really resonated with not just a lot of critics but kept viewers tuning in as well, the unfolding relationships and how they stories weave into each other have really become the glue that holds everything together.

"These relationships... they don't really change so much as they just continue to evolve. I mean, Jack has always wanted Will to help him to catch these horrible people. Will has always been reluctant to do so. That never changes... I think what changes is the circumstances under which Will is compelled to go and help him out," Fishburne said.

With American TV growing in leaps and bounds over decades, we also no longer see one-note heroes and villains in many TV series. Sometimes you root for the bad guys because they have this integrity about them even when they are doing things the wrong way, and they are similar with the hero albeit on the other end of the spectrum (see "Daredevil" on Netflix, for instance). …

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