Hannibal is back for seconds

2014-03-03 10:36
Los Angeles - Hannibal Lecter returns to Sony Entertainment Television (DStv channel 127) for a second season, ever hungry for a killing and a human morsel or two. He’s still outwitting the FBI, and dedicated detective Jack Crawford – but for how long?

From Tuesday 4 March 2014 at 21:50 the edgy episodic thriller is back for another 13 episodes.

At an international panel interview the stars of the show: Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal Lecter), Hugh Dancy, (Will Graham), Laurence Fishburne (Jack Crawford) and Caroline Dhavernas (Alana Bloom) chatted about their characters and what to expect in the new season.

Interviewer:  What can fans expect from the second season?

Mads Mikkelsen:  Explosion. To a certain degree, it's an explosion in the second season. For all the characters that people hopefully came to love something will happen. It is very much out there in the second season and we can expect that this young man -- as I keep calling you -- and I'm trying to regain his friendship and that's where we start off.

Hugh Dancy:  Hannibal is being put into Will's position to some extent within the FBI, so he's exploring that, which is obviously great for him.  Will is having to explore his inner Hannibal a little bit because he's got nobody else to turn to, so there's some fun games that we're playing.

Interviewer:  Talking about your inner Hannibal, we get to see you in a mask and then a straitjacket. What did it feel like actually doing that scene.  Was it quite a special day on the set for you?

Hugh Dancy: Yes, in terms of that, obviously, it's very iconic and that's a pretty cool feeling.  In a more literal sense, it just got a little claustrophobic.  It was very cool; I'm well aware of that.  And it felt pretty great to be able to get strapped up.  I didn't think I would enjoy being strapped up so much.

Interviewer:  Mads, I wonder how, as an actor, you feel when you have to reprise a role that Anthony Hopkins made so famous?

Mads Mikkelsen:  Well, I'm trying not to reprise that.  I'm trying to do what Bryan has written and I'm trying to focus on the job and the task ahead.  Obviously, we can't detach 100% from what he did because Hannibal is Hannibal, but to try to copy him would be creating suicide.  So I think we have wisely stayed away from that.  He did a fantastic job and we are doing our own thing.

Interviewer:  Hugh, how much did you enjoy actually having this role reversal of you and Hannibal?  You're exploring your inner Will, so to speak.  And for you, Laurence, this is not your last season, is it?  I'm scared for you.

Hugh Dancy:  It's fun for me because Will was such a victim of events and unaware of what was happening to him, obviously, in the bigger sense in the first season.  And the second season, he is fully aware and he's got that.  Even though he's locked up, he's got no power at all.  He has that kind of card finally and obviously, Hannibal is Hannibal.  Hannibal doesn't change so much, but he's also lost his friend and it's been interesting, to some extent, exploring that, even vulnerability in him, and Will seeing it and seeing it like a chink in his armour, so it goes in slightly new directions.

Laurence Fishburne:  It only looks like I'm dying.  It opens with this fight between Hannibal and myself, but then it goes boom, and its 12 years earlier, you see, and we don't know if it's really happening.  We don't know if it's Will having one of his out-of-body experiences because often times, when we see Will in the second season, it opens with him and he's somewhere else, fishing maybe.  And then you find out that he's actually at the hospital.  There are three characters that are going to snuff it but Jack is not one of them.

Interviewer:  Hugh, the scenes you do have such intensity.  How do come back to real life when you’re off the set?

Hugh Dancy:  It varies.  Sometimes, it's surprising that the most intense scenes, actually, you approach them in the most relaxed way and other scenes, which should be really light and easy, become a living hell.  There's no rhyme or reason to that, but it's not like the darkness, I carry it all around in my back, I think, for any of us because the predominant experience is real pleasure and working with these guys, and with Bryan's fantastic writing, it's consistent joy. 

Interviewer:  Hugh, the audience knows that Will has a gift. Can you elaborate more about that gift?  

Hugh Dancy:  Yes, I suppose so.  I don't know if it's a gift or a curse, but it's really a form of empathy, so this is one half of it.  So the boundaries between him and another person, which most of us have, are much more porous.  It allows him to do his work for the FBI, allows him to do what he does with Jack, to step in someone else's shoes, but it comes at a cost. What we learn more about in season two is because of his dark place in him and that's what Hannibal sees from the very get-go, and that's what he's interested in exploring and encouraging.

Interviewer:  There was a big bromance between Will and Hannibal. Now that Will is in jail will the bromance will be with Jack?  

Mads Mikkelsen:  I think we've seen the writing on the wall between me and Jack.  Besides the work, we have one strong connection, which is obviously, his wife, who is not doing too well.  And I can say honestly that everything that Hannibal approaches, he's approaching in an honest manner.  He does really like Jack and his wife.  And I think for Hannibal, it's quite surprising how much they mean to him as well, which is a different thing.  

Interviewer:  With the show so psychoanalytical, have you learned anything?  Did you go out of your way to learn a little bit about psychology?  Are you observing your world, your family world, and also the rest of the world differently now?  

Laurence Fishburne:  I don't know.  It's funny you asked that because I think for all of us, that's really the draw of  being on the show; it's so psychological and it's always shifting.  The apex of this thing is always shifting from one of us to another one of us, and you're never really sure where Bryan is going to take it.  And that gives us a lot of room to play and make discoveries.  

As actors, we're always thinking about psychology anyway, the psychology of the characters that we play.  So we're not necessarily doing it any more than we would be for our lives, but certainly, with respect to the characters, we're always going "Oh, but that means and that", there's a lot of that going on.  

Interviewer:  Do you have some input on how your characters are going to be?

Hugh Dancy:  In the sense that we respond to what Bryan gives us and tells us about his view of where it's going to go.  The first conversation I ever had with Bryan, he described five seasons worth of TV.  It was kind of bewildering, but it was really impressive and really, it's been true since then he's been very generous, very open, and sharing with what he's got, but it's coming from him.

Interviewer:  So since Will sees who Hannibal is, does it mean he will be more stable and does it mean he will give him a chance?

Hugh Dancy:  Something good might come from this. I think the first part is definitely true, that actually realising -- one of Will's great fears is that he's losing his mind, A, and B, that he might have done these things.  So realising what, in fact, happened gives him a kind of clarity, even a kind of ruthlessness that he never had in the first season.  As far as Alana goes, it's tricky because I'm in jail.

Caroline Dhavernas:  And she has always been very cautious, I think, not to fall into that relationship because of what she does and because of who he is, and she probably knows herself better than - she probably would want to fix him and help him so much that it wouldn't be a sane relationship, I think.