Even Hannibal Lecter Can’t Resist the Allure of Jodie Foster
Welcome to Thirstory, where we whet your appetite with pages from the Interview archive that were almost too hot to print. This week, we commemorate the 30th Anniversary of The Silence of the Lambs by visiting the six-time Interview cover star Jodie Foster’s October 1991 feature.
Few figures have made vegetables as villainous as Hannibal Lecter. Though Ivanka Trump became a worthy contender with her canned beans last summer, not many moments in history have made our skin crawl like the scene in The Silence of the Lambs when Lecter utters the line, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” Anthony Hopkins, who played the film’s designated cannibal, was so terrifying in his performance that he scared the Academy into awarding him the Oscar for Best Actor in 1992. The success of his portrayal, as he told this magazine, was likely due in part to his foil, the FBI agent Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster. “Clarice taps into Lecter’s sense of humor,” he said. “He finds it amusing that this little nothing of a girl… It’s a fairy story, you see, in which the heroine goes into the cave of the Wicked Dragon. I conceived of it as a fairy tale, as a spiritual archetype of good and evil. She shines the light into the darkness and it helps her see her own demons.” As Hopkins alluded, Foster not only shines in the film; she’s positively luminescent. This week, The Silence of the Lambs marks its 30th anniversary since it was first released in New York City theaters. The movie has aged like a fine Chianti from Lecter’s cellar—as does its ever-alluring lead. Below, see Foster as captured by the photographer Matthew Rolston in 1991, just as she was graduating from ingenue to shining star.