Anthony Hopkins first thought 'Silence of the Lambs' was a 'children's story'

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By RADIO.COM

Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling together again.

Thirty years after its release, “Silence of the Lambs” co-stars Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster reunited and reminisced about their experiences making the Oscar-winning film.

In a virtual chat for Variety, Hopkins disclosed how he initially thought the R-rated thriller was much more family-friendly movie.

“I was doing a play in London called 'M Butterfly," Hopkins recalled "My agent said, 'I want to send you a script.' I said, 'What is it?' He said, 'It's called 'Silence of the Lambs.' I said 'Is it a children's story?'"

He quickly realized it was not for kids, but became enraptured with the screenplay.

“The script came over and I started reading it and after 10 pages, I phoned my agent," the 83-year-old added. "I said, 'Is this a real offer? I don't want to read any more because I want to know if there's an offer. It's the best part I've ever read.'"

The film’s director, Jonathan Demme, then told him Foster was already attached to play the role of FBI agent Starling.

"I couldn't believe my luck, and I was scared to speak to you," Hopkins admitted. "I thought, 'She just won an Oscar.'"

Foster won her first Academy Award for her role in the 1989 film, “The Accused.”

While Hopkins admitted he was “nervous” about taking the role of the fictional serial killer, Foster believes the film was “life-changing” for both of them.

"I'm sure you still get people who come up to you and say, 'Would you like a nice Chianti?'” the 58-year-old actress and director asked. "Oh yeah," Hopkins replied. "They do."

Released in 1992, “Silence of the Lambs” grossed over $272 million worldwide. The film won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hopkins) and Best Actress (Foster).

Hopkins reprised the role for the 2001 sequel, “Hannibal,” and the 2002 prequel, “Red Dragon.”

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