Whenever it comes time to make a list of movie villains who stand the test of time and scare us all out of our wits repeatedly, there is never any doubt that the name Hannibal Lecter will show up somewhere near the top of the ranking. As played by Anthony Hopkins in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs, the character left its stamp on popular culture, going down in film history as one of the creepiest bad guys ever created.
With most roles that end up becoming this beloved and well-known, though, there was someone else who can very close to playing the part. And, we know now that that person is Bombshell‘s John Lithgow. The actor talked recently about how close he came to nabbing the soon-to-be iconic role of the psychopathic cannibal and what his hopes were for the gig at the time.
Ooooh! So close, right? John Lithgow made a very good point, while he was chatting with Deadline, when he noted that he wondered aloud to The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme why they’d brought in him for a meeting after offering Hannibal Lecter to Anthony Hopkins not long before. Were they simply hoping that if Hopkins turned it down they’d have Lithgow readily available to say yes and sign on the dotted line?
Either way, the point turned out to be moot, and as we all know Anthony Hopkins did not turn down his shot at taking on the mantle of Hannibal Lecter. Not only did this lead to him immediately getting a spot in the annals of film history, but it also turned into a Best Actor…