Jodie Foster Reflects On Her Favorite Memories From Filming The Silence Of The Lambs

It's hard to believe Silence of the Lambs turns thirty years old this February. Heading into this milestone, the psychological thriller is now a spine-chilling classic and important to the fabric of our pop culture. The Best Picture winner is the only horror flick to ever win the coveted prize and continues to be the most iconic role of Jodie Foster’s career as she returns to the big screen for the first time since 2018 for The Mauritanian. And as you can imagine, Foster still has fond memories from working on the iconic movie.

When CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg spoke with Jodie Foster ahead of the release of The Mauritanian, a legal drama about a man seeking justice for his imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay detention camp without charge or trial. During the conversation, he asked the Best Actress-winner about what jumps to mind when reflecting on her experience as Clarice Starling. In her words:

The biggest thing that comes to mind is really the relationship between me and Tony Hopkins in the film and those scenes that we did when he was behind bars and I was on the other side. The feeling that I had of that, when you know that you’re doing something, that is really important and it’s really real.

That’s certainly the lasting memory many of us have about Silence of the Lambs, too. The most electric aspect of the 1991 film is the tense moments where Clarice and Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector are face-to-face as the FBI trainee utilizes him to track down the serial killer Buffalo Bill. Foster expanded on her time on Silence of the Lambs with a conversely fun time on set without intense stares or horrifying violence. In her words:

I think my most memorable moment was the Super Bowl party that we had while we were shooting, which wasn’t really a party. It was just me and a boombox in my house, with a lot of people dropping by. You know, hitting ‘play’ when I want to go to the next song, dancing, it was snowing outside in Pittsburgh. You know, those are the highlights I remember from making films… You have to love what you do, and you have to find joy in it to go to the dark places.

Silence of the Lambs was a super dramatic film and likely an exhaustive shoot, so it’s nice to hear Jodie Foster and the cast had some fun times together in between. Some of the most memorable moments in movies are often the parts not caught on camera and, for Foster, she loved the atmosphere of dancing in her Pittsburgh house on Super Bowl night, blasting music with the film’s crew.

Jodie Foster never reprised her role as Clarice following the Best Picture winner, but Anthony Hopkins did continue his Silence of the Lambs role for Hannibal and Red Dragon. The franchise memorably lived on through the cult favorite spinoff show Hannibal starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, which tracked the origins of Lecter.

Hannibal’s showrunner had plans to intersect the show with Silence of the Lambs for the fourth season, but the series was prematurely cancelled in 2015 and he has not been given the rights to adapt those characters, despite interest from fans and the cast. CBS has now made a series exclusively about Clarice Starling following the events of Silence of the Lambs, which fittingly arrives just ahead of the 1991 film’s anniversary on Valentine’s Day. The Originals star Rebecca Breeds will play the role in Clarice, which premieres on February 11.

Check out Jodie Foster in The Mauritanian in select theaters on February 12.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.