It appears that the lambs have not stopped screaming for FBI agent Clarice Starling, who will now be played by Rebecca Breeds in an upcoming series that continues her story. Joining her in the Clarice cast are the likes of Kal Penn as a fellow agent, Michael Cudlitz as a district attorney already well known to the of the “Hannibal” universe, and many more.
Audiences were first introduced to Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs - the sequel to Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon - which was made into an acclaimed 1991 thriller. Director Jonathan Demme’s film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Sir Anthony Hopkins as the chilling, but charming, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and Best Actress for Jodie Foster as the ambitious FBI rookie. Now, in the tradition of Bryan Fuller’s striking prequel series Hannibal, this new CBS original focuses on Starling’s journey following the case that acquainted her with the iconic, cannibal psychiatrist.
In the event that the series’ lead actress, or anyone else in the cast, looks familiar to you, but you cannot seem to put your finger on why, allow us to help. The is our way of shedding light on the past careers of the biggest stars and most fascinating characters from Clarice, starting with the central heroine.
Rebecca Breeds (Clarice Starling)
Like many other performers from Down Under, Rebecca Breeds on popular Australian soap operas Blue Water High and Home and Away getting noticed by American audiences for recurring roles on the Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals and Pretty Little Liars on Freeform (when it was still called ABC Family, initially). The 33-year-old actress, who also wrote and stars in a short comedy film called Air that is now in post-production, is leading an American TV series for the first time in the title role of Clarice.
Simon Northwood (Buffalo Bill)
Since you could, technically, call Hannibal Lecter an ally to Clarice Starling, that would undoubtedly mean her enemy is Jame Gumb - nicknamed “Buffalo Bill” for transgender suit he aspires to make from his female victims’ skin - now played by Simon Northwood on Clarice. Thanks to his imposing frame, the 52-year-old Englishman is no stranger to playing bad guys, such as Jay Baruchel’s 2020 thriller Random Acts of Violence, but also some good guys, like on Star Trek: Discovery. other than working as an animator on several Disney films and even Space Jam, he his has kept the most busy in Hollywood performing stunts for films like 300, shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, and even the Hannibal prequel series.
Marnee Carpenter (Catherine Martin)
We experience Buffalo Bill’s treacherous ways in The Silence of the Lambs through the eyes of Catherine Martin, who also appears on Clarice in what is unquestionably the biggest role to date for Marnee Carpenter. However, the young actress has scored bit parts on popular series like Good Girls and fellow CBS crime drama Criminal Minds and ever worked on the set of the Paramount Network hit Yellowstone as a dog handler.
Jayne Atkinson (Ruth Martin)
Catherine Martin’s US senator mother, Ruth, is also coming back in Clarice as played by Jayne Atkinson, who knows a few things about political intrigue from her roles as a homeland security head on 24, Secretary of State on Netflix’s House of Cards, and on Madam Secretary as the Vice President of the United States. The British actress also had a recurring role on Criminal Minds and is best known on the big screen from the first two Free Willy movies and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village as William Hurt’s spouse.
Shawn Doyle (Clarice’s Therapist)
After all Clarice Starling has already been through before even becoming an official FBI agent, I totally support her decision to see a therapist, portrayed by Shawn Doyle on the series - which might be the actor’s biggest role without a given name to date. The 52-year-old Canadian has been in the business a while, previously appearing alongside a few of his Clarice co-stars on Criminal Minds and House of Cards, as well as a recurring spot on The Expanse, playing Bill Priestap in the The Comey Rule miniseries, and, perhaps most famously, the bad guy in Frequency - an underrated sci-fi thriller from 1999.
Caitlin Stryker (Rebecca)
Another native Canadian Clarice star is Caitlin Stryker, or Caitlin Cromwell as she went by before her marriage to actor and filmmaker Bradley Stryker of Altered Carbon fame. Her most notable credits during and since that early period include multiple CW dramas (The Flash, Supernatural, iZombie), an episode of the the recent The Twilight Zone reboot, and she also has her husband’s movie Sheltering Season and TV series inspired by George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead on the horizon.
Kal Penn (Emin Grigoryan)
Clarice actually marks a reunion for Rebecca Breeds and Kal Penn, who previously starred in the short-lived CBS sitcom We Are Men together. The crime drama also marks the second time the 43-year-old actor has played a character with a badge among more famously playing doctors (like on House), stoners (particularly in the Harold & Kumar franchise), or White House employees (on CBS’ Designated Survivor and in real life, too).
Michael Cudlitz (Paul Krendler)
Clarice marks only the latest of many, many times Michael Cudlitz has played someone who works in criminal justice, from an uncredited appearance as a state trooper in the original Walker, Texas Ranger to his starring role on TNT’s Southland as Officer John Cooper. However, some audiences may find it easier to recognize the 56-year-old New Yorker in a military uniform, which he wore as Abraham Ford on The Walking Dead, in HBO’s Emmy-winning World War II miniseries Band of Brothers, and the Call of Duty video game franchise as multiple characters.
Raoul Bhaneja (TBA)
Variety has been a blessing on the career of British-born Raoul Bhaneja, whose more recent and most notable roles include recurring spots on NBC’s Blindspot and the live action TV adaptation of DC Comics’ Titans series, as well as Possessor - a disturbing horror thriller from David Cronenberg’s son, David. There is know word, however, on who the British-born is playing on Clarice, which makes one wonder - could he be the new Hannibal Lecter?
Reports have already claimed that the cunning cannibal is not part of this new series, but how many times have producers and studio execs tried to pull that sort of surprise on fans? We will be sure to report the truth about Raoul Banejha’s role on Clarice and other fascinating revelations as they are come up on the show here on CinemaBlend.
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Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.