Of all the follow-up projects that surfaced in the years after The Silence of the Lambs changed the landscape of serial killer entertainment, CBS' new trauma drama Clarice is perhaps the most unexpected. Rather than tying its hook to the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter that every other project focused on – for legal reasons more than anything else – Clarice is all about its titular FBI agent and the emotional turmoil she experienced after her PTSD-inspiring experiences with Hannibal and Buffalo Bill. So it's obvious why fans are curious whether or not the O.G. Clarice Starling, actress Jodie Foster, will be tuning in.
While it's not exactly common behavior for actors to watch movie sequels that they aren't involved with, it does happen. This particular case may also have the advantage of Clarice being more of a standalone project as opposed to a direct sequel, such as 2001's baffling Hannibal, with Julianne Moore taking over the Clarice role. As such, even though the CBS thriller does indeed feature direct references to Silence of the Lambs, it's at least one layer removed from Jodie Foster's connection to the material. But how does Foster feel about it, and is she planning on tuning in? Infer what you will from the actress' interview with Uproxx. In her words::
I probably…. I don’t know. I’m really happy that Clarice has a whole new life. That character keeps coming to life over and over again. It’s a testament to the original book by Thomas Harris. Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon, they’re really wonderful texts, and he’s an incredible writer. So, I’m glad that she continues to have a life moving forward.
It's probably safe to assume that Jodie Foster is not cancelling previously settled plans in order to stay at home on Thursday night in order to watch CBS' Clarice with the rest of America. That said, it's mildly surprising that she even entertained the notion with something other than a flat, "Nah, fam." Actors tend to have zero concern or shame in making it known that they won't be watching particular projects, especially ones that connect to major moments from their careers. So while it seems like Foster was perhaps going to say she "probably" won't watch The Originals' Rebecca Breeds taking over the role, that hesitation and reversal could potentially mean Foster will let her curiosity about her character's next phase take over.
Jodie Foster was lightly pressed for clarity, and was asked if she would maybe stop on Clarice if she was flipping through channels looking for something to watch. Her answer was slightly more positive, if not exactly a full embrace of the CBS drama. In her words:
I guess. I’m always going to be partial to our movie.
Jodie Foster's standpoint there is perfectly sensible, since Silence of the Lambs has a proven legacy, and stands as one of the very few films that swept the Academy Awards' five main categories – Best Movie, Lead Actor and Actress, Director and Adapted Screenplay. I imagine fans would have raised a suspicious eyebrow had Foster become a full-fledged Fannibal for Bryan Fuller's exquisite Hannibal drama on NBC, especially considering that show wasn't legally able to use Clarice Starling as a character. But it's totally understandable for the actress to be hesitant about embracing a new Lambs-related project that she isn't personally or professionally invested in.
While CBS would probably love to have Jodie Foster as a vocal cheerleader for its new Clarice show, I'm betting they're more hopeful that millions of non-celebrity viewers are eager to tune into the new show when it debuts on February 11 at 10:00 p.m. ET.