The “Interesting Dilemma” of Selecting Hannibal Lecter’s Mask

Hannibal Lecter’s mask is one of the most iconic props in cinematic history, but choosing the grisly visor was simple. The Silence of the Lambs turns 30 on Sunday (February 14) and to celebrate the Oscar-winning horror-thriller, The Hollywood Reporter Let’s take a look back at one of the film’s most important casting decisions: Dr. Lecter’s Mask.

Kristi Zea, the production designer of the 1991 film Orion based on the 1988 Thomas Harris novel, called choosing the right mask for a cannibal killer an “interesting dilemma” in the process. movie making.

“[Costume designer] Colleen Atwood has a lot of ideas, and we keep working on one idea after another,” says Zea.

Anthony Hopkins will screen the experiment with a variety of disturbing masks – some scary, others ludicrous. “For a while, there have been thoughts about fences, the mesh masking type,” says Atwood.

However, none of them are it. So the costume designer decided to create a mask. “We had another idea for a fiberglass mask,” explains Atwood. “We thought the mask would complete it, but when we got it [final] sample, it’s raw fiberglass, looks like an old piece of dried leather – or even leather. And it was so great, so it never went back to its paint job.”

And that’s the mask that Hopkins’ Lecter wears in the movie.

Facial restraint is a big part of Lecter’s outfit, but Atwood says his outfit is just as important and takes some time to choose from.

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“With Anthony Hopkins, the fit was very precise,” she said. “We had a lot of accessories. Even though it was a prison uniform, we felt that Hannibal would somehow make it look like his clothes were made for him even while he was in prison. “

As for the costumes of all the characters, Atwood said she tries to avoid dating the movie through fashion, noting in this section, “I want it to be a movie you can watch in 10 years. and not at any time.”

The Silence of the Lambs was a box office success and importantly, continues to inspire new works, such as Clarice on CBS. At the 64th Academy Awards, the film swept the top five categories: Best Picture (Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt and Ron Bozman); best director (the late Jonathan Demme); best actor (Hopkins); best actress (Jodie Foster); and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally). It was also nominated for best sound and best editing.

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