Though the material is familiar, the creator of “Hannibal” promises new insights into the title character.
Creator Bryan Fuller and actor Hugh Dancy took part in a media conference call March 29 to discuss the NBC drama, which premieres April 4 at 10 p.m.
Fuller discussed what new insights this show may have compared to the films in the franchise.
“Given what's already been written, I thought there was a lot that existed that hadn't been explored yet," Fuller said. "So I was really excited at the opportunity to really explore things that didn't make it to any of the movies. And, you know, they've made a handful of films and because of the limited real estate that you have in doing a movie that we're doing a television series that gets you 13 hours a season, we were able to get into much more specifics with the character, particularly Will Graham's character who Hugh Dancy plays so magnificently and wonderfully neurotically.”
Dancy was asked what the challenges were in playing Will Graham.
“Will is certainly not easy going, he's not - probably not great company. And he's fairly shut off. And, you know, the danger is that you- well, the challenge is not to just present those things to an audience because if that's all they've got, that's - they would be quite justified in not being very interested in him.
I always felt that the two ends of the compass for Will and the way we present him is that if you just have that middle ground, if you just have the shutdown kind of difficult human being that he is, you really have nothing to go on. But when you see both the kind of visceral, that violence that he has to - that he inhabits away in his brain that we see him reliving on the one hand.
“And then just as importantly on the other hand you see the safe haven that he's created for himself. You see the moment of lightness when he goes back to his home with the dogs, the dog that he's rescued and his efforts just to create a place of lightness, that for me was enough both to pity him and to, you know, care about him. And I thought okay, well that will explain everything in the middle. So, you know, that was a big part of the way I approached it.”
Fuller also shared a nugget from an unlikely advisor to the show- chef Jose Andres.
“One of the things that I though was really interesting about his approach to cannibalism was, you know, one of my first questions is like, you know, what are - what can you eat on the human body and he's - he said, "Everything. You can eat everything.
“He was just talking about preparing a fantastic dish with meat products and there was no kind of concern about where the meat came from, which I thought was sort of a wonderful thing about him because he was an equal opportunity eater. Not necessarily an equal opportunity eater but an - in terms of planning a menu he was equal opportunity.”