My fangirly heart was beating very hard today as I read Empire magazine’s interview with Hannibal‘s showrunner Bryan Fuller and stars Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy. The interview itself reveals nothing completely new – they even talked about King Arthur… again – but it also contains a mention of Richard Armitage and his character, Francis Dolarhyde, a.k.a. the Tooth Fairy. Which is why the upcoming third season of Hannibal has become my most anticipated show in the summer.
It’s not just the fact that Armitage is returning to television and on one of the best shows on it right now, but it’s the fact that they’re bringing Dolarhyde to the show. I spent a good part of the last decade hearing my mother wax poetic about Hannibal Lecter in all of its incarnations. A fan of the character ever since she discovered Thomas Harris and then watched The Silence of the Lambs, Mom is the first person I know who ever mentioned the name Francis Dolarhyde. And then she made me watch Red Dragon, which gave me nightmares at that time sometime in 2003, and which still gave me nightmares when we did our Hannibal movie marathon last year (we couldn’t get over him after Hannibal‘s violent and heartbreaking ending last year.) Which is also why I haven’t worked up the courage to actually watch Manhunter although Mother dearest assured me it was fine. Now that a favorite actor of mine is playing this character, would I actually be able to watch Dolarhyde and not get a nightmare?
Doubtful. Especially after I read the interview on Empire, which indicates someone even more intense than Tom Noonan or Ralph Fiennes or possibly both of them combined. Knowing how ‘Method’ Richard Armitage is doesn’t assuage my fear of a Tooth Fairyesque nightmare either. He takes his roles seriously, it seems, and Hannibal‘s Dolarhyde doesn’t seem to be an exception. On the one hand, that’s admirable. On the other, OH NO NIGHTMARES!
But if there’s one other thing that I got from this interview is that… well, we’re probably going to get a sexy Dolarhyde. Okay, that’s probably just because Armitage is sexy as hell in real life, but Hannibal has always managed to make even the creepiest of people look aesthetically pleasing.
Here’s the interview:
Bryan, you’e previously said that you’d cover Red Dragon in Season 4 and The Silence Of The Lambs in Season 5. Why the change of plan?
Fuller: When we started plotting our ‘Hannibal abroad’ arc, it quickly became apparent that we couldn’t afford to do it for a full season. We ran out of traveller’s cheques! So we thought, “Instead of spreading Red Dragon out over 13 episodes, let’s make it a great six-hour miniseries.” It keeps it tight and quick, so nobody is looking at their watches.
Dancy: Both sections are very ambitious. We’re all over Europe Paris, Italy, Lithuania. Then we’re back in America for the world of Francis Dolarhyde. What goes on inside his mind and the crimes he commits. It’s very rich and fertile ground.
Mikkelsen: I will say that Hannibal is probably eager to meet the Red Dragon. And slightly jealous.
How is it working with Richard Armitage, who plays Dolarhyde?
Fuller: I remember seeing one of the first shots we did with Richard as the Dragon. It was the “blood appears quite black in the moonlight” moment (from the Harris novel). Richard was outside in the freezing Toronto sub-Arctic weather, steam roiling off him from the warm blood we’d doused him with. He’s a pro, and his insights into how Dolarhyde’s mind works are so clever.
Dancy: I’ve only met Richard briefly, when he was in for makeup tests. Anybody who knows the story will know there’s a fair amount of make-up to be applied: prosthetics, tattoos and so on. But he’s really excited to be here. I’m looking forward to seeing him unleashed.
The day I see Mikkelsen and Armitage share a screen, I will probably self combust from all the sexual attraction. If Hugh Dancy gets in the mix as well… all I can say is “boom”. Assuming I still have energy left to do any exploding. I’d probably just melt in my chair.
My enthusiasm is not going to wane anytime soon because, unlike other shows/films, Fuller, Mikkelsen and Dancy all admit to the homoerotic element to Hannibal and Will’s relationship. This Empire interview covers that topic as well, with Mikkelsen going so far as to claim that the reason Hannibal stabbed Will last season was because Will broke his heart. He also teased that, in Season 3, Hannibal is pining for Will. It doesn’t get more ‘slash’-y than that. I’m admire their willingness to acknowledge this and I can’t wait to see how that is.
So, iconic villain coming to the show, plus Zachary Quinto, plus all the amazing food p0rn that we’re going to be treated to are a failsafe recipe to make me glued for two months or so starting June 4th. I’ll worry about the nightmares later.
Grab Empire magazine April issue to read the complete interview.