:Speaking of which, you have a very exciting actor coming up on Hannibal. In Gillian Anderson, you’ve cast one of TV’s most famous FBI agents. How did that come about?
Well, originally the role was written for a much older woman. It was the character of Hannibal’s psychiatrist, so the idea was that she was going to be retired and he kept her working and then I thought, oh wouldn’t it be cool to hire Angela Lansbury and have Jessica Fletcher sitting there.
That’s a mash-up and a half!
Yeah, and you know, that didn’t work out with Angela Lansbury’s schedule and then I went to NBC and said, ‘Is there anybody that you guys are excited about?’, and they were like, ‘If you go younger, what about Gillian Anderson?’, and I was like, ‘Let’s go younger!’
That opened up this whole door where the character isn’t retired because she’s of retirement age, but because something traumatic happened during her practice, and then it opened up this whole story between her and Hannibal Lecter and how much she knows about him and what is the nature of their relationship… We kind of build to a great place by the end of the series when we’re wondering how much does she know? How much has she figured out? How much is she in danger? You have this icy, sexy woman across from this icy sexy man and there’s a vibration that happens between them that is really rich and exciting to watch. Not only was I a fan of The X-Files, but I was a fan of her Miss Havisham (in the BBC 2011 Great Expectations), in which I thought she was brilliant.
Another role that’s traditionally taken by a much older actress.