After winning an Oscar for her performance as Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster decided not to reprise the role in the sequel. When asked about it in an interview with Total Film, she said

The official reason I didn’t do Hannibal is I was doing another movie, Flora Plum... So I get to say, in a nice, dignified way, that I wasn’t available when that movie was being shot... I saw Hannibal. I won’t comment.

Obviously this implies that she didn't like something about the movie. But what was it exactly?

  • 2
    All these years later...people are still watching Hannibal and no one has ever heard of Flora Plum. Jodie made the wrong decision.
    – user15489
    Oct 27, 2014 at 13:48
  • 1
    Whatever her reasons, she dodged a bullet on the remake!! She's not stupid, my guess is she saw the script and realized how disappointing the sequel would be..
    – user16893
    Jan 4, 2015 at 9:03

1 Answer 1


No, it doesn't imply she didn't like something because that is not correctly what she said.

The official reason I didn't do Hannibal is I was doing another movie, Flora Plum [a long-cherished project that has yet to be shot]. So I get to say, in a nice, dignified way, that I wasn't available when that movie was being shot. But Clarice meant so much to Jonathan and I, she really did, and I know it sounds kind of strange to say but there was no way that either of us could really trample on her.

It is only a second question asked to her about whether she watched Hannibal she said:

[whispers] I saw Hannibal. I won’t comment.

This is obviously her being respectful of the movie and leaving her comments about what she thought the direction of the movie should have gone.

There's been so much weird blood about the film. I wanted them to make their movie. I paid $7.50 to see it and you know, go with God. None of us [Foster, LAMBS director Jonathan Demme and writer Ted Tally) really commented on their parade, and no matter how much De Laurentiis commented on my parade, I wasn't going to start talking about him in the press.


The only guess anyone can take, is how Clarice developed in Hannibal as compared to Silence of the Lambs.

Why did she not take the role? It is just as the quote you gave said, she was previously occupied with her own movie. When she says dignified, I think she is talking about the fact that she is proud of her project Flora Plum.

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    Yes, it sounds like a dignified and reserved way for Ms. Foster to have declined to comment. One can interpret her reply as they will, but what she actually said still stands. I was personally left with the impression that she wasn't too impressed with Hannibal, even though she did not say those words. I also wonder if she is uninterested in being part of sequels, as many people consider them too risky to be good, and perhaps she would not consider a sequel as a wise career move. Ms. Foster is a very intelligent, talented woman and she carefully applies those qualities to wise career choices.
    – user9351
    Apr 30, 2014 at 19:53
  • Sounds like Foster, Demme and Tally had a common opinion, and De Laurentiis was in a separate camp. De Laurentiis obviously was going ahead with the sequel and we can see he asked Foster to star. Since De Laurentiis made the movie without Foster, and Foster identifies with Demme and Tally, I conclude they must have had creative differences. Foster says she was making a movie at the time to alleviate press tension.
    – Rian Rizvi
    Feb 25, 2016 at 5:23

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