Why Jodie Foster Won't Play Silence of the Lambs' Clarice Again

Oscar winner Jodie Foster opens up about her reason for not playing Clarice Starling, her iconic role from The Silence of the Lambs, again.

Why Jodie Foster Won't Play Silence of the Lambs' Clarice Again

Jodie Foster opens up about her reason for not playing Clarice Starling, her iconic role from The Silence of the Lambs, again. Even before the 1991 psychological thriller, Foster had an impressive career. However, she is undoubtedly best known for playing rookie FBI agent Clarice in Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs. Though author Thomas Harris' characters had been adapted into a film before with Manhunter and would star in several more beyond it, The Silence of the Lambs remains the most impressive of them all, winning five Academy Awards (including one for Foster).

The immense success of The Silence of the Lambs led to some follow-ups, starting with 2001's Hannibal. Anthony Hopkins reprised his Hannibal Lecter twice more, but Foster never returned. There was some talk of her joining Hannibal, but she eventually passed on it due to scheduling conflicts and displeasure with the script. Julianne Moore then played Clarice in Hannibal, an effort that received mixed-to-negative reviews. Many felt Moore's performance paled in comparison to Foster's.

Related: Jodie Foster's Net Worth (& How Much She Declined By Rejecting Hannibal)

Foster recently appeared on Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast to talk about her new film The Mauritanian, as well as past projects like The Silence of the Lambs. She addressed her decision not to return to the role of Clarice Starling, stating it ultimately comes down to her lack of involvement with Hannibal. "There’s been some stuff over the years about reprising [Clarice], but both Jonathan and I were both disappointed not to do the sequel," Foster said. "I have never watched that one."

Taken at face value, it sounds like Foster means she wasn't asked back for Hannibal. However, past reports as well as comments from Foster herself suggest otherwise. It seems more likely that Foster is simply sad she wasn't able to make Hannibal work, and missing out on that took her enthusiasm away. As Hannibal put Clarice in a far different situation than The Silence of the Lambs, Foster might not be too frustrated about avoiding it, but who knows? Audiences will likely never see Foster play Clarice again, and that's okay. Her first performance was already one for the ages.

This comes as another actress is stepping into the role of Clarice for a new Harris-inspired project. Over on CBS, the procedural Clarice recently premiered with Rebecca Breeds in the title role. Clarice is set within the same universe as The Silence of the Lambs, and some have noted how Breeds adopts some of Foster's mannerisms. It just goes to show how iconic Foster's Clarice is and likely always will be. It's a shame she didn't get to reprise the part like Hopkins did, but if she had to be in just one movie, it's probably for the best that it was The Silence of the Lambs instead of anything else.

More: Silence of the Lambs Ending & Real Meaning Explained

Source: Happy Sad Confused