31 July 2013 by

Silence Of The Lambs Turns 25! Let's Pay Tribute To The Enduring Influence Of Clarice

Silence Of The Lambs Turns 25! Let's Pay Tribute To The Enduring Influence Of Clarice Starling

Tomorrow Thomas Harris releases the 25th Anniversary edition of The Silence Of The Lambs, in the introduction the author reveals the real life inspiration behind Hannibal Lecter, Dr.Salazar “a small, lithe man with dark red hair.”

While we process the horror of a real life Lecter, it got us thinking about Jonathan Demme’s film version of the book. Specifically Jodie Foster’s amazing turn as Clarice Starling. That steely FBI detective in training who proved to be a friend-slash-match for Hannibal The Cannibal, is still influencing the many female film and TV detectives who have followed in her wake. Let’s take a look at some of our favourites…

1) Elisabeth Moss In Top Of The Lake


The actress told Entertainment Weekly that for Robin, her fish out of water character from Top Of The Lake, she looked to Clarice for inspiration. Detective Peggy Olson said: “(Clarice) was a massive inspiration for me. Thinking about that character and Jodie Foster’s performance gave me a lot of courage – there was somebody who was feminine, vulnerable, sensitive and physically small.”

2) Sofie Grabol in The Killing


With her knitted Faroe Island jumpers, steely Spidey sense and taciturn nature, Sarah Lund combined some key elements that made up Clarice’s character. In fact, she was basically Jodie Foster’s character 20 years on, after having attained a smoking habit, experienced some professional hard knocks and was working on some awkward personal issues.  

3) Gillian Anderson in The Fall and Hannibal


Gillian Anderson’s two most recent roles have conjured up the spirit of Clarice. As Stella Gibson in The Fall, where she plays the DCI who’s not willing to compromise her femininity despite working in an all-male environment, and as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, the therapist in the SOTL spin-off Hannibal. Interestingly too, her most famous role has a Clarice link. Gillian said: “The X Files started shortly after The Silence Of The Lambs came out, and (show creator) Chris Carter told me shortly after we began that (Dana) Scully was in fact based on the character of Clarice Starling.”  


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