Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter Regret: ‘I Did It Once, Made The Mistake Of Doing It Twice — Three Times’

In the thriller film The Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins was brilliant as Dr. Hannibal Lecter — a psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. Hopkins’ portrayal of the diabolical character earned him an Academy Award, and he returned to reprise the role in Hannibal and Red Dragon. However, it recently became known that the veteran actor regrets having participated in the last two of the Hannibal Lecter film series.

In his own words, Hopkins told the Wrap that he wishes he hadn’t portrayed the killer again in Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002), the sequel and prequel to the thriller directed by Jonathan Demme, which won five Oscars.

In an interview with Daniel Holloway from the Wrap, Anthony Hopkins revealed that we will never see him again as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He made it clear that he is finished with the role.

“I did it once,” Hopkins said of his iconic role. “Made the mistake of doing it twice — three times.”

When questioned as to whether he would ever consider playing the role again, Hopkins simply replied “No,” and then expressed his regret for having participated in the films that followed The Silence of the Lambs.

Hopkins played the murderer and cannibal three times. His brilliant (though brief) performance in The Silence of the Lambs in 1991 won him an Oscar. He can be seen in the movie for just over 16 minutes, or less than 14 percent of the film. According to Wikipedia, it is one of the shortest lead performances to ever win an Oscar. Hopkins received the Academy Award for Best Actor, along with Jodie Foster, who won Best Actress for the same movie.

For the sequel, Hannibal, in 2001, and the prequel, Red Dragon, in 2002, Hopkins returned to the big screen as Hannibal Lecter, a decision he regrets today. With regard to The Silence of the Lambs, however, Hopkins shows no remorse, even though he is not overly enthusiastic when talking about the classic.

The Silence of the Lambs is okay,” Hopkins said. “It was a good film.”

Mads Mikkelsen last played the role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the TV series Hannibal, but it was stopped after three seasons.

Anthony Hopkins can be seen in the upcoming action film, Collide, which is directed by Eran Creevy and written by Eran Creevy and F. Scott Frazier. The film stars Felicity Jones, Nicholas Hoult, Anthony Hopkins, and Ben Kingsley. It has a scheduled release date of April 1, 2016.

Whether we want to admit it or not, Anthony Hopkins gave us one of the most iconic roles of all time, and he will always be remembered for that character. Hopkins didn’t fully explain why he regrets starring in Hannibal and Red Dragon. While these films were not acting masterpieces, as was the case with The Silence of the Lambs, both received a fair amount of praise from critics, and Hannibal broke box office records in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, it is understandable that Hopkins had just about enough of being associated with this character, who is often cited as being one of the greatest villains of all time.

[Image via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment]