Silence of the Lambs scene

Actor Contribution:

He starts the scene with a weird posture – feet together

He modulates his voice a lot – different sounds – he even sings “closer!” in a creepy voice!

He uses lots of significant pauses

He imitates her southern accent to insult her

He has sarcasm in his voice often

He wets his fingers to turn the page, a common habit but creepy in this context

He slams the document tray and turns his back to end the conversation

But when she comes back at the end and he agrees to help her, he is pressed against the glass with his arms open – pointing his body toward her – a body language indicator of “openness”



Filmmakers Contribution:

Creepy music at opening, and Jody Foster must walk down the hallway being screamed at by other prisoners – it builds tension and anticipation

The camera does a “slow reveal” movement to show Anthony Hopkins waiting

Hopkins is filmed with the camera directly in front of him most of the time, so he looks like he is staring right at us

At one point he steps closer, into the light, to reveal his intense eyes

A lot of over-the-shoulder shots where Jody Foster looks smaller and more vulnerable

He invites her to sit, so she is lower than him (high angle on her, low angle on him)

He gets very close shots, even an extreme closeup

When she puts the document through, she goes through shadows

The script: he can smell her perfume, he can draw, he can analyse the conversation and recognizes where she comes from – in other words, he is incredibly, dangerously smart and manipulative