Did Anthony Hopkins Blink During ‘The Silence of the Lambs’?

Anthony Hopkins is known for playing Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins once said he didn’t blink during the film. Why did he try to keep from blinking? Was Hopkins able to keep his eyelids perfectly still? Here’s what Showbiz Cheat Sheet knows.

Anthony Hopkins’ rise to fame

One of Hopkins’ early acting roles was in a 1960 episode of the TV series A Matter of Degree. In 1965, he played Dr. Harding in an episode of The Man in Room 17 titled “A Minor Operation.” Hopkins made his film debut in the 1967 movie The White Bus.

The following year Hopkins got his big break when he played Richard in The Lion in the Winter. Some of Hopkins’ other acting roles include appearances in The Elephant Man (1980), Silence of the Lambs (1991)The Remains of the Day (1993)Shadowlands (1993), and Westworld (2016-2018).

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Anthony Hopkins movies

As of this writing, Hopkins’ highest-grossing film is Thor: Ragnarok, with $850.4 million in worldwide box office earnings. This includes more than $315 million at the domestic box office and $535.4 million internationally.

Hopkins’ other high-grossing films include Hannibal (2001), with more than $350 million in worldwide box office earnings; Noah (2014), with $352.8 million in worldwide box office earnings; and Thor: The Dark World (2013), with $644.6 million in worldwide box office earnings.

During an interview on The Dick Cavett Show, Hopkins says he didn’t blink during the movie. Why would he try not to blink? The actor explained he once met a “madman” while he was in London. He described the situation as “pretty scary.”

One thing Hopkins says he noticed about the man was that he didn’t blink. He used his mannerisms as inspiration for his role as Hannibal Lecter. Although Hopkins says he didn’t blink, there are clips from the movie that show him blinking. For example, in the video below you can see him blink quickly during the 1:37 and 1:44 mark.

It’s possible Hopkins didn’t realize he was blinking during that scene. He was probably so caught up in remembering his lines and delivering a compelling dialogue.  

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Anthony Hopkins in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

Hopkins’ acting talent did not go unnoticed. He won many awards for his role in The Silence of the Lambs. His awards include a BAFTA, New York Film Critics Circle Award, National Board of Review Award, Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award, Saturn Award, an Oscar, and Chicago Film Critics Association Award.  

The Silence of the Lambs earned $275.7 million in worldwide box office earnings. This includes $130.7 million at the domestic box office and $145 million internationally.

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