Silence of the Lambs: Hopkins/Hepburn

Last night, I decided to watch Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (2004).

It’s not the first time I have seen the film but it hit me last night how bizarre Cate Blanchett’s voice is.

Blanchett plays the role of the iconic movie actress Katharine Hepburn and it, personally, is a realistic accent.

It got me wondering how she got the stop-on accent.

According to research, Blanchett diligently worked with a voice coach in order to master the Hepburn infamous accent.

Interestingly, Blanchett was the first person to win an Oscar for portraying a previous Oscar winner.

She nailed the voice perfectly of the Bringing Up Baby (1938) star.

More importantly, and interesting in my opinion, is the connection between Anthony Hopkins and Hepburn.

In his iconic role in Silence of the Lambs (1991), Anthony Hopkins said that his Hannibal voice was a mix of Truman Capote and Katharine Hepburn.

He achieved a certain perverse poignancy (and won an Oscar) by informing Hannibal the Cannibal with demonic charm, a sense of wounded innocence and an insinuating drawl that crossed Truman Capote with Katharine Hepburn.

He included some unusual touches for Hannibal Lecter during his preparation for the role, among which were making Lecter’s voice similar to the cutting warble of Katharine Hepburn.

Also through never blinking, he brought a characteristic that he picked up from watching tapes of convicted murderer Charles Manson.

It shows how talented Hopkins is as an actor but also shows just how iconic and memorable the voice of Hepburn was.

It makes one wonder how she would have felt with Hopkins anecdote.

Having worked together on The Lion in Winter (1968), one could hope that she would have been happy with it.

Probably would exclaim ‘Golly!’


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