British actor Hugh Dancy has a lot to portray with his “Hannibal” character — the tormented, but brilliant profiler Will Graham. And when he’s concerned about whether he’s on the mark or not in his performance, he has an expert to turn to at home — his wife, “Homeland’s” Claire Danes.
“I did find myself last year coming back and saying — ‘cause there’s a real insecurity that comes from playing a character who’s totally on the edge and sometimes going over the edge, and we both ended up, the first seasons of our respective shows, institutionalized and nobody trusting us,” Hugh told a small collective of reporters following a presentation of “Hannibal” during January’s Television Critics Association Tour. “And for me, I come back and say, ‘Look, you’ve gone through this. Like, I’m not completely overdoing it, right?’
“She understood it can be quite a lonely place as an actor to be doing that… moving very fast as you do in television, you have to really just trust that you’re judging it right,” he added.
“Hannibal” returns for its second season tonight on NBC, picking up with the dark note that ended Season 1 – Mads Mikkelsen’s Dr. Lecter had framed Will for Hannibal’s crimes, landing the dog-loving, night-sweating, FBI consultant (with encephalitis) behind bars.
“We have to play out where we left off at the end of the first season, meaning that at the beginning of this season, Will is still in position of trying to convince people of what’s happened,” Hugh told AccessHollywood.com after the panel. “He’s still putting up his hand and saying, ‘Hey! This wasn’t me! Hannibal did it!’ Ultimately, the setup, Hannibal’s framed him so successfully, he realizes, ‘OK, that’s a dead end. I’ve got to find a different route and that’s what happens.’”
And that different route, Hugh told Access, could see good guy Will showing off a different side.
“He tries various maneuvers. I mean, Will is a very smart guy and one of the interesting things, I think, is seeing him embrace a side of himself that can be manipulative,”
“Hannibal” returns for Season 2, Friday night at 10/9c on NBC.
-- Jolie Lash