Hannibal the Cannibal is back on the
big screen, busily ravaging Florence. Here are the places
where his alter ego, Sir Hopkins, unwinds.
"I need to come out of retirement and come to public life,"
Hannibal Lecter forewarns in Hannibal, next month's
long-awaited sequel to the Oscar-snatching The Silence of the
Lambs. The city that Lecter selects for his retirement years is
the capital of "nice Chianti" - Florence, Italy. Posing as Dr.
Fell, curator of the grand Palazzo Capponi, Lecter quietly lives
the good life in Florence until the trouble begins.
Last spring, Sir Anthony Hopkins, who won a Best Actor Oscar for
his original performance as the cannibalistic psychiatrist, spent
several months living and filming in the Italian commune. Hopkins
and the cast and crew of the big-budget sequel, which includes
Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman, became well-known temporary
Florentines, constantly trailed by paparazzi. Although he spent
more time in character than he did sightseeing, Hopkins says he
"enjoyed the whole experience of being there." The experience
represents one more total immersion into a role for the son of a
baker, born on New Year's Eve 1937 in Port Talbot, Wales. At 17, he
wandered into a YMCA amateur theater production and knew he'd found
his place in the world. In 1965, he auditioned for Sir Laurence
Olivier, then director of the Royal National Theater of Great
Britain at the Old Vic, and eventually became understudy to the
master. But it was Hopkins' work in more than 90 films, including
The Lion in Winter, The Elephant Man, Howard's
End, The Remains of the Day, and Nixon, that
placed him among the ranks of the finest living actors.
Becoming an American citizen last year, Hopkins now lives full-time
in Los Angeles. But when the cinema goes dark, he will once again
be Hannibal - long gone mad in Florence. Here are the places where