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Hannibal - Bryan Fuller Interview

Thanks to Oscar for the heads up.

ETonline: You not only lived with this material before fans did, but also before any actors were cast. How did your perception of Hannibal change after seeing Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen and the rest of the cast bringing these roles to life?

Fuller: As an insecure writer, I'll finish a scene and worry there's a better version of it. Or it could be elevated somehow. It's such a gift to be working with these actors because they take the baton and keep running with it, keep elevating it and keep moving the material beyond my expectations. This really is such a collaborative experience. It helps my neuroses as a writer to know that if I didn't quite nail a scene, the actors will find more levels to play in it. What's incredibly gratifying is to see the audience reaction and know they're getting it and seeing things in the material that I maybe didn't think were as formed as I'd hoped they were. It's a neat experience to go from the blank page to an actor elevating it to the audience understanding it -- the full life of that is why I became a writer.

ETonline: What was the biggest surprise of season one for you?

Fuller: That we made it through [laughs]. Television production is so insane. There's so many moving parts and flying pieces and you're desperate to make it cohesive and artistic and have something to say about the human condition that feels like it has value to its existence. I'm very hard on myself when it comes to writing. I'm always looking for the idea in a scene or the philosophy that makes a scene worth existing beyond exposition. I'm probably harder on myself than I need to be, but it's important to me if I'm going to ask an audience for an hour of their time that I don't waste their time. I want to give them something significant to chew on. I'm not always successful, but I take my job as a storyteller very seriously and want to make sure the audience has as much fun watching it as I am creating it.

ETonline: Is there a season one moment you're the most proud of?

Fuller: There were quite a few I was really excited about -- particularly the last two episodes. They were so satisfying for me because we were writing them as I was filming them; I was frequently getting on the phone with Hugh and telling him where half-written scenes were going. I talked to Hugh quite a bit in the process of making season one, and he had such an understanding of the character and the show that it was incredibly insightful and helpful for me in making the show. Going back to the last question, I was surprised by the investment of the cast. Lawrence Fishburne in particular had such a passion for playing Jack Crawford. He was very careful about how Jack was interpreted by the audience when it comes to his relationship with Hannibal -- he was so invested in making it reasonable that Jack wouldn't suspect Frasier Crane of killing and eating people in the audience's eyes.

Source: Full Interview @ETOnline

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