I have added 33 high quality images of Hugh attending the 2016 aTVfest to our photo archive. Hugh, along with various members of his fellow cast members, were there promoting Hulu’s series The Path.
Hugh Dancy on the Potential for More Hannibal and How Season 3 Ended
The Hannibal star discusses the change in tone planned if the show ever returns.
Hugh Dancy will soon be seen in Hulu’s The Path, teaming him with Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) and executive producers Jason Katims and Jessica Goldberg (Friday Night Lights). I recently sat down with Dancy to discuss that series at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour and while I’ll have plenty more on that series before it debuts on March 30th, our conversation also turned to Dancy’s last series, Hannibal.
Hannibal executive producer Bryan Fuller has spoken about his hope for the show, which NBC cancelled last year, to continue in some form down the line and noted he has a specific plan for where the story would go next, after that notable Season 3 finale. I asked Dancy what he felt the chances were of that happening, along with what it was like filming the final scenes of the show and his thoughts on what motivated Will Graham to do what he did…
Warning: Spoilers for the Hannibal: Season 3 finale follow.
IGN: This is the first time I’ve talked to you since Hannibal ended. Obviously, there’s still a lot of passion for that show still out there. At some point, what’s your gut feeling – do you think we could actually get a continuation?
Dancy: I really hope so. I actually feel more comfortable saying that now than six months ago, when I felt like we were giving false hope to some degree, because it didn’t feel like it was suddenly going to be picked up. But given the world we’re in, I can’t see any reason why, in three years time — in fact, even, I think that would make sense, story-wise — that we could all drop back into it and everyone’s schedules are right. I know that Bryan and Mads [Mikkelsen] would be more than amenable, and myself too. So I hope so. I love the show and it was a completely unique tone and experience. Those are my dear friends so why not if we possibly can?
IGN: I thought the finale was a lovely hour of TV.
Dancy: [Laughs] That was not my memory of it!
IGN: [Laughs] Well, lovely within the world of Hannibal. And I’m sure it wasn’t the most fun thing to film.
Dancy: Well, it was fun but it was brutal. It was a really — just in terms of logistically — a very, very over-ambitious hour of TV. The car crash, Dolarhyde’s house on fire, then he crashes the convoy and we have that massive sequence at the end… And it wasn’t like we had any extra time or money to do it! Also there was a lot of plot that had to be raveled or unraveled in a very unique way that Bryan did, where it’s important but also totally exhilarating. My strongest memory, which was both exhausting and a really warm memory, was it being five in the morning, on the patio of that house, with Mads and Richard [Armitage], literally covered head to frickin toe in blood. More than I’ve ever had on that show before, which is really saying something! And being freezing cold and realizing that… Because in this scene, before Dolarhyde attacked us, Mads is opening a bottle of wine. We suddenly realized that wine was real, which it never is on a film set. They hadn’t thought to swap it out because we never drink it. So we pop that open. So at like five, six in the morning, as they were desperately trying to get the last shots, because the light was dying… And this was a few days before we wrapped. We didn’t know maybe forever, but we had a little toast and we nicked a bottle of wine, basically. That was a nice moment. But it was born of necessity, as well.
IGN: I love that final moment. There’s so much going on, including this very big connection between these men, but your character still decides to end it for both of them. I read it as, while he has this pull towards Hannibal, Will knows what Hannibal would do out in the world and maybe what he would do out in the world with him.
Dancy: I think that’s what it was. I think that he comes to the realization that — I had a conversation with Bryan a few weeks before and he was still putting it together. I remember thinking… You imagine a version of that scene where Will comes out of that slaughter and he’s covered in blood and he’s distraught. “Oh my God, no! What have I done?!” The way we talked about it that seemed more powerful and true is that he comes out of it and he’s just exhilarated and he’s finally broken through to that thing Hannibal has been wishing for him and he just says, “It’s beautiful.” He loves it. And that’s the most terrifying thing. Not only do I have to end him, I have to end me as well. I thought that was a very apt way to at least wrap up, for a while, that story between the two of them.
IGN: It’s hard for us on the outside to imagine how it would continue, given that ending, but obviously Bryan has a plan for what it would be. What you know about it, is it exciting for you, just the idea of maybe getting to play that down the line?
Dancy: As I say, from what Bryan explained to me and described to me, it would be perfectly reasonable for us all to come back a few years older. I thought it was a fantastic idea, what he had envisioned. It would be quite a change in tone; not for the worse. It would almost circle back to the beginnings of the show but in kind of a mirror image and it was still drawn from the books. I was actually stoked at the idea of what that would be to play, that season or that story, and then of course we had the rug completely pulled out from under our feet… but there you go