Transcript of Akiva Griffith’s NBC interview with BryanFuller , May 21, 2015

(Kelly Shah):        Great. Great. And one final question and I just wanted to touch on what can you tell us about Richard’s portrayal of the infamous Francis Dolarhyde and how is that different from the version we’ve seen Ray Fiennes portray in Red Dragon.

Bryan Fuller:        Well, you know, there have been a couple of great performances as Francis Dolarhyde. Tom Noonan in “Manhunter” is a strange man who breaks your heart because you really get a feel for how desperately he actually needed this human connection and how it may have actually saved him from himself and the great Red Dragon.

        The shocking – I guess it’s not shocking or surprising but a wonderful confirmation of Richard Armitage’s ability as an actor and he’s so thoroughly trained, excuse me, that he approached the character with such gravitas and earnestness that the tragedy of the story is really one that we wanted to bring to the forefront because the arc in the Red Dragon chapter of the season is very much a trouble between Hannibal and Will and Francis Dolarhyde because Dolarhyde represents something unique in the triangulation of Hannibal and Will and that he provides Will Graham a version of Hannibal that he may be able to save and provides Hannibal a version of Will Graham that he may be able to corrupt.

        So each of them is getting something dynamic out of that relationship and we get to see how the triangulation through Dolarhyde changes the relationship between Will and Hannibal in a drastic way.

        So I can’t talk enough about Richard’s presence on this production and how masterful he was, how he surprised the crew, how he elevated the material, how we brought that sense of tragedy to Francis Dolarhyde in a way that was both accessible and sheer madness. You know, in editing the different episodes, I’ve been in the post suite with an editor and watching scenes between Richard and Rutina Wesley, who plays Reba McClane, his – the object of his affection, and we were both wiping tears out of the corners of our eyes because he is just so heartbreaking.

        And one of the things that I wanted to challenge the audience with is, yes, this is a horrible killer of families, yet he is so tortured by his madness that I wanted to confuse people with their sympathy for him and the revulsion by him and really deliver a different kind of serial killer story that you don’t see on television that often.

(Kelly Shah):        Awesome. Well, I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. I think it’s such a great show and thanks so much again for chatting.

Bryan Fuller:        Thank you for supporting the show. I really appreciate it.


(Abby Bernstein):        Where does Red Dragon, the Red Dragon arc come within this season? Is it at the start, the finish, in the middle book ended by original?

Bryan Fuller:        Well, it is – there’s two chapters in Season 3. There’s kind of the “Hannibal,” the novel, mashed up with “Hannibal Rising,” the novel, first chapter, that set primarily in Italy. And then the second chapter that begins with Episode 8 starts the Red Dragon story. And that is using six episodes to tell a broader, more in-depth version of the story than we’ve been allowed to see previously on – in the film adaptation just simply because of the real estate that we have in six hours that they didn’t have in two hours.

        So the fun for us is really making that last – it’s almost like a Red Dragon miniseries in the last half of the season and we tell that story to completion and find ways to weave in our existing characters and change up some of the dynamics that you may have been familiar with in the novels or the films and shifting them around so they feel fresh. And once again, the approach with this show has always been provide some familiarity and then shake it up, so the audience that may be familiar with the previous adaptations is getting a new experience that is somewhat familiar mashed up with the new incarnations of characters that we’ve developed on the show. So that’s – you’ll get a nice, fat six-hour Red Dragon miniseries at the end of Season 3.

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