Hugh Dancy: Returning to Hannibal

Hugh Dancy: Returning to Hannibal
Hugh Dancy.

Despite constantly being pushed closer to, and pretty much over the edge of, madness, Dancy says his role will undergo a massive shift where he will be much more in control of his own destiny while constantly trying to hang onto his humanity.

Hannibal, which airs every Tuesday at 9 p.m. on AXN, was developed by Bryan Fuller based on Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon for NBC and focuses on the dynamic relationship between Will as an FBI criminal profiler and his brilliant forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).

The first season ended with an unexpected twist when Will was framed by Hannibal, which led to Will being locked up behind bars.

The second season starts with Will trying to convince everyone around him that he is not guilty; that it was all Hannibal's doing. As it moves forward, he realises that no one is listening to his cries of innocence so he starts to take action from prison.

"Will has realised who Hannibal is so he's no longer deceived. He begins to realise that he has a new kind of determination - maybe a new ruthlessness - that he didn't have in the first season where he was much more passive," said the 38-year-old.

"I don't think they have a normal, healthy relationship. But I think that they have a very deep connection with each other. In the second season, Will reveals a lot more, he's been much more honest to Hannibal but in some way, he is also concealing a part of himself."

Dancy said the darker plot and Will's new character had presented him with bigger acting challenges.

"All my acting is behind bars and all my acting is in a small room, so very quickly you run out of things to do: you go back and forth, you sit down, stand up, you come up and that's it, nothing else to do," he says.

"But it's almost like an exercise, trying to find a way to communicate differently, and I enjoy that up to a point, but I also miss Will [being] out in the world."

Just like in its previous season, Hannibal will still feature gory, and sometimes disturbing, death tableaux.

In the second season, Dancy says there are more of the tableaux than in the previous season, all specific and spectacular, as Fuller and his writing team continue to produce absolutely sickening and fascinating ideas for new ways to kill people and present them.

"As an actor, I have no problem with it as I enjoy the horror element of it - the more disgusting it gets, the happier I am. It's also like being a child playing around in fake blood, and fake body, but you have much better toys," he says.

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