When fans found out that British actor Richard Armitage would be playing the Francis Dolarhyde, the Red Dragon, in Season 3 of Hannibal they were super excited and now we are hearing how much Bryan Fuller, the showrunner, loved working with Richard.
The Armitage Army had no doubt that their idol could undertake this challenging role and it appears they were right. In a recent interview to promote Hannibal, Fuller sang Richard’s praises.
When he was cast in the show — which stars Mads Mikkelsen, as the lead character, Gillian Anderson as Hannibals’s psychotherapist Bedelia Du Maurier, and Hugh Dancy who plays the serial killer hunter Will Graham — Richard Armitage really didn’t know who the feared Red Dragon was.
Anyone who follows his career closely, already knows that Richard Armitage is extremely talented and works very hard in any role he undertakes. Fuller has been able to witness this himself.
In an interview with Den of Geek, the showrunner discusses Armitage’s role in depth.
“Oh! I can’t speak highly enough about the man as a professional and how he has brought this character to life in such a unique way. The tragedy of Francis Dolarhyde in the literature, I find to be so poignant and so romantic—you have this man who is capable of horrible things in that he’s a murderer of families, yet he is eloquent enough to take a blind woman on a date to the zoo where she can’t see the animals, but he has arranged for her to feel the animals—it’s one of the most romantic things I’ve ever read, ever!”
“To be able to allow the audience to meet that man first and see the tragedy of his situation and then be exposed to the horrors of what he is capable of, and then be able to return again to the story of a tortured man whose mind is eating him from the inside out, takes a very particular actor to navigate and garner sympathy from the audience.”
“I’m currently looking at episodes with Richard’s work and there is one in particular where both the editor and I were crying in the edit room because he communicated so eloquently the pain of Francis Dolarhyde and the torture of his existence. It’s very effective in its purpose of setting out to confuse the audience. We wanted the audience to be confused, ‘am I looking at a horrible murderer, or am I looking at a man who is in such torment and pain that he can’t control his own actions?’ That was the grey area that I felt would be interesting to explore over six episodes that would separate us from a standard television crime procedural where the villain is the villain and we don’t get access to his or her life as much as we get reasons to loathe or resent them. Our prerogative is really to complicate heroes and villains, there’s a tremendous amount of grey.”