Sir Anthony Hopkins improvised the fast slurping sound that he’s made so famous. It was supposedly a spontaneous on the spur of the moment thing.
In preparation for his role, Anthony Hopkins studied files of serial killers. Also, he visited prisons and studied convicted murderers and was present during some court hearings concerning serial killings.
One of the inspirations that Anthony Hopkins borrowed from for his interpretation of Hannibal Lecter was a friend of his in London who never blinked which unnerved anyone around him.
Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster only share four scenes throughout the course of the film.
Buffalo Bill is the combination of three real-life serial killers: Ed Gein, who skinned his victims, Ted Bundy, who used the cast on his hand as bait to convince women to get into his van, and Gary Heidnick, who kept women he kidnapped in a pit in his basement.
Jodie Foster claims that during the first meeting between Lecter and Starling, Anthony Hopkins’s mocking of her southern accent was improvised on the spot.
The production received full co-operation from the FBI as they saw it as a potential recruiting tool to hire more female agents.
A copy of Bon Appétit Magazine can be seen in Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s temporary cell.
Buffalo Bill’s dance was not included in the original draft of the screenplay, although it appears in the novel. It was added at the insistence of Ted Levine, who thought the scene was essential in defining the character.
The portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter is rated as the number one villain on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains list.
Jodie Foster avoided Anthony Hopkins during their scenes together because she was terrified of him.
Brooke Smith gained twenty-five pounds for her role as Catherine Martin.
Brooke Smith entered in and out of the pit by crouching through a small door that was half her size. It was then covered with dirt to keep it out of sight of the camera.
Jodie Foster stated in Inside Story: The Silence of the Lambs (2010) that this is one of her favorites movie of her own.
According to director Jonathan Demme, there were 300 applicants for the role of Clarice Starling. Meg Ryan and Michelle Pfeiffer turned the role down because of the disturbing subject matter.
The movie’s poster was number sixteen of “The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever” by Premiere.
The “death head” marking on the moth is a reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story “The Gold Bug”, which also featured an insect with a skull-like pattern on its back.