HYDERABAD: Not only did Jack Crawford survive the brutal end of the last season of Hannibal, but he’s expected to play a bigger part in the upcoming one. Playing Crawford, the head of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, Laurence Fishburne returns to the TV, in a role which is far from that of the grandfather on Black-ish. But with his entire department shut-down and Crawford forced to retire early, Fishburne tells us more about what he can expect since everyone now knows that Hannibal Lecter is the killer. The actor reveals his new avatar on the show as a lone ranger, and the experience of taking on the daunting task of being a character his ‘uncles’ excelled at.
You survived last season’s great massacre
Correct! And this season opens in a very interesting way. You follow Jack, Will (a profiler) and Hannibal (as a killer and forensic psychiatrist), and you see everybody is in these different places. They’re all converging on this city of Florence, and it’s very interesting.
What makes the upcoming season more interesting?
In season one and season two, the only people who knew who Hannibal was and what he was doing, was the audience. Nobody else knew that he was killing people and eating them. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, people are after him. So how he will react to that is what makes it exciting,
Jack seems to be working solo. Could you elaborate?
When we see Jack at the beginning of the third season, he’s no longer with the FBI. He’s pretty much out there on his own. He’s kind of a rogue cat, and he’s really trying to find Will. Because he knows it’s possible that Will could be not looking for Hannibal for the right reasons. For him, after his plans to trap Hannibal went wrong, it become personal.
Did you have any specific references when preparing to play Jack?
All the guys who play Jack in the movies are people I think of as my uncles. Scott Glenn I met when I was 15 years old doing Apocalypse Now. He was really, really sweet and kind to me. Harvey Keitel I met when I was 14, auditioning for Apocalypse Now. Dennis Farina is someone who’s work I’ve always loved and admired. I never got a chance to him and I regret that. But his work too is flawless, particularly as this character. He made a great Jack Crawford. So I’m just honoured that I get to play a guy whom the guys I loved got to play.
Working on the show
The directors I’ve worked with the most this season are Guillermo Navarro and Michael Rymer, and both have worked with a director named John Dalton. It feels like we’re making movies here. Not television shows. We’ve got the financing, which gives us more leeway than we would have if we were working just for an American broadcasting network. We would be, I think much more, restricted then. I feel blessed and lucky to be doing work at this level.
Will we see you directing?
No. No. I wouldn’t be interested in directing one of these. Certainly not at this point. If we were maybe into the fifth season, then maybe. But, again this is a very unique and odd little show. It may seem on the surface like other things out there, but I don’t think it is.
Did you find any connections with other characters you have played?
I have to approach it as a different thing every time. It’s a new script, it’s a new story, it’s a new character.
Season 3 airs at 11 pm, every Sunday