Jodie Foster as Clarice – Photo from Orion Pictures
29. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs)
A lot of the praise for The Silence of the Lambs goes to Anthony Hopkins, who plays cannibal murderer Hannibal Lecter in the film. Perhaps it’s because Hopkins reprises the Hannibal role multiple times in other movies. The character is also one of the most popular antagonists from the horror genre.
But as someone who really appreciates the first film in the franchise, I love Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling. Her chemistry with Hopkins adds so much to the film, and they play off each other beautifully. Hannibal doesn’t intimidate Clarice the same way he can with other people, and he seems to develop a respect for her. He doesn’t hold the same disdain for her as he does for other people, and even writes her a kind letter at the end of the film.
Aside from working with Lecter, Clarice manages to track down another murderer and take him out in the movie. The character would have further dealings with Lecter when the sequel would come along. But it’s the original performance by Foster in the first The Silence of the Lambs film that stands out as one of the top portrayals in horror.