Cast This: Clarice Starling

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

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Clarice Starling is a fictional character that appears in the novels The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal by Thomas Harris. She probably best known from the film adaptation of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, where she was played by Jodie Foster (who received an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance), while in the film adaptation of HANNIBAL, she was played by Julianne Moore.

jodie foster silence of the lambs

Clarice Starling was ranked the sixth greatest protagonist in film history on AFI's 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains, making her the highest-ranking heroine and for good reason. Starling is easily one of my favorite movie characters (I’m just talking SOTL), and it’s all due to Foster’s commanding performance as the smart and resourceful FBI agent. It should go down in history as one of the best performances by any actor and one of the more complicated characters to hit the big screen. That’s why moving on (as Hollywood tends to do) with a remake/reboot is inevitable; but who would take the badge and do it justice?

jodie foster silence of the lambs

My top three choices for this edition of Cast This include Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. She not only looks like the part as described in the Harris novels, but she’s done a fine job at playing a detective on the series Top of the Lake. Then there is Kelly Macdonald from Boardwalk Empire; she has been a rising star ever since and holds that mystique quality quite well. Picturing her in FBI mode doesn’t seem like a far off dream. Now, a relative unknown with the talent of Nicole Beharie, from Sleepy Hollow makes my final casting option to play Clarice. You may recognize her from the 2011 movie SHAME or the Jackie Robinson biopic 42. She would obviously bring something different to the role but also I believe would knock it out of the park as our favorite cannibal catching detective. 

casting clarice starling silence of the lambs

What about you guys? Do you have any other suggestions for the role?  I’ve heard Anna Torv (Fringe) and Anna Friel’s (LIMITLESS) names be tossed around for this role. Ellen Page was a favorite at one point for the TV show Hannibal.

jodie foster hannibal

Let’s hear what you got!

RESULTS BELOW FROM CAST THIS: Squirrel Girl 1. Anna Kendrick 2. Ellie Kempler 3. Mae Whitman

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