Done a bunch of films, bits of TV and a few plays; been playing Will Graham on NBC's Hannibal which starts it's 2nd season tonight. Fire away.

proof from my friend Bryan Fuller, as I don't have social media:

Hey guys I have to shoot, I would love to stay and answer more questions with my abysmal typing skills. Thankyou for all of them. As our Canadian crew would say I'm super-excited about tonight, hope you all enjoy. Bon Appetit!

Comments: 732 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

failedpepsichallenge266 karma

Will sweats a lot. Is there just a giant barrel of glycerin marked "Will Sweat" in makeup?

HughDancy_529 karma

It's worse than that. There's so many different types. But that's nothing compared to the blood. There's clothes blood, hair blood, eye blood, mouth blood, prosthetics dept blood and on and on. For some reason it's never quite the right consistency or colour so we end up creating a cocktail with everyone chipping in their opinions - bit darker, no no that's too arterial. And then they cover me in it.

DiegoVonCosmo238 karma

Do you ever compare acting notes with your wife about playing a mentally unstable law enforcement officer on a television series?

HughDancy_293 karma

Yes, mainly because ofg the danger of terrible overacting. We're on a tight schedule, so there's not much time to offer up different takes or levels of crazy. so you go home at the end of the day hoping you didn't just do the worst acting of your life. And then she talked me down.

yungdicaprio217 karma

What does Mads Mikkelsen smell like?

HughDancy_675 karma

With his nose like everyone else

maxwell_stupid202 karma

Hey Hugh! You are incredible as Will Graham! So stoked for the new season! When did you find out what Will's fate was going to be at the end of the first season? How did that conversation go? Did Bryan Fuller just approach you and was like "So yeah, I know you're kind of the main character on this show but you're going to get royally fucked over and spend the entire next season in a cell"?

HughDancy_376 karma

First time I met Bryan he pitched about 4 season's worth of TV. Including cell time. But the thing that got me was that I'd vomit up someone's ear (the ear-candidate actually changed). When I got tired during the 1st season I'd cling onto that dream.

Gnomeseason186 karma

How do you get your hair to look so perfectly tousled?

HughDancy_582 karma

I have a professional tousler who travels with me at all times.

UnicornRadio156 karma

Hi, Hugh! My whole house (dogs included) love you on Hannibal. Will be seeing any screen time from Winston and the gang this season?


HughDancy_268 karma

Alana's looking after the dogs. They'll be back.

drelos126 karma

Which was your favorite dream-scape or hallucination to inhabit? Which was more scary? Mads seems like a nice guy, does he stay in character or are you both tempted to laugh sometimes?

HughDancy_309 karma

I liked when Will started sleepwalking except that it required me to walk around the country roads outside Toronto in sub-zero temperatures in my underwear. But that was when I got a sense of what road we were going to take him down, with a new sympton hitting him every week. Lots of fun. Like, 'this week you get to have aural hallucinations'. Great!

Noone stays in character except perhaps Scott Thompson.

elspunko123 karma

Hi Hugh! Thanks for getting so involved with the fannibals - you, Mads, and Bryan make it such an awesome community. Going into the second season, how aware were you of things like the fans' constant cry of "someone please help Will Graham"?

This leads to my next question: will someone ever help Will Graham?

HughDancy_330 karma

Will Graham has to help himself.

asmartblond111 karma

  1. What's it like working with Mads?

  2. I want to have a nice dinner tonight. Any suggestions?

HughDancy_244 karma

I worked with Mads first about 10 years ago in King Arthur, which was a very different kettle of fish, mostly spent ojn horses killing people painted blue. We were in Dublin for 6 months and my memory ios patchy, but the one thingv I definitely took away was that I'd want to work with him again with fewer horses aqnd more acting. Followed his carrer since and for me he's one of the best screen actors working anywhere. So the chance to sit opposite him and knock Bryan's dialogue back and forth was incredible. He came onto the show after me and I was basically checking email every 5 mins hoping it would work out and I think it has. Good guy also.

I would try something vegetarian for dinner. Or just watch hannibal we'll eat for you.

ErisFire107 karma

Hi Hugh! Yesterday on Twitter during the #GoneMads extravaganza, Mads said one of the funniest moments on set for him was when “Someone kept snoring when filming the body mural in S2 and because so many bodies were there we didn't know who.” So, my question to you leads on from that – what’s been YOUR funniest moment on set?

Another question I’ve been instructed to ask is how hard is it to keep an American accent up during filming?

(Also, sidenote; my housemates and I watched Adam the other day and everyone has fallen in love with it, so good job. Lots of praise coming from rainy England.)

HughDancy_203 karma

Hello England! Mads was diplomatic - it wasn't just snoring. I had to join those good people on the floor (as you'll see) and I can tell you all bodily noises were being emitted.

InsaniNox97 karma

Do you think Hannibal would survive a zombie apocalypse?

HughDancy_239 karma

He would be their God. But I think he'd find it a little trying, I've never heard of a zombie with a passion for cooking their food

cc12345689 karma

When you are on set does your accent slip out while you are filming?

HughDancy_192 karma

Not so far, at least I don't think so. They can do amazing things in post though so its possible they put me through some kind of American filter.

Teaslinger85 karma

So many comments already, I'm sure mine will get drowned out but anyways here goes! This show is the first series I've been able to actually watch in a while due to a mild mental disorder, TV series do not usually work well for me. Every week I force myself to sit down and enjoy your show, it is so beautifully crafted and amazingly acted that I find no trouble being immersed. So yeah just wanted to say thank you for being a major player in something so incredible!!

HughDancy_94 karma


fringeofmadness75 karma

You (and Will) seem to spend a lot of time in season 2 in your little cage talking to people, you even get a straightjacket and a muzzle - Do you find that limiting as an actor to be restricted like that or do you take it as a challenge to focus on Will himself and his relationship with other characters?

HughDancy_146 karma

Yes there's some limits no doubt. Technical mainly - there's only so many things you can do in a cell, and once you've sat on your bunk, paced, stared menacingly and approached the bars you've pretty much run the full gamut. Also you spend most of the time trying not to let a bar get between you and the camera and if it does you see the camera crew swearing and/or gesturing you to move over, so it's kind of hard to lose yourself in the moment. But that said it felt kind of iconic, mask in particular

MyAnTran55 karma

Do you really think we wouldn't be able to recognize human meat if we ate some?

HughDancy_185 karma

Absolutely. There's no way you can recognize something you haven't already encountered. Unless there's something you're trying to tell me..?

finding_jay51 karma

Hi, Hugh. It's 3AM where I am, and I've stayed awake for this. Super keen for season 2!

Couple of questions-

  1. Where would you like to see Will/the show go? Obviously you've got the limits of the book series, but is there a direction you'd like to take?

  2. What is a role you'd love to play some day!

Thanks so much for this! Hope to see your answers ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

HughDancy_109 karma

Okm well I'd better answer before you nod off. 1. I'd like to see Will get a bit more agency, obviously he was in some ways quite passive in 1, in fact didn't even know what was happening to him. So I want to see him take action. That said our version of action is always going to involve a certain amount of talking. I wouldn't say we're limited by the books exactly - we have to judge right how far we can travel within the parameters of the universe. I think the further we get the more we can play. So that when we get to red Dragon etc you're not suddenly going to know EXACTLY what will happen.

Off the top of my head I wouldn't mind a Western

yungdicaprio51 karma

What's your favorite episode of Hannibal?

HughDancy_131 karma

Good question - I think the finale of season 1. David Slade who shot the 1st ep came back and tied everything up; I thought it hit a really good emotional pitch, and all the throwbacks and parallels to ep 1 in GJH's kitchen were so well done by Bryan. Plus that vomiting thing.

elithewho50 karma

Hi, I'm a big fan. Eagerly awaiting the premier tonight. Could you tell me more about the airport carpet thing?

HughDancy_116 karma

go to - a friend set it up, and I've merely assisted by spreading the word and photographing a few carpets. Our work is never done.

n1ffuM48 karma

What were your (and the cast/writers) thoughts on Utah/SLC Valley cable station KSL's refusal to air Hannibal due to "excessive graphic violence"?

Link to story.

I love Bryan Fuller's work so of course I watched the show and it's quite interesting.

HughDancy_198 karma

You know it's a free world. And in some ways it's like a badge of honour. I actually think that the one thing we don't do is desensitize violence. And actually another thing - we don't casually or predominantly inflict violence, in particular sexual violence, on women. Our show is equal opportunity. So, sure, don't watch. But for me there are other culprits more worthy of censure.

meganmachine44 karma

have you ever had any nightmares after seeing some of the death tableaus? did any of them scare you/disgust you more than others?

HughDancy_148 karma

No. The only one that freaked me out a little was my neurologist, Dr Suttcliffe, the reason being the prtosthetic was so graphic and I walked on set after they'd prepped it (ie dressed with blood etc) when I wasn't expecting it. But really it was because the Dr was played by a friend, John Benjamin Hickey (we'd worked together on The Big C) and seeing him with his head chopped in half like a pez dispenser was a bit troubling.

sturm_tasse38 karma

Did Mads really bite you during the TCA's? If he did, did it hurt? Did he tell you he was going to do it, or was it completely by surprise?

HughDancy_81 karma

I think I asked him to. Anything for NBC

zanzaboonda35 karma

How hard was it to follow Will down his descent into madness and self-doubt? Did you ever begin to question your own sanity?

HughDancy_73 karma

Not exactly but it was hard to keep track. So I kind of questioned if other people would question my sanity.

namesnotmarina34 karma

Hi Hugh!

I have three questions:

  1. What was it like working on Venus in Fur? It is one of my favourite plays and you were amazing in that production.

  2. Are you okay with the idea of a Hannibal/Pushing Daisies crossover?

  3. What's Scott Thompson like off camera?

HughDancy_90 karma

  1. Great. 1hr 40 mins on stage nonstop with a great actress, Miss Nina Arianda. So much fun. A serious workout, mentally and physically. I think I read that it's the most produced play across America this year which is probably in part because they only have to pay 2 actors, but also because there's so much in it.
  2. Yes though I have no idea what it would look like. Bryan seems to reemploy everyone he's ever worked with so I guess it'll happen by default.
  3. He's a very serious, sober, introverted individual who comes alive when you touch on the love of his life which is of course modern dance.

princex2534 karma

Hey Hugh! Thank you for doing this. Did you ever consider playing Will Graham with a southern accent?

HughDancy_113 karma

No I think that would have tied him down too much. He has had a very itinerant childhood, which I think makes sense that mentally he's quite itinerant, so something more generic, to reflect that, was better. I'd love to do a Southern accent but let's face it there's a long history of Brits doing horrible Southern accents so I need to excercise caution. Words that will probably come back to haunt me.

failedpepsichallenge29 karma

In taking on the character of Will Graham, did you (or Bryan) come up with a more fully developed background of Will's life before the FBI? Will we be getting any snippets if this is the case or can you share a bit of that backstory?

HughDancy_62 karma

Yes there's a fair bit in Red Dragon, in terms of his background, that we touch on in season 1 - traveling around with his Dad, having been a homicide detective, worked in forensics etc. The conversation was not so much adding biographical detail but exploring what we knew - eg what would he have been like as a homicide detective and the answer was he probably wouldn't have lasted long. Which he didn't.

InsaniNox28 karma

When you were filming Hysteria was it difficult to keep a straight face when you were pretending to pleasure women?

HughDancy_97 karma

I'd like to say that there's nothing in the least bit amusing about pleasuring women. But it turns out that's not true.

yungdicaprio25 karma

Does Mads Mikkelsen's breath smell like flowers?

HughDancy_76 karma

Not any I've encountered.

MTCicero24 karma

Hugh- so grateful that you are taking the time. How did you prepare for the role of Will and did you look back to Manhunter or Red Dragon (the film) for any inspiration? If all things go your way, do you hope to be involved with the show beyond the events of Red Dragon?

HughDancy_42 karma

I read the books, Red Dragon for season 1 and then the others moving forward, because as I'm in jail/asylum it seemed the descriptions of Hannibal in Silence etc might be of value, and they were. Moving forward who knows? But yes I hope to be involved

jayfromwestegg22 karma

Any favourite "Fannibal" stories? Also, do you have a favourite line you delivered in Season 1?

HughDancy_62 karma

Nothing but good stories, and encounters, with Fannibals. Comiccon was amazing. Favourite lines were probably the speech in GJH's kitchen in the season finale as it dawns on me what he has done. and also from ep 1 "I like the smell of urinal cake.'

InsaniNox22 karma

Not Hannibal related, but do you miss Staffordshire?

HughDancy_40 karma


rpgreenmachine422 karma

Hello Hugh! I love your work and was curious what you said and how you talked Bryan Fuller into casting Mads as Hannibal. Was there a particular interaction you and Mads had on the set of King Arthur that made you think he had the chops to pull off Hannibal? Thank you for suggesting it; it makes for an amazing show.

HughDancy_28 karma

There was no need to talk him into it. Just timing.

freakonomist9116 karma

Can we get Nina Arianda into Hannibal? Maybe as a potential love interest for Will, or maybe as Clarice Starling. You guys were amazing in Venus in Fur.

P.S. You (and the Hannibal team) are doing amazing work. I can't praise the show enough. I only have awards I want to throw at it.

HughDancy_32 karma

Thanks. Which awards to you have, to be exact?

I think the conversation about Nina did actually come up - I'd love it, but she wasn't available.

psevero14 karma

Dear Hugh, what is your favorite book?

HughDancy_27 karma

Sabbaths theater by Philip Roth, Women in Love by DH Lawrence