It's Raining Florence Henderson: If Hannibal doesn't get renewed, I'll eat my hat made out of human skin.
How much of what Hannibal serves should we assume features human ingredients? All of it? Some of it?
Bryan Fuller: (laughs) I think if there is some kind of meat product on the table, whether it be a broth or an organ of some kind, that that is very likely a human being. But when, for instance, he served Dr. Sutcliffe, and it was very clearly a pig leg, I think that was somebody from the Island of Dr. Moreau. No, not literally. In those cases — when it's visually a piece of chicken bone or something like it that is visually indicative of an animal — then it's the animal. Everything else is people.
I know you've put a lot of work into Hannibal's meals, and consulted with Jose Andres about it. How do you feel about the fact that so many people say that watching the show makes their mouth water?
Bryan Fuller: I think it's wonderful, because food is art, I believe. If you are going to be serving a living thing, you have to honor that living thing with some kind of care and thought and preparation to rationalize the taking of that life in some way. Where if you're just grinding up hamburger at McDonald's, I see that as a bit of an affront to living things. You're not really honoring the life. So as an animal lover and as a sometime-meat-eater, I've read so much about the emotional sophistication of pigs and cows and sheep that I do think twice when I do still eat them on occasion. When I'm at home and I'm preparing my own food, it's all gluten-free, or fish and it's healthy, but when I go to someone else's house, I'll eat what they put in front of me because I don't want to be an asshole. But I do think it's very interesting to blur the line between eating human beings and eating animals, because I do think people should think more about what they put in their bodies, whether it is nutritionally or philosophically. I'm not saying meat-eating is wrong, because I do think it is a personal choice. But I think it's interesting to blur those lines, because I do love animals so much, and have a great respect for them emotionally and intellectually, because they are so different from human beings. One of the things I loved about working with Jose Andres is that he wasn't precious about eating people. It's like, "Well, it's kind of there." Obviously, there are greater philosophical issues that I'm making light of, but it is an interesting discussion to look at all that food, that is beautiful in its presentation, and to know in terms of the story that it is another human being. There was the episode where he was having the dinner party and he wrapped the heart in bacon and stuffed it full of delicious things. I don't think I've ever eaten heart, but I hope when I do, it tastes as good as that looks.
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