23. Playing Catherine – the reason we won’t help you load your chair into your van at night, Strange Man – was a big hiatus for Smith, who despite a prolific career is at peace and forever as “the” well known is Mädchen in der Grube “from The Silence of the Lambs.
But Demme, who couldn’t even get her to read, felt that she belonged in this pit.
“They trusted the director so much these days that there wasn’t a full committee to approve me,” Smith told Vulture. “He met with me, talked to me and told me what it would be. I remember him asking me, ‘Why do you want to do this?’ That’s a very good question. I remember thinking I couldn’t. I just thought I don’t think I can. So he gave me the part. I had to put on 25 pounds, which really was I got also just ended my life in punk rock and entered my life as an actress. ‘
Not turned off at all by the dark material, she remembered, “I said, ‘Let’s get started.’ At the time there were certain agents who told me not to do it, which I find weird now. That’s what I did then. I said, “I’m going to say no ?!” They thought I was stereotypical and in including the fat girls category. [Though she was hardly fat, Buffalo Bill’s victims were supposed to be “roomy,” using Lecter’s word, so that he could loosen their skin by starving them.] They said it was very difficult to get out. Which is not entirely wrong. But there is no way I would. “
To prepare to be stuck in a pit in a psychopath’s dungeon, she locked herself in her parents’ basement cupboard to mimic the narrow, dark boundaries. Before filming, she had nightmares about being in this situation, panicking, trying to escape (Catherine executing a plan with Bill’s beloved dog, Precious) or simply accepting her fate and dying.
“I’m not going to lie,” she said, “I had some problems and I remember thinking that was the difference between Catherine and me. I didn’t have that much self-esteem at the time. The most obvious thing I had to do. And that made me investigate, “Okay, wait a minute, why don’t I want to live?” I’m making it sound a little bit more than it was, but all I remember is saying, “Oh, okay, so what’s going on?” And it led me into years of therapy. “