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Main » 2013 » October » 13 » #CarolineDhavernas Talks #Hannibal 's Blu-ray and DVD Debut and What's Next in Season 2
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#CarolineDhavernas Talks #Hannibal 's Blu-ray and DVD Debut and What's Next in Season 2

Hannibal came out of the gate strong this spring, turning out to be one of the most creative and clever new TV shows of the year. Under the expert guidance of Bryan Fuller, the iconic horror character was given a fresh and exciting new interpretation, as we followed the fascinating dynamic between Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).

Playing an important role in the show is Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas), a protégé of Hannibal’s and colleague of Will’s who finds herself swept up in the macabre happenings that surround Lecter and Graham. With Season 1 of Hannibal having just been released on Blu-ray and DVD this week, I spoke to Dhavernas about her role on Hannibal, reuniting with Fuller a decade after they made the cult classic Wonderfalls together and what’s to come for Alana in Hannibal: Season 2, which recently began production.

IGN TV: Wonderfalls obviously had its own very specific feel and tone to it. This is so very different, although I think you can still kind of sense the same creative energy behind it. Is it fun for you to collaborate with Bryan again on something that couldn’t be more different, as far as the mood of it goes?

Dhavernas: That is what’s so amazing about Bryan. He’s true to his actors. When he loves someone, he’ll want to work with them again, but not even do the same thing that they did for him in the past. He really believes that actors are versatile and that they can do something, but then do the complete opposite. It’s so rare actually, because a lot of people in this business don’t have a very wild imagination, but Bryan Fuller is one of them, both in his writing and in his way of treating acting and knowing what actors are capable of. So it’s a real treat to be in someone’s mind like that.

IGN: So let’s talk about Alana and how she is in this interesting situation with Hannibal. Bryan told me he feels that Hannibal is truly affectionate towards her and does want to try to protect her, if he can, despite the horrible things he does. Do you think for her it’s just she could not conceive of what he truly is?

Dhavernas: Yeah, I think she has no clue. He was her mentor, I think when she probably was a student. There was that one scene in the kitchen where we saw that he was flirting a little bit. I think she grew up in a man’s world, and she’s probably been very careful not to flirt too much in order to be taken seriously, given her job; she’s pretty young already to be so highly educated and the FBI and all that. So I think she’s probably been very careful that way not to flirt with older men and people that she’s working with. But yeah, in this instance, I think she has a lot of respect for him. Sometimes their views are quite different, but she knows that he’s a brilliant therapist. I think she has no clue whatsoever about what he truly is.

IGN: I was going to ask you how she would process it if she did find out the truth, but in a way she’s kind of dealing with it right now, she just thinks it’s the wrong guy -- or the world thinks it’s the wrong guy.

Dhavernas: Yes! What Will just went through was such a surprise already to everyone. I think we’re all just trying to put the pieces together at that point. Of course, he’s blaming Hannibal for this, but he did have encephalitis. I think Alana is approaching this very cautiously. She knows that the illness can make you believe and feel all sorts of things that are false. So I think right now she’s just being there to be careful and make sure that Will will be treated equally and respectfully, because God knows he’s been telling everyone from the start that he was a fragile one and that his gift was a curse and that everyone had to be careful with him, and no one listened. I think she continued to be even more protective than she ever was.

IGN: You mentioned this at the top, but this show does have some pretty pushing-the-boundaries visuals, especially for network TV. What’s it like for you guys on set? Are you pretty amazed to see what they’re going to do and how they’re going to pull that off on TV?

Dhavernas: Yeah, our DP is fantastic. We do seem to be able to make the day most of the time, even though the lighting is a little more intricate than most network series. I remember the first day I walked on set, and I think it was the first episode, the scene at the end with Laurence Fishburne where I say to him, "You said you wouldn’t go too far with him.” It was almost pitch black in the room where we were shooting, in the class, and I remember thinking, "Wow, I’m teaching in the dark. This is interesting!” [Laughs] Then I saw the show, and it all made sense. It’s just so moving and beautiful and kind of real, but not completely real. It’s like a big nightmare.

IGN: Of course one creepy thing that’s going underneath everything is the implication that Hannibal is constantly feeding everyone in his life other humans.

Dhavernas: Yes, he takes mighty pleasure in that, yeah. I’ve had several meals at his place where he smiles knowing what I was eating.

IGN TV: With Hannibal, it’s always interesting trying to figure out what his long-term goal is, but a lot of times it seems like he would almost love to create his own version of a family around him. There were times like last season where he used Alana very specifically with Abigail to kind of recreate this family dynamic. Do you think that if he had his way, would he be together with Alana romantically?

Caroline Dhavernas: Oh God, I have no idea. I mean, Mads would be a better person I guess to answer that. But I guess yeah, he knows what he is. He seems to be perfectly fine with that, and he seems to think that if he could find a daughter, a son, a friend or a lover or wife that could be in that with him, he would be perfectly happy for once, to have a real opening, because he’s quite protective and guarded with everyone. But he could probably, finally open up with someone if another person in his life had the same...

IGN: Perversions?

Dhavernas: Yeah, perversions. [Laughs] I don’t know.

IGN: So we’re talking because the first season is coming out this week on Blu-ray and DVD. Are you a person who likes to dive into the behind-the-scenes material?

Dhavernas: A little bit. It’s always fun to see what actually happened when you love something. Of course, when you don’t love a film, you don’t want to know anything about it. But -- oh yeah, there’s the gag reel that’s really funny. I think that’s worth it. I don’t know why, it’s always fun to see actors mess up!

IGN: With it being such a dark show, both physically and with the subject matter, do you guys try to keep it pretty light on set?

Dhavernas: Yeah, we do. We are concentrated; television goes so fast, so you have to be on when it’s time to go. But yeah, in the morgue, there’s poking going on. You know, beautiful work done by our special effects department. Of course, you can’t completely be shocked by all the horror and stuff that we see. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it is shocking. Some things for some reason make you laugh. Others kind of make you nauseous. But yeah, I think we keep it light most of the time.

IGN: You touched upon where we’re going to go in Season 2 with what happened at the end of Season 1. I’ve spoken to Bryan about the fact that he’s definitely not going to race to quickly undo the situation. We’ve got Will locked up, and things are looking pretty dire for him. What is Alana’s next step in trying to process everything that’s going on around her?

Dhavernas: I think she wants to get down to the truth of what happened. It’s still kind of confusing to everybody: to Will, to everyone, actually. So I think she knows that the sooner they know the truth, the sooner Will Graham will be able to move on. I think that’s her biggest goal right now with Will, to really help him find the truth of what happened, because he’s missing bits and pieces.

IGN: I really liked how the show handled that one episode dealing directly with the potential for a romance between you and Will and the fact that that was not going to be an easy road at all, based on his reactions to it. Do you like that there’s an element of that there, but they’re not playing it in the usual manner of flirting back and forth?

Dhavernas: Yeah, I think impossible love is always quite exciting for viewers. Also, the nature of their relationship and then his gift or illness, or whatever it is, made it really hard for them, because she can’t be in a relationship with someone that she wants to fix or has the capacity to fix. So I think it wasn’t just made impossible to be exciting, but also it just made a lot of sense that these two had a hard time to simply give a chance to what they felt. But I think it’ll make the next season really interesting too, because given the fact that he’s been through all this, I don’t think he can just let go of whatever feelings he has.

IGN: Jack and Alana had an interesting relationship where sometimes they could be very cooperative, but then he could be pretty harsh with her if he felt he needed to. So how are they in the wake of what’s happened to Will?

Dhavernas: They’re still respecting each other and all that. She was taking care of Will, that was her point of view. His point of view was saving lives. I think they will always butt heads. I think had it been me, I would have been more like, "I told you so!” [Laughs] She said it once, maybe twice, and now she’s moving on with getting the situation fixed. So God knows where it’s going to take them, but I think they’re still talking. They’re human beings, they’re trying to settle the situation together. Of course, they rarely agree on how to do things.

IGN: Lastly, we started out talking about how you were reuniting with Bryan on this after Wonderfalls. I was a big fan of that show. What’s it like for you to see the longevity of it? It only aired four episodes on TV, but it is kind of a testament to the DVD afterlife of shows. People seem to continually discover that show.

Dhavernas: Yeah, absolutely. When I travel -- I remember going to Australia and being recognized there for Wonderfalls. It’s quite astonishing for a show that, as you said, was pulled after four episodes. I think it was never given a fair chance, because it was on Friday night, which is basically the worst way of saying, "We want you dead before you’re even born.” But I think it was a good show. It was a kooky show. It was fun, it was smart. Had it been given a real chance, I think it would have had an interesting life. But it’s already kind of amazing, as you said, I think the DVD -- all the fans who signed the petition for the DVD, they made it possible. Otherwise, Fox would have never released the DVD. So it only goes to show how far the Internet has gone. It’s funny because all these streaming discussions and how it’s terrible and all that, I agree that we have to find a way to continue financing television, and streaming doesn’t help that, but at the same time, the Internet did make television what it’s become. It’s become, in some regards, stronger than film these days. So yeah, I think it’s all thanks to the fans who signed that petition online.
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Hannibal (NBC)

Season 2: Feb. 28, 2014 on NBC
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