Hannibal Season 3: Will “has to be part of Hannibal’s life”

Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy on how the Will/Hannibal bromance survives in Season 3

Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in Hannibal
Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in Hannibal
Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in Hannibal

As break-ups go, Hannibal‘s second season finale was pretty messy, as Hannibal Lecter gutted Will Graham and his friends and walked off into the night.

With Hannibal Season 3 about to start, we’re about to see that, just because they’ve fallen out, doesn’t mean that Hannibal wants to let Will Graham go.

“Well the separation I guess was needed,” Mads Mikkelsen tells us. “It could only end the way it ended in the second season. It’s a concern to a degree that he can miss people, he can believe it was a sad thing that he had to do it, but at the same time he had to do it, so it’s nothing he regrets, it was just exactly what destiny had up the sleeve for them. But he can definitely miss people. Regretting, that’s not his style. It’s not a separation that he’s pleased with but he can live in any situation I guess, Hannibal, and he’s doing his very best to place some marks about his whereabouts.”

“Will Graham will be looking for him, and if he doesn’t find him at least it will be a great comfort to know that he’s out there looking for him. He’s mildly obsessed with Will so he has to be part of his life somehow, whether it’s from a distance or very close, time will tell.”

During the course of Season 2, we saw Will playing on Hannibal’s affection for him to win his confidence. Now, with Hannibal living in Florence with his therapist Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson), the good Doctor is experimenting having a companion and an accomplice.

“It’s been interesting because he is a man who is quite comfortable being alone, just being by himself,” Mikkelsen explains. “But maybe the fact that he met Will, Will is probably the person he’s loved the most in his life, next to his sister, and he’s mildly obsessed with him, has made him aware that it is nice to have company, it’s nice to have somebody around that shares the same interests to a degree, or at least share each other’s secrets.”

Hugh Dancy HannibalMeanwhile, Will Graham must begin his hunt for Hannibal Lecter, setting off to Europe in an attempt to track down the monster. Naturally, the psychology behind this hunt is more than a little complex…

“In terms of the hunting for Hannibal, yes, on a very basic level that is what’s happening at the very beginning of the third season, but in another sense it’s not entirely clear to us, or even to Will, what that hunt is about,” Dancy enthuses. “And it’s like he’s completely cleared the decks and almost cleared himself in a way to go off on this quest and what he’s going to discover and what he wants to do when he gets to Hannibal he doesn’t even know. I thought that was interesting.”

Will and Hannibal in (sort of) happier times
Will and Hannibal in (sort of) happier times

With Hannibal on the run, we certainly won’t be seeing any more scenes of the two men sitting opposite each other in the cosy confines of the therapist’s office. These sequences were part of what defined the first two seasons of the show, but Dancy tells us that we should expect to see Hannibal and Will connect, if not on this physical plane.

“That was the weirdest thing, certainly about the first few episodes of the show,” he remembers. “Of course the show being what it is they find ways to find ways to bring us together because neither Will nor Hannibal are constrained by the limits of anything other than their own minds, right? So we can always find ways to talk. But yeah, it was weird not being able to sit down in a room with Mads three times per episodes and just kind of have a gossip, basically. And that beyond the travel and everything else I mentioned that might be the strangest part for viewers. But you have to break that paradigm at a certain point, even just to put it back together. I think Bryan [Fuller] was right about that.”

“I think we’ve achieved something quite special in the first two seasons, we elaborated on one story for 26 episodes and it became more or less a bromance between these two characters,” adds Mikkelsen. “And so it went from a horror story to a heartbreaking drama between people and we almost forgot the horror part, even though it is horror of course. And I think that was quite an achievement and it had to shift gear, the third season in every show has to shift gears, we can’t sit around doing the same things anymore. Even though the same theme is there, we have to play it out in a different way. So how the audience is going to embrace this, we don’t know. We can only hope for the best and cross our fingers.”

Hannibal Season 3 airs on 10 June exclusively on Sky Living in the UK. Read more exclusive interviews with Bryan Fuller, Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in the new issue of SciFiNow.