The Bridge's Ted Levine: "The Killer Is More Hannibal Lecter Than Jame Gumb"
Diane Kruger, Ted Levine
In this week's episode of FX's The Bridge, viewers finally learn what happened to Sonya's (Diane Kruger) sister years ago, and about the "mistake" related to the case that brought Sonya and Hank (Ted Levine) together.
"It's an interesting past, these two, in the way that they met, and it is a lot to be revealed," Levine tells TVGuide.com. "He bears a tremendous amount of regret concerning that thing, and it changed his perspective on a number of things, on justice and retribution. Knowing Sonya and having sort of been thrust into this relationship with her under these circumstances, it's kind of changed him."
The Bridge will solve the mystery before Season 1 ends
Describing Hank as an "eye-for-an-eye, old-school conservative," Levine says his character's relationship with Sonya runs deeper than a father-daughter dynamic. "I think it's more complicated than that, actually. I think there's a bit of a brother thing going on there too," Levine says. "Hank kind of mentors [Sonya], realizes that she's incredibly bright. ... She has absolutely no qualms with dealing with dead bodies and such, whereas Hank does and it's kind of taken its toll on him. Early on, she showed a fascination for it and I think that Hank, being in law enforcement, recognized her talents and channeled her in this direction.
"People are a little put off by [Sonya], and I think that Hank keeps her focused in a way, but he doesn't coddle her at all," Levine continues. "Hank is very much an old-school dad. Knowing Sonya and her perspective on stuff, which is incredibly bright and incredibly pragmatic, sort of changes a lot of those preconceptions that Hank has about the world — which is a hard thing to do for an old dog. Sonya will obsess on certain things, and I think that Hank is a solutions kind of guy. There isn't a problem without a solution. So, I think that they work well together."
FX's The Bridge is more than your average serial killer drama
The case takes an ominous turn this week, when Hank and Sonya realize the killer may be much closer to them — and a step ahead of the investigation — than either had realized. And a shocking development at the end of the episode will have long-lasting effects on both Hank and Sonya, Levine teases. "Hank's talking about retiring," Levine says. "He's really tired of seeing dead people."
Levine is perhaps best known for playing serial killer Jame Gumb (a.k.a. "Buffalo Bill") in The Silence of the Lambs, and says he's happy to be playing for the good guys now — while still dealing with unsavory characters.
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"When I read [The Bridge] and saw the source material, it was just smart. I think that's what drew me to this," Levine says. "I guess that's how I end up in this milieu. Plus I'm on the other side of it, and it took me a number of years to get on the other side. I'm immensely grateful that I am. ... It's really pretty cool that people see me from other things now and they aren't saying, 'Hey, say that line you said in the thing.' That baggage isn't as heavy anymore."
But that's not to say he hasn't noticed parallels between that movie and his current project.
"This [killer] is incredibly bright, and you'll see that in the next few episodes," Levine says of The Bridge's antagonist. "He's much more of a Hannibal Lecter than he is a Jame Gumb, let me put it that way. He's not acting out of some kind of repressed passion kind of deal, but he's very much the intellectual, and leading us around like fools."
Check out this sneak peek of The Bridge to see exactly what brought Hank and Sonya together:
The Bridge airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.