Gladiator star Jacobi has revealed he made it to the final shortlist of three actors in the running to play the creepy serial killer, along with Daniel Day-Lewis, but they both lost out to Sir Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar for the part.
In his new autobiography As Luck Would Have It, Jacobi writes, "I was one of the three finalists for the casting of Hannibal Lecter for The Silence Of The Lambs: the others were Daniel Day-Lewis and Tony Hopkins. They were determined to have a Brit for their villain - I'm not sure what this says about us. Goodness knows how it would have turned out if I had played the part, but I would have been malevolent in a very different way.
"Tony has harder eyes than I have. He was wonderful."