French actor Gaspard Ulliel initially turned down his breakthrough role in HANNIBAL RISING, because he was terrified of following in SIR Anthony Hopkins' footsteps. The A Very Long Engagement heart-throb only accepted the part after director Peter Webber flew to Paris, France to convince him he was the man to play the young Hannibal Lecter in the prequel to the blockbuster film series. He recalls, "I just thought it was a very risky role. It's a big, popular franchise and a very popular character. And it comes with a lot of expectation from audiences and critics. And following Anthony Hopkins is not an easy thing to do."