Date: 2nd September 2000
ANTONY HOPKINS was petrified when he had to walk through a pen containing pigs trained to eat human flesh for his new film.
The 15 pigs star as man eating animals alongside Hopkins and JULIANNE MOORE in the gruesome flick HANNIBAL, which is the sequel to the blockbuster SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. The Russian boars were trained to bite, charge and attack humans in readiness for their man-munching roles. Trainer ELIZABETH McMILLAN says, "We trained them to bite a fake body first. "We covered fake bodies in meat and so they would go up to it and bite it and get a reward. We then stopped rewarding them so they got vicious and charged, biting and shaking the bodies."
A stunt double stood in for Hopkins on the North Carolina shoot - screaming "ouch" as the pigs charged him and bit the foam suit he wore under his clothes.But Hopkins was forced to walk among the aggressive beasts and was left shaking with nerves. McMillan adds, "They bite pretty hard.They had never been handled before and so they were really wild. Hopkins had to walk through them. He saw how we handled them but I think he was still terrified."
Four of the pigs have been kept by McMillan, who also trained the rats for TITANIC, but the other 11 have been moved to a new home in a drive-through animal park, Missouri, America.