A behind-the-scenes feature with Mads Mikkelsen reveals why the outstanding fight scene in Hannibal season 2’s first episode was so special. Hannibal aired for three seasons on NBC from 2013 to 2015, and its passionate fans are still hungry for Hannibal season 4. After all, the Bryan Fuller-created series raised the bar for both network and prestige TV in every conceivable way, and even the occasional fight scenes seen on Hannibal yielded upper echelon results.
Hannibal season 2, episode 1, “Kaiseke,” featured a brutal showdown between Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) in Hannibal’s kitchen. It’s by far Hannibal’s best fight scene, and Mads Mikkelsen credited the two actors’ pasts by simply saying, “We felt young again.” While the fisticuffs between Hannibal and Jack turned out great in fitting Hannibal fashion, it would have also been more catastrophic than usual if the fight scene was bad or merely average.
Why Hannibal & Jack’s Fight Is The Best In The Show
Laurence Fishburne has plenty of fight-acting experience in his past, and Mads Mikkelsen’s origins as a dancer and gymnast were also beneficial for Hannibal‘s fight scenes. While the two actors weren’t in their physical primes anymore while making Hannibal, the fight scene in “Kaiseke” was a great opportunity for both actors to reach into the past and use their experiences to elevate the scene to the next level. Laurence Fishburne also attributed the actors’ pasts in the behind-the-scenes feature and said, “We had to learn the dance.“
Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford definitely “danced” in “Kaiseke,” and it was the most brutal dance imaginable. Laurence Fishburne’s Jack prioritized his incredible strength, something that surprised crew members during filming, while Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal favored speed and agility (and a timely cunning trick) to gain the upper hand. It was a scene that would have had incredible weight regardless due to the plot, but the collective experiences of both Mikkelsen and Fishburne really made the big fight scene even bigger and even more special.
How A Bad Season 2 Fight Could’ve Ruined Hannibal
There were some truly nightmare-inducing moments on Hannibal, all of which somehow passed NBC’s censors, but the scariest outcome would have been a season 2 fight scene that didn’t turn out well. Much like a Michelin 3-star restaurant meticulously dolling out literally the best food for twelve courses, everything Hannibal and its near-fatal romance served always ended with a juicy chef’s kiss. A bad or mediocre fight scene in Hannibal’s sophomore season would have been the TV equivalent of getting food poisoning. Fortunately, Hannibal took full advantage of Mads Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne’s considerable skills.
Fans have been waiting for season 4 or a movie for years, but there are plenty of reasons to revisit Hannibal’s existing content. Everything from the visuals to the way Mads Mikkelsen says “existential angst” is a masterpiece. Hannibal is so great, even its rare fight scenes are just as delicious as Hannibal Lecter’s homemade meals.