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The Master

Young Hannibal

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Meet 'Young Hannibal'

Ever wonder how "Hannibal" became the movie world's most famous cannibal? The filming for 'Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask,' the prequel to 'Silence of the Lambs,' 'Hannibal' and 'Red Dragon,' is well under way and GASPARD ULLIEL, who finds his inner-sociopath in the title role, is revealing secrets from the set!

"It's the early cannibalism, he starts to discover the dark side of him and starts to enjoy the killing," Ulliel says. "You understand why he became like this."

ANTHONY HOPKINS played the man-eating menace three times and even won an Oscar® for 1991's 'Silence of the Lambs.' Ulliel admits he studied the Brit actor's attention-grabbing performance to prepare for the role.

"Especially 'Silence of the Lambs,'" Ulliel says. "I watched it maybe 50 times and studied how he was moving, his eye movement..."

The French-born actor realizes that although Hannibal is gruesome and twisted, he still manages to gain sympathy from the audience.

"You are moved by him," he says, "and feel some pity for him even if he does all of those horrible killings."

RHYS IFANS, known mainly as HUGH GRANT's quirky roommate in 'Notting Hill,' shows his evil side as a villain who tortures Hannibal's only ally, played by 'Memoirs of a Geisha''s GONG LI.

And just like its predecessor, Ulliel assures 'Young Hannibal,' out later this year, will aim to repulse. "There are some really nasty killings, especially near the end," he says, "the more savage it is, the more great it is."

For more on 'Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask,' watch tonight's ET!

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"The more great it is"??? Yeah, or "greater". That, too.

I honestly don't know what to think about this. It could be really, really good, or atrociously bad.

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Ulliel, if the rumors of how utterly bookwormish he was about the role (and like he stated above) are true, then he might drag this thing kicking and screaming to a good movie. I'll admit that when I first heard, I was kind of down about it... but now I'm getting more excited.

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