How Making 'Clarice' Helped Co-Creator Jenny Lumet Heal

How Making #Clarice Helped Co-Creator Jenny Lumet Heal

2/23/2021 5:11:00 AM

How Making Clarice Helped Co-Creator Jenny Lumet Heal

“This is a woman who slays monsters, who reaches into the darkest places and pulls out the humanity and the light and does everything I wish I was brave enough to do.”

The Silence of the Lambswas released in theaters. (Simmons has denied all allegations against him.) It’s why Lumet felt strongly that the new series, set about a year after the film, takes the time to unpack Clarice’s trauma upon her return to the field. In between trying to solve her latest horrifying case, the agent, played by Rebecca Breeds, is often seated in front of a work-mandated therapist in a deeply repressed state as he gently encourages her to open up.

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Lumet remembers her own struggles to come forward, and the relief and sisterhood she’s felt since. “After I wrote that letter [inThe Hollywood Reporter], a woman reached out to me via email through a friend,” she begins. “She was a person who had been in the same situation, and it was kind of like staring into the sun. At first, I said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no. I don't want to see her. I don't want to talk to her.’”

Lumet pauses for a moment. “It's funny, whenever I go down this path, I become a little more inarticulate,” she says. “Please forgive me. It's just the nature of it.” After a beat, she continues. “Finally, I said, ‘Okay,’ and it became an extraordinary relationship. We don't talk every day. We don't see each other often. But we send each other a little code over the phone. I'm like, ‘Hey, I'm in the world. Are you in the world?’ She's like, ‘Yeah, I'm in the world. Are you in the world?’ We let each other know that we're there.”

Their relationship makes Lumet think about Clarice and Catherine Martin, whom Clarice rescues from Buffalo Bill inThe Silence of the Lambs, and the unique agony both carry. “They are the only two people who know what that little dog's claws on the stone of Bill's floor sounds like, what Bill's voice sounds like, what Bill's basement smells like, what that well smells like. A sensory experience, certainly as intense as that, gives you a bond, whether you like it or not. It's up to each person what they want to do with that bond and their freaking trauma.”

For Lumet, she createdClarice. “Not everybody gets to write a television show. It's not everybody's thing,” she says. “But if this can be any kind of demonstration of,I was carrying [trauma] and it was making me silent and suffocated, and then I learned to carry it a different way and I put my energy out into the universe and reconnected

, my hope is for people to find that for themselves.”Breeds and Devyn A. Tyler in Read more: ELLE Magazine (US) »

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