The actor revealed he always saw the relationship between the characters as a romance, "but not necessarily something that would become physical."

By Andrea Towers
April 20, 2021 at 11:44 AM EDT

Attention Hannibal fans: Mads Mikkelsen sees you and your ship preferences.

In a new interview with Vulture, the Danish star got candid about his feelings about one of the show's most popular talking points: the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy.)

Asked if Mikkelsen saw his relationship with Dancy's character as a romance, Mikkelsen responded positively, though he added he didn't see that romance as "necessarily something that would become physical." Still, that doesn't mean the thought wasn't there — or it wasn't explored in the filming of an important scene.

Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, left, and Hugh Dancy as Will Graham on 'Hannibal.'
| Credit: Brooke Palmer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Speaking about the pivotal moment in the show when Will and Hannibal both kill Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage), Mikkelsen admits that "we actually did a couple of takes of the very last scene where we were looking at each other, and it was a little too obvious — it was almost a kiss. Me and Hugh were like, 'Why not? We have a couple of takes. Let's do one. It might be cool.'"

Although the moment was discussed, the actors never ended up going for it in the final shot.

"[Showrunner Bryan Fuller] loved it, but he was like, 'Too much, guys. It's too obvious.' And he was absolutely right," said Mikkelsen. "But I think we were just stuck on that. And a lot of the Fannibals wanted it as well. It's been a subject of homoerotic fan art. And for good reason, because they are so united as twins in many ways. But we never wanted it to be a physical thing. It was something much bigger than that."

Hannibal aired on NBC for three seasons. Despite critical acclaim and an intensely devoted fanbase, the show struggled in ratings and never managed to secure a fourth season.

"We knew that there was a fourth season," Mikkelsen told Vulture. "We had something more up the sleeve, but then it didn't happen."

The good news: If there's ever any chance for Hannibal to return, Mikkelsen (and the rest of the cast) would be first in line.

"I would love to go back," said Mikkelsen. "Everybody wants to go back, and if there's only one season and we're sure about that, [Fuller] can finish it in a proper, surprising, stunning way."

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