Caroline Dhavernas first became a favorite amongst television nerds when she starred as Jaye Tyler in Bryan Fuller’s much-loved, but short-lived, series Wonderfalls. Now, she’s carved out a place in Fuller’s magnificent and macabre tv take on Dr. Hannibal Lecter: Hannibal. Dhavernas co-stars as Dr. Alana Bloom and we got her to open up about the character’s recent hookup, why Alana Bloom has given up on Will Graham completely and why she thinks the fans find Hannibal so sexy. WARNING: Hannibal Season Two spoilers abound.
First things first: after last weeks episode, what was your personal reaction to the Hannibal and Alana Bloom hookup?
Well, I think it makes sense. It was a long time coming. Because last year we had that scene in the kitchen when he was trying to flirt with Alana a little bit. She wasn’t falling into that game because of course she’s a lady in a man’s world. I think she has to be very careful with the romances that she lets herself fall into. There was already the romance with Will in the last season. And, of course, Hannibal is such a smart, manipulative person. He knows exactly how to hurt Will the most by getting close to the lady that he likes, and he does it in such a way that he doesn’t really have to go that far.
So I thought that was a very smart way to bring it up and not have him running after her, but to have her kind of open herself up to him.
Yeah. I think Chilton described Alana as “catnip” for all of the psychopaths and killers on the show, but she’s also very clearly attracted to those characters as well. Not just professionally, but personally. Where do you think that curiosity comes from?
It’s what she does for a living. It’s what she was attracted to for her work. I think she has a fascination for intricate and complicated minds. With Will, she knew that if she was in a relationship with him, she would be curious about him and maybe even want to fix him. She’s a therapist, she does want to help and save. I think she has that savior [complex]. It’s tricky for her in relationships.
I think that’s why she goes towards Hannibal. When they hear that Will tried to kill Hannibal, I think that’s when she gives up on him completely. She always thought because of the encephalitis he had done things he would’ve never done had he not been sick. But, now that he’s back and he’s not sick anymore, he’s going towards Hannibal like that…I think it’s the end of Will. She needed that to let go of him completely in her mind.
I think she’s probably been wanting a grown up relationship for a while and Hannibal is that exactly. She’s known him for such along time. He’s been a mentor and a friend. I think that in that moment it’s that. It’s almost like after a funeral hookup. You want to feel alive. I think the attraction comes from there to wanting to feel like you’re terribly alive in the moment of death when you let go of a friend. So, I think it start there. It may not be the same attraction like she had with Will. But, I think for her it’s the beginning of something more adult & healthy.
Little does she know that Hannibal’s a serial killer, but the audience does. So I know in the previews for this week Will is going to be released from the Baltimore State Hospital For The Criminally Insane. Is there a chance that he and Alana could rebuild their relationship? Because you make it sound that she has washed her hands of him.
As of now, where she stands, it’ll be pretty hard to forgive unless she realizes why Will went that far. But, as of now where we stand in this episode it will be hard for her to start any romance again after what he did. He’s clearly not well. I think there’s a lot left in the season of ups and downs. Things happening that make her question what Will is up to. What state of mind he’s in? This cat and mouse game between he and Hannibal is not over. So the relationship can go in all sorts of directions, for sure. But, as of now I don’t think she’s going to go back to anything romantic with him.
Going back to the attraction that Alana has for Hannibal Lecter, I know a lot of the fans of the show and the series in general are also very attracted to him. Where do you think that stems from? What’s the allure of the psychopath?
Well, I think the human monster is really kind of fascinating. We all have our monster inside us, I suppose. But we’re not allowed to let it out in society. So, I think we’ve all been so curious to see what it feels like or to be like. Before film and cinema was ever invented we used to tell each other ghost stories around the campfire. I think the human mind is curious about horror and violence. But, since we don’t want to experience in our everyday lives we use fiction and art to get a feel of what it would be like. It’s a little bit like putting your hand on the stove when you know you’re not supposed to. But, you’re so curious. I think it stems from that human behavior.
Yeah, I think it goes back to your funeral comment. You want to feel alive. So, you want to get closer.
Yeah! I think Hannibal-he’s so interesting because he’s a dandy. He may kill because someone has terribly bad taste. He thinks they don’t deserve to live because they are not educated that way. It’s kind of funny too! There’s a dark humor to that.
Speaking of the attraction…I know the show has amazingly gorgeous murder scenes. They’re grisly, but they’re gorgeous. Do you have a favorite one?
Let me think… the eye at the beginning of the second episode, second season was kind of interesting with all of those bodies. The angels, too, in the first season with their backs open with wings. I thought that was kind of gorgeous, even though as you say, horrific.
There’s more coming. There’s one coming up soon that involves a woman inside a horse that I thought was interesting. It’s very poetic and weird and terrible.
Do you have a least favorite? Is there one that goes too far for you? Or do you think that they’ve been able to manage that?
I remember that one that really kind of turned my stomach upside down was the mushroom episode the second one in the first season. I think it was really interesting. I don’t think they went too far…for me? I don’t know. There’s something about decay and mushrooms and the human body that really grosses me out. I think that one would be the worst one for me.
What’s interesting to me the series is kind of like a prequel to Red Dragon and the other Thomas Harris novels. I wonder, obviously you’ve already veered plot because the show just killed Beverly Katz and she’s in Red Dragon, but how much have you based your performance on the original template for Dr. Bloom from the books? Did you just throw it out when you realized you changed gender on to that original drawing that Harris makes in the books?
Alan Bloom in the book and in the movies–he doesn’t have a very big part. The character is not really developed that much. So there was very little to draw from anyway. Since he was a man and he was made into a woman for the show. No I didn’t feel like there was much to draw from in the first place. I just kind of made her my own from what I saw on the page and from what Bryan came up with.
I was just curious because I think it was interesting that he took some of the male characters and made them female. As an actress, what was your take on that choice that Bryan Fuller made?
I think had he not done that there wouldn’t be many female character on the show except for the victims. Bryan has been very carful to make sure the victims aren’t only female. There’s male and female victims and it would’ve been unfortunate to not have strong female characters on the show. So, both Freddie Lounds and Alana Bloom came along for that purpose. I think it’s a very smart thing to do.
Is there any quality that Alana Bloom has that you personally wish that you had?
I guess she has this quiet strength about her that I kind of admire. She’s surround by these big egos and big personalities at work and she unphased by it. She put’s her foot down when she has to. She doesn’t seem to doubt all of that much when she has to make a point in front of Jack Crawford, who’s a monster of strength. I really admire her strength at work.
Finally, how worried should the audience be for Alana Bloom in the next upcoming episodes? Because it was hinted that she could be in some precarious situations now that she’s torn between Will and Hannibal…
She is in Hannibal’s house eating. So yeah, they should be very concerned.
Hannibal returns to NBC tonight at 10/9 C.
[Photo Credit: NBC]