Rebecca Breeds (The Originals, Pretty Little Liars) has been cast as the lead, Clarice Starling, in CBS’ crime drama pilot Clarice, based on the famous Thomas Harris character. The project written and executive produced by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet has a big series commitment, and a writers room already has been set up.
Clarice is set in 1993, a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs. The series is a deep dive into the untold personal story of Clarice Starling (Breeds), as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high-stakes political world of Washington, D.C.
Brilliant and vulnerable, Clarice graduated Magna from UVA with a double major in psych and criminology. Her bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. Her complex psychological makeup comes from a challenging childhood, and her drive comes from her need to escape the burden of family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.
Breeds is taking on the role that earned Jodie Foster an Oscar for the 1991 movie adaptation directed by Jonathan Demme. In 2001’s Hannibal, based on Harris’ 1999 novel, which was set 10 years after Silence of the Lambs, Clarice was played by Julianne Moore.
Secret Hideout’s Kurtzman and Heather Kadin executive produces Clarice alongside Lumet; the company’s Aaron Baiers will be co-executive producer.
The character of Hannibal Lecter is not expected to be part of the series, from MGM Television and CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout
Australia-born Breeds landed the part of Clarice in a competitive situation, auditioning alongside a number of young actresses. It was the second network drama pilot in which she nabbed the title role after an extensive testing process, following the 2016 NBC legal soap Miranda’s Rights.
Breeds’ first role in the U.S. was on CBS, she co-starred on the short-lived comedy series We Are Men. She recently recurred on the network’s drama The Code. Breeds, known for her recurring roles on Pretty Little Liars and The Originals, is repped by UTA, Untitled and Mark Morrissey Management (Australia).