Jodie Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins were "really scared" of each other when they filmed 'The Silence of the Lambs'.

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster

The 56-year-old actress played Clarice Starling in the 1991 psychological thriller; an FBI student who is forced to interview convicted cannibal murderer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) from his cell at a hospital for the criminally insane to gain information about an active serial killer called Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine) in a bid to end his murderous rampage.

Foster explained that the pair's acclaimed interrogation scenes didn't take place face-to-face during filming as the complicated set design took 20 minutes to get the British actor in and out of his prison cell and she admits her interactions with Hopkins, 81, and his "disembodied, scary voice" terrified her.

Speaking at the SXSW Conference and Festival, she said: "The movie didn't scare me, but Anthony Hopkins scared me. You'll notice, if you look at the movie again ... instead of the person looking at the person off-screen, that the actors are actually looking down the lens.

"And that means I am there, but way behind the camera and I'm just a voice, he can't see me. And the same is true on my side. So when I'm doing scenes with Dr. Lecter, I just hear this disembodied, scary voice, but I don't actually see his face. I have to look into the camera and pretend that he's in the camera."

"The last day of shooting, we were having lunch, I was having my tuna fish sandwich and he's next to me, and I said to him like, 'I was really scared of you,' because I never talked to him the whole movie, and he was like, 'I was really scared of you!' "

Foster's performance earned her the Best Actress Oscar, Hopkins' turn as Lecter landed him the Best Actor Oscar and the movie won a further three Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for Jonathan Demme