N A TYPICAL dayRebecca

Appalachian accent—who appeared in The Originals , Pretty Little Liars , and several Aussie series before landing the iconic role. (In fact, she connected with her husband of seven years, actor Luke Mitchell, on the set of the Down Under soap Home and Away .) She took a break from filming the penultimate episode to hop on the phone and talk about her passions, her secret talents, and what to expect from the Clarice big finish. Let’s just get to it: What are you allowed to say about the season finale? I don’t want to give away anything because the plot takes massive twists and turns. I just keep thinking of a line in the pilot episode when [Tyler] says, “It just keeps getting worse,” and Clarice says, “It always gets worse.” We stick true to that notion. The darkness is dark; Clarice has to be incredibly truthful and brave to look herself in the mirror. You’re the third actress, after Jodie Foster [in The Silence of the Lambs ] and Julianne Moore [in 2001’s Hannibal ], to ever play Clarice. Was that a lot of pressure? You know, I’m honored to be a part of the legacy and that we’re getting to tell her stories. Now that you’re almost done with the season, do you feel as if you’ve really made the role your own?

Breeds logs 15 hours on the Toronto

set of Clarice . Then she arrives to a dark apartment, changes into her fluffiest bathrobe, plops into bed, falls asleep, and starts all over again. And she loves, loves, loves it. “Every morning on the drive to the studio, I always take a moment of gratitude,” the actress says. “To bleed your soul into something and to know that people are responding so well to it is one of the most satisfying things. Gosh, I’m so blessed to be doing what I’ve always dreamed of.” Never mind that she stars as the titular character in a psychological thriller so creepy and haunting that it’s basically the stuff of nightmares. Although the hit series—which premiered in February— is set one year after studious FBI trainee Clarice Starling saved the day in the 1991 classic The Silence of the Lambs , viewers have learned that the lambs are still screaming inside her head. Now part of a special task force specializing in violent crimes, Clarice has tried to reconcile her past traumas as she chases down the mysterious villain responsible for killing a group of female whistleblowers from a pharmaceutical clinical trial. (Small- screen vets Michael Cudlitz, Kal Penn, and Devyn A. Tyler play her cohorts.) Breeds herself is a sunny 33-year-old native of Sydney, Australia—yes, she has mastered Agent Starling’s

“I think of Clarice as a song, and Jodie was the saxophone


and Julianne was the violin and I‛m the flute.”

From the beginning I was never going to copycat another actress. That’s just mimicking. I think of Clarice as a song, and

CLARICE airs on Thursdays at 10p.m. ET/PT onCBS and streams on Paramount+.

Dress by Lucian Matis

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