The Scarface star had been the first choice to play the FBI agent opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins as serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 thriller, a role that earned Jodie her second Best Actress Oscar.
In a new interview, Michelle told The New Yorker that she was uncomfortable with the film’s “evil” message and ending.
“With Silence Of The Lambs, I was trepidatious,” she said. “There was such evil in that film.
“It was that evil won in the end, that at the end of that film evil ruled out. I was uncomfortable with that ending. I didn’t want to put that out into the world.”
The film would have marked a reunion between the actor and director Jonathan Demme, after the pair worked together three years prior on the comedy Married To The Mob.
Michelle admitted that turning down the role was one of her biggest professional regrets, as she never got to work again with Jonathan, who died in 2017.
“The thing I most regret is missing the opportunity to do another film with Jonathan,” she said.
The Silence Of The Lambs isn’t the only notable movie that Michelle has turned down.
She was unable to star in Thelma & Louise due to scheduling conflicts with another project, and also rejected the starring roles in Pretty Woman and Basic Instinct, which made stars of Julia Roberts and Sharon Stone, respectively.