CBS previously announced plans to develop a TV series based on 1991’s Silence of the Lambs. Clarice picks up the story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling a year after her encounter with Hannibal Lecter.

While the series already cast Rebecca Breeds as the title character, casting for other key roles is currently underway. We’ve got your exclusive first look at a key character from the film returning to play an important role in the series.

Who is Ruth Martin?

Diane Baker as Senator Ruth Martin in Silence of the Lambs
Diane Baker as Senator Ruth Martin in Silence of the Lambs

In Silence of the Lambs, Ruth Martin is a US Senator. Buffalo Bill abducts her daughter Catherine, who ultimately becomes the only one to escape him with Clarice’s help. In an attempt to get information that may save her daughter, Senator Martin flies Hannibal Lecter to her. Lecter torments her, refusing to give up any real information. Ultimately, he escapes from under Senator Martin’s watch.

In Clarice, Martin is dealing with the fallout of Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lecter a year later. Politically, her career has never been better. Positioning herself as someone who fights for children and justice, she’s now earned the title of Attorney General. But while her professional life soars ever higher, her personal life lies in ruins. Catherine remains traumatized by her experience with Buffalo Bill. And now Martin thinks Clarice may be the key to saving her daughter and maintaining her political career…

The casting exclusive

The following Clarice casting breakdown describes Ruth Martin further:

[RUTH MARTIN] 50s, female, Caucasian. The most powerful woman in the history of American politics thus far, Ruth is the newly appointed Attorney General. A complex and fierce woman, Ruth knew her Senatorial record, stellar as it is, would never be enough to ascend to these heights without the narrative of ‘grieving mother’ after Clarice saved her daughter, CATHERINE MARTIN, from Buffalo Bill in The Silence Of The Lambs.

Indeed, Ruth has positioned herself as the one person in D.C. who will fight for your children. ViCAP, an elite FBI team, is Ruth’s creation, a chimera born of her psychological failure to protect the daughter and wily political optics. Ruth can land a political haymaker with the best of them. But her self-possession fades the minute she steps into her beautifully appointed home; her daughter Catherine has been so emotionally terrorized by her experience with Buffalo Bill, she is a shell of her former self, and never leaves the Martin apartment. Ruth knows Clarice is a political asset, and more importantly, may be the only one who can reach Catherine. 

Who should play Ruth Martin in Clarice?

The role of Attorney General Ruth Martin is listed as a “heavily recurring guest star.” In other words, not quite a lead role, but definitely one that will get fairly significant screen time.

It would be a fun opportunity to cast a well-known actor in the role. And when I hear ‘powerful woman in politics,’ I’m thinking Robin Wright. Since wrapping House of Cards and her recent DC appearances as Antiope, Wright could be available for the project.

Robin Wright and Brooke Smith
Robin Wright and Brooke Smith

Another direction Clarice could take the role? A tribute to the original film. Brooke Smith, who played Catherine Martin in Silence of the Lambs, is now the right age to play Ruth.

Would you like to see Wright or Smith play Ruth Martin? Who’s your fancast for the role? Let us know in the comments.