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These Props From The Silence Of The Lambs Were Actually Made From Candy

Over the past 30 years, "The Silence of the Lambs" has enjoyed a reputation as an iconic psychological horror film. It was a critical hit, too, becoming the third film to win the "big five" Oscars: the Academy Awards for best picture, best actor, best actress, best director, and best screenplay. This adaptation of Thomas Harris' 1988 novel of the same name is the first of a series of films featuring Dr. Hannibal Lecter and it endures as a spine-tingling masterpiece in every sense of the word.

"The Silence of the Lambs" stars Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who's tasked with helping hunt down a serial killer called "Buffalo Bill" (Ted Levine), a man who skins his female victims. With the help of the imprisoned cannibal psychiatrist played by Anthony Hopkins, she discovers that Buffalo Bill is kidnapping these women to create a skin suit. Starling also finds death's-head hawkmoth cocoons in the victims' throats, which become key to understanding Bill's motivations.

The moths in The Silence of the Lambs represent metamorphosis

Over the course of the film, Clarice Starling and Dr. Hannibal Lecter piece together the truth about serial killer Buffalo Bill: according to Lecter, he "mistakenly" believes he's transgender, but was denied gender-affirming surgery and instead resorted to kidnapping and murdering women to create a skin suit. He also imports death's-head moths into the United States, raises them, and places them in his victims' throats to symbolize his desire to "transform" into the woman he believes he truly is and no longer deal with this form of gender dysphoria.

Unfortunately, over the years, the film has drawn controversy for its representations of the trans community, with some viewers arguing that it perpetuates the stereotype of transgender people as devious predators (via Screen Rant). However, the moth also symbolizes Starling's journey throughout "The Silence of the Lambs." Over the course of the movie, she undergoes her own metamorphosis from FBI trainee to accomplished detective who has found an unexpected kindred spirit in Lecter.

However, they were actually made of candy

Viewers may remember the scene from "The Silence of the Lambs" in which Clarice Starling and her boss Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) attend an autopsy of one of Buffalo Bill's victims. Starling points out that there's something in the corpse's throat, leading the FBI to discover the first of Bill's many moth cocoons. As ghastly as the image of a moth cocoon being pulled from a corpse's throat is, the "Silence of the Lambs" cocoons weren't really bugs at all — they were candy! 

According to Hollywood.com, the cocoon removed from this victim's throat was actually made using tootsie rolls and gummy bears — admit it, you were hoping the face Dr. Hannibal Lecter borrowed from one of his guards was made of marzipan. While sweets may seem like the last things you'd use to create a serial killer's trademark, the crew made candy cocoons for a very practical reason: so they would be harmless if the actor accidentally swallowed them.