Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Will Graham’s (Hugh Dancy) relationship features significant homoerotic subtext on NBC’s Hannibal. While some involved in the project shrug off the gay undertones, others acknowledge that something does seem to be going on between the two characters.

Is Hannibal Lecter Gay?

Actor Scott Thompson, who plays Jimmy Price on Hannibal, thinks it’s perfectly possibly that things could turn overtly sexual between Lecter and Graham. Putting himself in their shoes, Thompson, who is openly gay, can empathize with the idea of someone consenting to sex with a person not of their preferred gender.

“Most people just need a little nudge into [a] sexuality that’s not in their world. And I think everybody probably have someone that’s the wrong gender that they could have sex with,” Thompson told uInterview, explaining, “You know, if Michelle Rodriguez came at me with a strap on I might go, ‘Eh, what the hell.’ You only live twice—you only live once! I almost said ‘twice.’ Ok, I’ll do it twice.”

Series creator Brian Fuller had a more cerebral answer to the question of whether or not Hannibal is gay. To him, the relationship between Hannibal and Will has love, but it doesn’t extend into anything of a sexual nature.

“There is an absolute genuine love between these two men,” Fuller explained. “And I don’t think it’s necessarily a “sexual” love. But one of the things that got me excited about writing this show was to explore a heterosexual male friendship and all the crazy ways it could go awry.”

While producer Michael Rymer thinks of the dynamic between Hannibal and Graham as “more of a bromance than a romance,” actress Caroline Dhavernas isn’t quite as sure. “There is a strong bond, a strong friendship, and possibly a little more,” Shavernas conceded. “I’m not sure, but does feel like it [is more] at some points.”