It was 24 years ago today that Brad Pitt first emerged from the shadows as Louis de Pointe du Lac in the decadent big screen adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire from Irish director Neil Jordan.
Louis enthralled audiences as his epic story spanning 200 years unfolded before our eyes, and the film’s aesthetic influenced goth culture for more than a decade.
Jordan and Rice, who adapted her novel for the screenplay, brought together an impressive cast with some of the biggest stars of the day, though one casting decision was the source of controversy at the time.
The author was not keen on the decision to cast Tom Cruise in the role of Lestat de Lioncourt. In fact, she was quite vocal at the time that she thought it was a mistake.
“I was particularly stunned by the casting of Cruise,” Rice told the LA Times. “He’s no more my Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler.”
Her thoughts were allayed when she saw the finished film, however, and in true Anne Rice fashion, she admitted she had been mistaken in her assessment of the actor by his previous work.
“From the moment he appeared Tom was Lestat for me. He has the immense physical and moral presence; he was defiant and yet never without conscience; he was beautiful beyond description yet compelled to do cruel things,” she said. “The sheer beauty of Tom was dazzling, but the polish of his acting, his flawless plunge into the Lestat persona, his ability to speak rather boldly poetic lines, and speak them with seeming ease and conviction were exhilarating and uplifting. The guy is great.”
Alongside Pitt and Cruise, the cast included Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst, Stephen Rea, and Antonio Banderas, who was particularly magnetic in the role of the enigmatic leader of the French vampires, Armand.
To this day, the film is still a gold standard for fans of both Rice and vampires.
What are your memories of Interview with the Vampire? Let us know in the comments below!