For centuries, vampires in folklore fascinated and terrorized people all across the globe, before popular media gave birth to iconic characters like Dracula in print, and later on in the big screen. Since the advent of motion pictures, vampires have been a mainstay of movie monsters. Continuous adaptations of different vampire stories include the likes of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) and Thirst (2009). Over the past decades, more and more additions to this genre have been blockbuster hits, but way before the peak of The Twilight Saga (2008-2012), a 1994 American gothic horror novel-turned-film caught the hearts of many — Interview with the Vampire.
From Page to Screen
Nerdist.com details how the film is an adaptation of Anne Rice’s 1976 novel of the same name and focuses on the journey of two vampires, Lestat and Louis, as narrated by the latter in a present-day interview, beginning with his transformation into a vampire to turning Kirsten Dunst’s young Claudia into a vampire and accomplice. Directed by Neil Jordan, this masterpiece boasts a star-studded cast of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and Stephen Rea. Considered to have one of the best endings in Hollywood vampire history, the movie propelled its actors into stardom, carving out names in the industry.
For instance, Tom Cruise, who played Lestat, was just starting with his acting career at the time. Prior to the film, he was labeled as a rising edgy action movie star, having been a part of critical and box-office smashes, including Top Gun (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). This reputation sparked concerns from author Anne Rice, who even questioned whether Tom knew what he was getting into.
However, these criticisms only inspired him to give his all into the role, and once the film premiered, the author had nothing but praises for him as she eventually deemed him perfect for the role. To this day, Cruise has been a household name for big-budget action flicks, particularly the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Louis Looking Back
On the other hand, Brad Pitt, who played Louis, revealed that while Cruise was studiously preparing for the film, he did not know exactly what he was getting into. In fact, he looked back to that filming experience as particularly dark and miserable, even wanting to quit at one point. Nevertheless, being the professional he is, he channeled these emotions into portraying the brooding Louis excellently, paving the way for other appearances in films like Se7en (1995) and 12 Monkeys (1995) shortly thereafter. He also starred in the classic film Fight Club (1999) and the fantasy movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).
These days, when he is not teaming up with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood co-star Margot Robbie for the upcoming film Babylon, Pitt has plenty to keep busy with. A Poker.org feature on celebrity hobbies highlights how the multi-award winning actor has a couple of classic, if unexpected, pastimes: pottery and knitting. He even manages to share these hobbies with co-stars during long hours of filming!
Interview with The Vampire did more than catapult Cruise and Pitt, along with Antonio Banderas, who was more well-known in Spain at the time, and Kirsten Dunst, a promising and talented young actress, into becoming the biggest stars of this generation. The classic film also introduced both casual moviegoers and avid fans of the genre to another side of the typically one-sided vampire monster. The film humanized vampires to the point of showing their regrets and introspection, moving away from the typical blood-sucking figures they were once known to be. And the vampire movie genre was never the same since.
The recent news that AMC has greenlit a new series to debut on the channel and AMC+ app has reignited the interest in Anne Rice’s work. The company acquired 18 titles including the Lestat titles. The first season contains 8-episodes and will debut in 2022.
Contributor Bianca Wright is a freelance web developer with a passion for all things gothi horror. When she’s not working, Bianca enjoys reading and watching films, as well as tending to her small urban garden.