I saw the film adaptation of Interview with the Vampire way back when and fell in love with it. Since, it’s always been one of my favourite movies, and Brad Pitt stole my heart.
Tom Cruise freaked me out a bit – oh, how little I knew then how he would grow to freak me out even more…and Kirsten Dunst performed perhaps her best on-screen role of her entire career. I might be biased. But she was so good!
The result is that, now, some thirteen-ish years later, I finally have read Anne Rice’s book, which inspired it all. Louis’ voice, in my mind, was exactly that slow, smooth, detached drawl that Pitt uses in the film, and that was wonderful. It was like having Brad Pitt in my brain for a few days, reading me a story about vampires and the human condition.
Point being: I wasn’t able to separate my film viewing experience from my book reading experience. Do you remember my post about Troilus and Cressida? Why do you do this to me, Brad? Let my imagination go, and run free! Are you so possessive that once you’ve inhabited a character in my mind, nobody else can? Damn you!
It’s interesting that in the film *spoilers* Lestat does not return until the very end, and he’s the one who seeks out the reporter. In the book, Lestat reappears at the Theatre des vampires. He’s the one that gives them up, rather than Santiago figuring it out on his own. The novel also ends with the reporter heading out to find Lestat, rather than the latter dropping out of the sky into his red convertible as he’s driving at highway speeds.
Also, Armand and Louis run off together in the text, whereas in the film Louis goes on the road solo after Kirsten’s death (I think I’m remembering that right – can someone corroborate this?).
Lastly, the film puts a lot of emphasis on Louis’ refusal/grappling with feeding off humans. At one point, Lestat finds him after he’s spent weeks in the gutter, feeding solely on rats and vermin because Louis can’t stand the guilt from taking human lives. Once he learns that he can live off animal blood he’s like “WELP. It’s an animal-based diet for me from now on!” but this doesn’t happen in the book at all. His foray into animal-based eating is brief, and he quickly returns to feeding off of humans. He doesn’t enjoy it, he complains about it a lot, but he does it.
All told, the book was pretty good.
Brad Pitt Louis is a fairly self-indulgent and philosophical narrator who muses and moans more than he tells a story. But the story he does tell is pretty good. Surprisingly, the first book does not make me want to read Prince Lestat, the second installment in Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles series. I know they are canonical to the vampire genre, which I do love, but at this point, I simply have too many other books tempting me, of whose quality I am more certain.
Speaking of which, I finished The Tempest last night, so there’s a blog coming for that. Stay tuned! For now I’m off to mark and write papers.
Claudia (Kirsten): Media Giphy
Lestat (Tom) and Louis (Brad): The Clinton Street Theatre