Just in time for the month of Halloween Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire has now been developed into a new TV series. The idea of a new adaptation of the hit novel shocked fans and critics alike. Rice was notoriously strict over the adaptations of her work and the creative styles that could be pushed towards them. Yet before her recent passing and along with the announcement of the project it was clear she had approved and been involved in this latest iteration.
Fans of the original iconic 90s film that had Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise as our campy toxic vampire couple, including myself, showed concerns before the release. The original defined an era of vampires in pop culture and in film that would not be revived again until the Twilight films came out. Although there were criticisms of the original film it was well-received by fans.
It was clear from the beginning of the press tour that this incarnation of Lestat and Louis and their twisted love affair would be miles apart from Cruise and Pitt’s portrayal. An observation that caused ripples amongst the fans. The show creator Rolin Jones changing the time it was set and ageing up one of the most iconic characters from the child vampire Claudia, previously played by a young Kirsten Dunst, to a teenager. These specific details of setting and characterisation caused a stir amongst already divided fans. However, before the first episode was even released it was announced AMC had already renewed it for a second season and what with the upcoming release of the Mayfair witches it is clear AMC has big plans for Rice’s supernatural universe.
From the trailer, it was obvious to me that this was a passion project for Jones and the cast. Despite the alterations made the essence of these much-loved characters and their story was so evident. Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid are cast as our main vampiric duo, and from the trailer, it was clear the show was embracing their homoerotic relationship rather than the wink and nudge towards it that the 90s film provided. No, this is a show that embraces what it is and who these characters are.
Jones has grounded the show in depicting its truth and this is clear from the dynamic of the interview. The show presents Louis (Anderson) and Molloy (Eric Bogosian) as having already had the interview in which the book is based on. This show is a second interview, one in which the two characters conducting it make clear to each other and us the audience that this will be a more honest account.
But what makes this show stand-out is the acting and chemistry between our two main characters. Anderson as our leading man captures the repressed melancholy of Louis that eventually leads him on his path to Lestat, whilst Reid as the temptress is charming and enigmatic. As Louis asks us to let the tale seduce us as he was, it is captivating as a viewer to watch their relationship develop.
The show leans heavily into the campness of vampires in gothic horror, its balance of romance and the explicit acceptance and depiction of these characters as comedically toxic lovers provides fans with the compelling romance that connects these characters which the film deprived them of.
With only two episodes out and a second series to look forward to AMC’s Interview with the vampire is a breath of fresh air in an era of oversubscribed and samey television.