INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE-United States-1994
Directed by Neil Jordan
Screenplay by Anne Rice
Based on the novel by Anne Rice
How could a movie adaptation of Interview with the Vampire go wrong? First off, you have Anne Rice’s masterful novel as a starting point. You have two young stars, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, who manage to put their egos aside and deliver performances that exceed all expectations. You have director Neil Jordan, who had just come off helming one of the greatest films of all time, The Crying Game. Add a stellar performance by a budding young actress named Kirsten Dunst and you have a recipe for a great vampire film.
The thing that impressed me the most about both the book and the movie is the conflict between newly turned vampire Louis and the vampire Lestat. Louis is struggling to hang on to his humanity no matter what the cost. Lestat is savage evil wrapped in the guise of a gentleman. Whatever shred of decency he had died a long time before the story even began.
For some, the biggest controversy surrounding the film was the casting of Tom Cruise as Lestat. Even Anne Rice herself was livid that Cruise had been cast in the role. After seeing his performance, she graciously admitted her error in misjudgment. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of Tom Cruise the person. I find him to be stupid to the point of being a complete buffoon. As for Tom Cruise the actor and his performance as Lestat, he nails it, no doubt about it.
Equally good is Brad Pitt as the vampire Louis. People may forget Pitt’s performance as it is the more reserved of the two between himself and Cruise. Nevertheless, his performance as Louis is the perfect counterpart to Cruise’s Lestat.
Interview with the Vampire is not for everyone’s taste. There are always going to be the minority that will argue that the book was better. I have to disagree. Both the book and the film are of one piece; and that one piece is a masterpiece.
Christina Ricci, Dominique Swain, Julia Stiles, Erin Moore and Evan Rachel Wood auditioned for the role of Claudia.
Tom Cruise wanted a private set, and hence tunnels were built to escort the actors to and from the set. This was done so that the vampire’s makeup effects would remain a secret.
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