This week, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire premiered on AMC. Before we get into the details of the episode itself, we’re going to look at the television series from a bird’s eye view and lay out how it compares to the movie. Let’s jump into the biggest similarities and differences.
Back in 1994, the Interview with the Vampire film took the world by storm. The film features two of the biggest stars in the world, Brad Pitt (as Louis de Pointe du Lac) and Tom Cruise (as Lestat de Lioncourt). Also, the film introduced Kirsten Dunst to the world as the child vampire, Claudia. In the film (and Anne Rice’s original novel, which the film and television series are based on), Claudia is 5 years old. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater.
The 2022 AMC series may not feature the star power of the 1994 film, but the cast is still pretty impressive. On top of that, the acting may be even more convincing than what Cruise and Pitt showed us 28 years ago. Both are huge names, but their performances — especially Pitt’s showing as Louis — leave us wanting a little more. This time, Louis de Pointe du Lac is played by Jacob Anderson. We know it’s only been one episode so far, but Anderson has blown us away with his performance. It feels like he was made for the role.
Setting the Stage
There are two reasons that Louis feels like a more well-rounded character in the AMC series compared to the film. The first reason is that the setting has changed. The film is set in the Antebellum South in 1791. Because of that, Anne Rice (and the filmmakers) decided to make Louis a rich plantation owner in Spanish Louisiana. We guess that makes sense according to the time and place, but it can be hard for a lot of folks (see: minorities) to connect with that kind of character. Compare that to the AMC series, which is set in New Orleans during the 1910s. The TV version of Louis is a Creole (a person of mixed Black and European descent) man. He’s still rich, like the film version of Louis, but he earns his money from a chain of brothels. This more modern take on Louis’ origins are a lot more interesting.
The second reason that Louis and Lestat de Lioncourt feel like more fleshed out characters in the television series is that the show takes the extra step to plainly show that Louis and Lestat are lovers. While the film throws out some hints at a potential romantic relationship between the two, it is never explored. The AV Club’s review of the first episode puts it perfectly: “This reversal adds fascinating depths to Louis and allows Interview to grapple with prickly questions of race, sexuality, and history—and all the shifting power dynamics that come with them.”
When you look at Louis, you can’t help but be entranced by the character. As opposed to the film version of Louis, the show version is “somebody that, to some extent, feels cheated in this human existence,” Anderson says. “He can’t quite find his place and that sometimes manifests in rage.”
Episode 1 Recap
In the first episode of Interview with the Vampire, we’re introduced to veteran journalist Daniel Molloy. He has done plenty of drugs in is lifetime and he messed up plenty of relationships with management and people he’s interviewed. This is all detailed in an advertisement for an online learning course (think MasterClass or Udemy). 50 years after a failed interview with Louis ended with Molloy getting bitten by the vampire, Molloy is invited by Louis for a second chance at interviewing him. Then, Louis opens his heart to Molloy and reveals how Lestat turned him into a vampire more than 100 years ago.
Season 2 In the Works
If you have any concerns about getting too attached to the show and potentially not getting a second season, let those concerns wash away: AMC has already renewed it for a second season. Why? Because it’s already a hit with fans and critics alike. It’s currently sitting at an impressive 83 on Metacritic and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.