There comes a time for every vampire when the idea of eternity becomes momentarily unbearable. Living in the shadows, feeding in the darkness with only your own company to keep rots, into a solitary, hollow existence. Immortality seems like a good idea, until you realize you’re going to spend it alone. So I went to sleep, hoping that the sounds of the passing eras would fade out, and a sort of death might happen. But as I lay there, the world didn’t sound like the place I had left, but something different.
-Lestat, Queen of the Damned
Anne Rice turns 72 today, which makes her most influential and popular series, The Vampire Chronicles, over 35 years old. There are ten books in this series, starting with Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned. I read these books back in high school and loved the idea of Lestat, a truly romantic character. But with the amount of copies sold and the popularity that surrounded her series, there hasn’t been much movement in the realm of film adaptations. Perhaps with the uprising of intrigue for vampires and the supernatural, we’ll see more from Lestat in the future. So instead of choosing my favorite adaptations, here are the two that came from her first few books.
Interview With The Vampire (1994)
I read a lot about whether or not authors liked the adaptations of their novels, and in this case I was rather surprised (and so was Anne Rice). With a big name cast including Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Antonio Banderas (and more), she originally thought she’d be disappointed in the film, but was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. And quite frankly, I was surprised I enjoyed as well. It seems like such a strange cast for a group of vampires, and after reading the books I didn’t think they’d be able to grasp the characters the way I had imagined them in my mind. Tom Cruise was decent, but Brad Pitt was excellent as Louis. I thought the book was represented really well and the story captivated me. But I think it would have been nice to see a different cast, one with more thought put into the roles. It seemed like creators were just trying to sell the story and make money instead of telling it properly.
Queen of the Damned (2002)
This is my favorite of the two adaptations, even though it has much worse reviews. The story is seriously lacking, but I prefer the cast and Stuart Townsend’s Lestat a thousand times more to Cruise’s. Townsend captured his suave and arrogant personality much better, and he actually looked the part. Cruise just looked out of place half the time. I also really loved the soundtrack, which helped bring everything together, because the movie is about Lestat waking up in the new world and enjoying different pleasures; one being awesome and loud rock music.
In the end, they are both very different movies and Lestat is portrayed in two different ways. It comes down to which version of him you prefer and which story you enjoy the most. I think Interview with the Vampire with Stuart Townsend and a different cast could have been a great movie, instead of one I just enjoy watching every few years. It would be interesting to see a new movie with a different take on his character or even a continuation of his story; I wonder who would play Lestat.
What do you think of these two adaptations, would you like to see more of The Vampire Chronicles? Get at me in the comments.