Interview with the Vampire: AMC reinvents Lestat and Ann Rice

It’s been ten years since AMC was at the top of the series podium. In 2013, the finale of breaking bad. Two years later, we received the Mad Men. the walking dead it left us recently, but for many it wasn’t even there anymore. Better call Saul It has allowed the chain to continue maintaining its place on the throne, but it has also just come to an end. It was time to renew or die before the increasingly overwhelming number of titles released in the competition. And the literary universe of Ann Rice and his gothic horror It seems that it will be one of the chain’s bets to stop living on the income of the past. The first season of interview with the vampire has finished broadcasting this week in the United States, while in Spain we have three episodes that are available on Amazon Prime. But they are not going to give us much respite, since the 23 of February The other adaptation of another of the sagas by the same writer will arrive in our country, The Mayfair Witches. The novelist’s followers know that some of her books carried out a cross between both fictional universes and the writers of the series promise us that we will have them here too. Can the proximity of dates between the two be a clue that we will see them sooner than we think?

The series undertakes a number of changes to the source material that will surely make the usual ones tear their clothes and put the cry in the sky, but the book that adapts was written already a whopping of fifty years. Had have adapt to new times and it was necessary to make slight changes in the structure of the narrative so that everything fit together and avoid inconsistencies. Because one of the creative decisions (I don’t know whether to say more risky because it is something more and more common) has been to change the race of Louis de Ponte, that character that he played on the big screen Brad Pitt. Louis is here African American. Jacob Andersonthe most familiar face of Daennerys’ army of the Unsullied in Game of Thrones, is the one who assumes the role. Louis is the narrator of the story, the interviewee who gives the title to Ann Rice’s novel, and who tells a journalist what his centennial existence has been like in the band of bloodsuckers.

Changing the character’s race raised a whole series of plot inconsistencies with respect to the novel. Louis was in the novel the lord of a plantation with slaves in Louisiana before being turned into a vampire by Lestat a late 18th century. The character’s race wouldn’t have been an issue if this was a chapter of The Bridgertons, But is not the case. The writers have advanced in the time line and place the transformation of Louis to early 20th century and, instead of a plantation, what his family has are various brothels in New Orleans. This is the only way to explain the origin of his fortune at a time when people of his race and in the southern United States were doomed to marginality.

This temporary change opens the door to other plot innovations, by locating in our present the moment in which the interview that gives the novel its title takes place. To underline this closeness in time, the meeting between the tormented vampire and the journalist takes place in the midst of a pandemic on top of a skyscraper in Dubai. The only thing that takes me out of the story are those allusions to the fact that the two characters already had another interview in the past in San Francisco in the 90s. Maybe it’s the way pay tribute to the movie of Neil Jordan, but with each allusion to that first interview it seems as if this were a continuation of that one, when it is a new story. A reboot. Maybe that’s what they’re trying to convey when they burn all the tapes of that first interview. oops is this a spoilers?

The changes are apparently so far-reaching that, at first, you get the feeling that you don’t recognize Ann Rice’s universe in the story you’re being told and that it wouldn’t matter if the series was called something else and not Interview with the vampire. As the plot progresses, we see that this is not the case. The essence remains. In the end they are telling us the same story. The series would have become unnecessary if it had been too faithful to the novel, because after all, for that we already had the 90s movie. And, although Ann Rice passed away in late 2021, it seems that both she and her son were very involved in the small screen adaptation of their novels. Although she in the first moments she can’t restrain her bloodlust, Louis is still the vegan nightmare, does not want to feed on humans, but does with animals. What has to happen ends up happening, although in another way.

In the third chapter, broadcast this week in Spain, we have already been told about the arrival of Claudia, that vampire trapped in the body of a girl who on the big screen launched the star into Kirsten Dust and that here is interpreted by Bailey Bassan actress who also represents a change in the character’s race.

In this update of the story, the writers have been able to go further in the relationship between Lestat and Louis and their gay relationship. Both in the film and in the novel, she was rather hinted at, but not in such an explicit way. In Ann Rice’s novels, vampires cannot have sex, although sexuality is very present in her work. Blood was the equivalent of sex. Louis’s relationship with his maker is one of those book toxic relationships and it is more than evident that Lestat manipulates and abuses him at will. The characters are much more passionate. From spite everything is more heartbreaking and there is a love/hate relationship between the two that has always been there.

To interpret the most famous vampire in the literary saga, the chosen actor has been sam reid, an unknown actor whose career could take off if the series catches on. When the writer’s novel was brought to the big screen in the 90s, the choice of Tom Cruise caused some controversy to embody Lestat. Ann Rice herself tried to boycott this signing, although later, when she saw the final result, she admitted that she was wrong. Reid doesn’t have the cachet that Cruise had when he played the movie and I’m not saying that as a reproach to the actor, but because that allows him to take his character to extremes that the great non-Hollywood star could not do. Is much more ruthless and amoral and can star in much more explicit scenes. AMC returns to recover with Lestat the figure of the antihero, which was so fashionable when its series were events. A character who comes to occupy a position reserved for Tony Soprano, Walter White or Don Draper. The first is from HBO, but the other two are house characters,

Perhaps in a few years, there will be debates about who was the best Lestat in history, as is done with James Bond. I still see Tom Cruise every time I think about the character, but I admit that there is still a lot of series ahead and that the protagonist of the first novel was Louis. Lestat’s absolute leading role would come from the second and the rest of the characters would become secondary. The first season doesn’t even cover the first book. The seventh and last episode ends with Louis and Claudia preparing to leave for Europe, although in this timeline the old continent is immersed in the Second World War. The second season is already approved (although today that is unfortunately not a guarantee of anything) and everything indicates that with it the adaptation of the complete novel will be completed. Will these creative licenses be transferred to the rest of the novels?

In these first episodes we have already heard the names of other vampires who, later on, will have an important role in the saga as Marius or Akasha (the mother of all vampires). How far the series will go in Rice’s work will depend on the audience, of course. The best books are the first two and the saga plummeted from the fifth. Although the proposed plot novelties allow us to glimpse that they are not going to follow all the literary material at face value and may even surprise us. In a few days the adaptation of The Mayfair Witches will arrive and the Immortal Universeas this new line of series has been baptized in the chain, will continue to grow.

Interview with the Vampire: AMC reinvents Lestat and Ann Rice