Yes, Tom Cruise collects successes and this year 2022 has proven it again with Top Gun: Maverick. But in his filmography, there is a film that we particularly cherish. It’s Interview with the Vampire and it’s leaving the Netflix catalog soon.
Immortality has never seemed so alluring and haunting to anyone who has seen Interview with the Vampire, Neil Jordan’s adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel. In this gothic tale, we follow the tragic story of Louis (Brad Pitt) about his life after his death.
Prior to his transformation, Louis was a plantation owner living an unexciting life where he waited for death to knock on his door. Little did he know that Lestat, played by remorseless mind-reading vampire Tom Cruise, would hear his prayer and reward (or punish) him with a choice between a slow death or youth and beauty. eternal. Proposal to which he responds favorably.
If the whole film revolves around the question of immortality and the immorality of being a vampire, we quickly tend to forget that Tom Cruise is the cornerstone. It’s a role that goes against the tide of his career where in 99% of cases, he plays the knight without fear and without reproach. Lestat is the antagonist of the film, a being very quickly detestable and whom he embodies with the same intensity that we have always known him.
While Lestat has lost all suspicion of compassion for the living, Louis constantly struggles against his (new) nature and tries somehow to resist temptation. In one of his moments of weakness, he bites a young girl’s neck. True to his nature, selfish and manipulative, Lestat intervenes. He offers the young girl, Claudia (played by Kirsten Dunst), the chance to become one of them and be the child no vampire ever had. Difficult to make more immoral…
And this character never questions himself. He witnesses the difficulty for Louis to conform to the monster that he has become by nature; and for Claudia, of the terrible fate inflicted on her because she will never have a woman’s life. From Lestat’s point of view, it is impossible to understand that Louis and Claudia regard eternal life as a life sentence.
Tom Cruise is remarkable in the way he defends his character and gives everything to be despised by the viewer at all times. Each time Lestat tries to mislead his companion by constantly reminding him that he is no longer human, one feels even more bitterness towards him.
He will only rarely venture into these roles of complex and controversial characters. We remember his performances in Eyes Wide Shut, in Magnolia as a fully lit guru or in Collateral as a hitman. But it was with Interview with a Vampire that he began to reveal his dark side by delivering one of his finest performances.
Interview with the Vampire leaves the Netflix catalog on December 31.
Netflix: only a few days left to see Tom Cruise in one of his best roles