toxic loves

Adapted to the cinema in 1994 by Neil Jordan, Interview with a vampirefirst volume of chronicles of the vampires by Anne Rice, who died aged 80 last year, gets a makeover as a ten-episode series. Sure of the public’s tireless enthusiasm for creatures of the night, the AMC channel has announced a second season, the first not covering the entire novel. And like chronicles of the vampires includes 13 volumes, we will probably spend a few seasons in the company of the suave and cruel Lestat de Lioncourt.

Although he is not the vampire interviewed, Lestat de Lioncourt plays a leading role in the world of Anne Rice, whose work is considered as significant as the masterpiece Dracula by Bram Stocker. In Jordan, the French vampire, born into a penniless noble family in 1769 and made a vampire the year the Bastille was stormed, borrowed the features of Tom Cruise, although the description in the novel evoked more Brad Pitt, chosen for interpret his companion, Louis de Pointe du Lac.

If the novel suggested that Lestat and Louis formed a couple, at the time of the film Anne Rice had thought of making Louis a female character in order to evacuate any homoerotic dimension. However, in Rolin Jones’ version (Weeds, Perry Mason), Lestat, played to perfection by Australian actor Sam Reid, is bisexual, and Louis no longer hides his homosexuality.

Moreover, unlike the characters in the novel, the vampires reimagined by Jones have functional sexual organs. Lestat and Louis are therefore no longer content to bite into the jugular of their victims – both men and women – and like to visit each other from one coffin to another. This more decadent aspect adds a sulphurous layer to the sensuality that emanates from images bathed in shadow and golden light.

new blood

It’s not just that that has changed in the series, which, while respecting it, takes some liberties with the novel. Thus, Louis is not embodied by a clone of Brad Pitt, but by an English actor of Caribbean origin, Jacob Anderson. Which means that he is no longer at the head of a family plantation in Louisiana at the end of the 18th century.e century. In association with white men, who looked down on him, Louis managed gambling dens and brothels in Storyville, the Red Light district of New Orleans, at the beginning of the 20th century.e century.

This change will serve to address the status of blacks at a time when the civil rights struggle, launched in 1896, still had many decades ahead of it. When Louis meets Lestat, he is, like the character in the novel, in mourning for his brother, and not for his wife and children as in the film version. Soon, their fusional friendship arouses mocking smiles and outraged looks.

As for the journalist Daniel Molloy, originally played by Christian Slater, he has taken quite a bit of old age. In fact, Eric Bogosian was given the role. The reason ? In the series, Louis granted an interview to the young Molloy in 1973. Even if the meeting had ended rather badly at the time, Molloy, sick, disillusioned and cynical, agrees to interview, 49 years later, in full pandemic, Louis, who swears to tell him the whole truth about Lestat.

A coffin in Dubai

It is in the heart of Dubai, in the luxurious apartment of Louis, that Molloy goes to collect the words of the vampire. This time, the journalist does not allow himself to be fooled by the latter and does not hesitate to confront him with his own contradictions. And this is where things get tricky.

Obviously, Louis is not a reliable narrator. Either he is hiding facts that he dares not admit to himself, or he has a failing memory. When Louis tells Molloy that Lestat was his lover and mentor, Molloy reminds him that in 1973, long before the movement #MeToo, he said that Lestat had been his executioner and his aggressor. Further on, the journalist asks him for such precise details — to make him understand Lestat’s hold over Louis — that he has no choice but to recognize the nature of his relationship with his partner, who displays the characteristics of a narcissistic pervert.

In this respect, reading Claudia’s diaries will be very revealing about Lestat’s perversity. This barely pubescent girl, who will become the niece and adopted daughter of Lestat and Louis, played in 1994 by Kirsten Dunst, is interpreted here by Bailey Bass. Condemned for eternity to have a flat chest, a hairless penis and a reformed hymen after each sexual intercourse, the orphan becomes more than ever the incarnation of the victim whose dignity has been stolen and who dares to denounce loud and clear. strong his executioner.

In addition to the racism and homophobia she denounces in the background, the series Interview with the Vampire addresses abusive relationships head-on through all those that Lestat develops with his victims, for whom he has no empathy. Manipulator, flirtatious, player, Lestat thinks only of his own pleasure. Over the centuries, he embodies the toxic masculinity that leaves behind damaged beings. Much more than in the bloody scenes, this is where the real horror lies.

Interview with the Vampire

AMC, Sunday, 10 p.m.

To see in video

toxic loves