I was such a fan of the Interview with the Vampire movie that I was excited to hear about a TV series. It’s such a beautiful story. I got transported into that world again from the first second of the trailer. It looks even more beautiful than it did back then. But, of course, since 1994, there have been several advancements in production.
Most of AMC’s Interview with the Vampire press conference focused on the depth of emotions portrayed in Anne Rice’s novel and the adaptation they created. What makes these vampires different from the others we’ve seen on screen before is that they are more like humans than other creatures of the night. That’s a testament to the range of emotions Anne uses with her characters. Executive Producer Mark Johnson said, “They want the same things we do. They want to be loved, they want to be understood, they feel loneliness, and they’re not just there to be sensational. They’re there to be human.” This makes these characters so relatable. Especially for me at the moment who is feeling lonely after a break-up. I’m thinking that now is a perfect time to read the book series before the show starts.
Hearing them talk about Creator and Showrunner Rolin Jones’ scripts was like a love letter to Anne Rice. Luckily, Rolin said that each episode is about 20 pages from the first book. So, I could theoretically read it as I went along if I don’t get to it before then.
As for book fans, it sounds like you will be pretty satisfied with what they’ve done. Mark said there were some changes. Mark notes that the changes are Rolin’s interpretation of the book series and what happens in the world. So, it shouldn’t be too far off what fans are hoping for. The great thing about a series compared to a film is there’s more time to explore the characters. This time we will see Louis as a human for longer and see Lestat seduce him. We will also get to see Louis in 2022. Jacob Anderson, who plays Louis, said he took care of how Louis would be different throughout the years. And they knew Louis would have to be “jarringly” different in the present.
One of the exciting things for me is how much care they took in the history of New Orleans. Production Designer Mara LePere Schloop knew they would have to create a set because they were filming at night, so they wouldn’t be able to close down the French Quarter. In addition, Storyville was torn down in the 1930s, so they had to create their own. They also constantly updated it as the show progressed in time. So, we get to see the evolution of Storyville. Mara also said they filmed in some of the locations that Anne Rice wrote and researched. Apparently, New Orleans has an excellent preservation society. Rolin also did his own research because he cared about the details.
I had the opportunity to speak to some of the cast during the cocktail reception, and Jacob was incredibly excited for everyone to see what they created. He looked like he was going to explode, wanting to tell us more, but of course, he didn’t because he didn’t want to ruin the experience for us. I told Sam Reid, who plays Lestat that I wanted to read the books after everything was said during the conference. He said I could, but also could watch the show to get the surprises.
He also said something interesting during the conference about getting into a vampire’s mindset. He said you could be enjoying a conversation with someone and wanting to rip out their throat the next. It’s not how humans operate, so that was a challenge for him. Most vampires in movies and books are monsters or teenagers. So, the depth that Sam is going to portray Lestat is incredible. It sounds like we will feel the emotions that they are feeling.
They all care so much about the show. Eric Bogosian, who plays Daniel Molloy, spoke about the passion Jacob, Sam and Bailey Bass (who plays Claudia) brought to each of their roles. He called it an inspiration because he said older actors don’t go all in like that. But, even without Eric’s comment, you could see it shining through with the way they spoke about the script and their roles. I believe we’ll be able to see this in the series too.
I will note that none of them took much inspiration from the film. Jacob felt there was enough to draw from the books. Sam didn’t want to recreate that work, and Rolin felt the same. Bailey did watch the film for the first time during the audition, but that was because it was the quickest way for her to learn about the world and her character. So, the 1994 film will stand alone and this will be a completely new thing.
Check out the trailer to see what we can look forward to on Oct. 2 on AMC and AMC+.