Interview with the Vampire

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Drink from me and live forever...

Interview with the Vampire (full title: Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles) is a 1994 film, based on the 1976 novel Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice, the first in her The Vampire Chronicles series. The film was directed by Neil Jordan, and stars Tom Cruise as a charismatic, Ambiguously Gay Manipulative Bastard of a parasite who's playing a vampire, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, and Kirsten Dunst. It was a box office hit, generating a little over $100 million in domestic receipts.

The movie's framing story centers on a newspaper reporter named Molloy (played by Christian Slater), interviewing a man named Louis (Brad Pitt) who claims to be a vampire. Molloy is unconvinced of Louis' claim until his subject displays feats of inhuman speed. He agrees to interview Louis, who then relates his previous life as a noble, and subsequent unlife as a vampire, turned by Lestat (Tom Cruise[1]).

Although Lestat teaches his pupil the ways of vampires and how to hunt mortals for their blood, at first Louis resists his vampire urges, preferring to prey on rats and other animals rather than biting humans, but finally succumbs to his appetites, biting and killing his housemaid. Afterwards, Louis attempts to kill himself by burning down his estate, but Lestat drags him out and they escape to New Orleans, renting an apartment together.

While Louis continues to be wracked with guilt at his own urges, Lestat has embraced his nature, even taunting Louis by turning a young child named Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) into a vampire so Louis will never leave him. Like any great domestic drama, things only get worse from here...

Tropes used in Interview with the Vampire include:
  • Adaptation Dye Job: Pardon me, sir, but does anyone know where Armand's seventeen-year-old, red-haired appearance went?
  • All Part of the Show: The French Théâtre des Vampires kill mortals onstage in front of a human audience, who believe the deaths to be part of the show.
  • Almost Kiss: Louis and Armand [dead link].
  • And I Must Scream / Tailor-Made Prison: Attempted on Louis by the French vamps; subverted when Armand releases him from the box he was to spend eternity in.
  • Behind the Black: Despite their enhanced vampire senses, neither Louis nor Lestat notice the smell of a corpse that has spent several days rotting in their apartment, until Claudia takes the covering off.
  • Creepy Child: Claudia.
  • Diagonal Cut: Louis, with a scythe, to one of the Paris vampires.
  • Enfante Terrible: Claudia, who becomes a charming and vicious little sociopath after becoming a vampire.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Lestat, Louis and Claudia all move through decades and centuries without aging or changing in the slightest. Interview is, in and of itself, a book of Exposition of Immortality; since it's about a vampire telling a reporter the story of his unlife and all the things and times gone by he remembers living through.
  • Expressive Hair: Claudia's hair becomes curled and doll-like when she is turned into a vampire. Thereafter, whenever she tries to trim it, it grows back the same way.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Claudia and Lestat both have long curly blonde hair, and are both evil to the core.
  • Goodnight, Sweet Prince: "May flights of devils wing thee to thy rest!"
  • Hair of Gold: Claudia and Lestat.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Stephen Rea, who has starred in several of Jordan's other films, has a minor role as Santiago, the recipient of the above-mentioned Diagonal Cut.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Louis hates Lestat for changing him into someone who can never know the sweet release of death and has to feed off of others to survive. (Though much later on, after he's gained a measure of peace with his existence, he looks on Lestat more kindly.)
    • I Love You, Vampire Son: Lestat gets pissed at Louis (rather understandably) at one point, but otherwise never really stops adoring him.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Claudia and her miraculously regrowing hair.
  • Immortality Begins At Twenty: Averted with Claudia, who's 5 (or 11) when she becomes a vampire and stays that way.
  • Inherent in the System: The psychological weight of having to drink the blood of the living drives Louis to try to commit suicide. He compromises by feeding off rats, while Lestat stays sane by feeding off "evildoers".
    • In the books, it is also said that the transformation from human to vampire itself has a profound psychological effect on most people (some times to such and extent that it drives them completely mad and/or leads them to destroy themselves shortly after their transformation.)
  • Kiss of the Vampire: The prostitute was certainly enjoying herself before discovering that Lestat is a messy eater.
  • Kill It with Fire / Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Louis burns the French vamps for killing Claudia.
  • Large Ham: Virtually every single one of Lestat's lines falls under this category, with a few choice contributions from Louis.
    • "For DO. NOT. DOUBT!!! You are a KILLER, Louis!"
      • This is actually a large part of Lestat's character appeal; his longer life-span in the books is often chalked up to the fact that, despite not being as tortured and sympathetic as Louis, he is far more entertaining. At some points in the books he even seems to acknowledge this about himself.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Gender-flipped. Lestat making Louis a vampire is all but an outright seduction.
  • Lonely Doll Girl: Claudia has a whole bunch of dolls, which serve well to hide the body of the woman she killed out of envy for her grown-up body.
  • Never Grew Up: Claudia, who is stuck permanently at the physical age of twelve.
    • She is six years old in the original book.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Used by Louis to put the fear of God into Malloy. He explains it as superspeed.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Louis to Lestat. Even the novels point out that Louis retains more humanity than any other vampire, and that he actually cares, which one could argue that makes his introverted, introspective tale much more compelling than Lestat... who became a rock star.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: A lot of Anne Rice's more... questionable bits of Signature Style got left out or softened considerably. If the movie hadn't aged up Claudia and toned down the sensuality of her relationship with her sires, they probably wouldn't have been able to release the film, let alone make it watchable for most people. Older Than They Look may make for an interesting excuse on paper or in anime; in live action, it can be disturbing.
    • Similarly, Armand's wholly different look. Brad Pitt and Antonio Banderez exchanging heated glances simmering with various levels of desire is palatable (or more than) to audiences. Brad Pitt trying to do so with a teenage boy (who, as described by Rice, looked even younger than that) probably would have gotten it rated X if it was possible to release it at all.
  • Primal Stance: Before attacking they turn beastly. You rarely see a vampire stroll across the ceiling, hands in his pockets and whistling; they're almost always growling, breathing heavily, and salivating.
  • The Queen's Latin: Subverted. Cruise, Dunst, and Pitt all speak with cultivated American diction.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Claudia.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Louis after Claudia gets turned to ashes by the French vampires.
  • Rule of Symbolism
  • Sanctuary of Solitude: Louis visits the church on his old plantation. It's a rare case of self-inflicted Last Second Chance.
  • Sorry I Left the BGM On: Inverted at the end.
  • Tainted Veins
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Louis.
  • Undead Child: Claudia.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?
  1. who many people suspected might not be the best choice to play Lestat but surprised most viewers when his performance turned out to be one of the best in the film - if not the best