‘Interview with the Vampire’ reboot is an excellent homosexual fever dream

Within the ultimate moments of the premiere episode of AMC’s Interview With the Vampire reboot, Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) is changed into a vampire by Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid). As Louis sucks the open wound of his maker, he hears relentless twin drum beats.

Then, Louis opens his eyes for the primary time as an immortal being. “And it was then that I noticed,” he remembers over a century later to the journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian), “the drum was my coronary heart, and the opposite drum had been his.”

I watched this scene — and virtually the whole episode — with my hand clutched over my very own coronary heart. The poetic dialogue mixed with highly effective performing, the New Orleans surroundings, and a swooning rating left me breathless. 

That feeling did not cease with the primary episode. Interview with the Vampire conveys a toothsome gothic romance whereas re-imagining components of the unique textual content in considerate methods. 

I have not but learn Anne Rice’s 1976 novel, on which this collection is predicated. However I’ve watched the 1994 film adaptation, starring Tom Cruise as Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis. Unwittingly, I picked it as a themed watch this October earlier than I knew the reboot existed. 


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As soon as I grew to become conscious of the present, I wasn’t too concerned about watching it. I loved the film sufficient, however erroneously thought I would had my fill of Rice’s vampires. The movie’s shying away from the queer subtext of Louis and Lestat’s story did not impress me, and I wasn’t eager on immersing myself right into a story a couple of plantation proprietor, which Louis was within the novel and film.

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However snippets of the present from its fandom on Twitter and Tumblr intrigued me. On this model, Louis is a Black Creole pimp in 1910s New Orleans. Not solely that, however he is canonically homosexual.

The host of the popular culture podcast The Afternoon Special, Bobbi Miller, is a fan, however she was apprehensive when she first heard in regards to the new adaptation, as she held the films (the 1994 one and 2002’s Queen of the Damned) in excessive esteem. When she watched the present’s trailer, nonetheless, she was instantly in love.

“Not solely was it sizzling,” she instructed me in a DM, “however I might inform that this collection was looking for to do one thing totally different with the story (particularly with the casting of a Black man as Louis), and I used to be hooked.”

Sel, a fan who runs the No Context Lestat de Lioncourt (@nocontextlestat) account on Twitter, had an identical expertise. “I noticed the Comedian-Con trailer of the present the day it was launched,” he stated over DM, “And seeing how unapologetically queer and attention-grabbing it was, as a queer particular person myself, I grew to become OBSESSED.”

I personally watched the primary episode and had the acquainted squee of my coronary heart/thoughts that I hadn’t in eons, maybe since I used to be within the One Path fandom on Tumblr years in the past. It is a sensation of pure delight, an pleasure that I felt watching not solely intercourse scenes, but in addition the opposite dizzying dramatics, whether or not they be verbal spats or vamps searching their newest murderous meal. 

The updates to the story — which embrace transferring Louis’s timeline up greater than a century — are wise and finished methodically, with at the moment’s viewers in thoughts. The change in Louis’s character, for example, permits for discussions of race and glimpses into what life was like for Black Creole individuals within the early twentieth century. The explorations of affection and toxicity between Louis and Lestat develop upon Rice’s queer-coded work; the present is not shy about intercourse or detailing the quandaries of the vampire lovers. 

Vampires are inherently attractive creatures. Their kills require a degree of intimacy: Vampires have to the touch you and put their mouth on you, usually in non-public settings so they do not get caught. All through the season, Interview with the Vampire exhibits this dance of seduction and homicide. Along with precise intercourse, Louis and Lestat share non-public moments, from the mixed beating of their hearts to sharing a mattress coffin. 

Jacob Anderson, a Black man, sits next to Sam Reid, a white man, in 1900s outfits on the set of "Interview with the Vampire."

Louis and Lestat in “Interview with the Vampire.”
Credit score: Alfonso Bresciani / AMC

Because the season goes on, the darkness of their gothic romance solely heightens. There’s a lot of demise and blood-tears from the vamps; I lapped up the blood-tears and begged for extra. With solely seven episodes, the present was all killer (actually), no filler.

One other component of the present I loved was the titular interview, which can also be altered from Rice’s textual content. The interview within the e-book and film nonetheless occurs right here, however many years earlier than this season’s story begins. Forty years later, a now world-weary journalist named Daniel (Eric Bogosian) interviews Louis a second time, including a richness to their relationship that did not exist earlier than. The place Daniel was unfocused earlier than, he pushes again with urgent questions now, including recent rigidity.

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When you’re a purist, you’ll be able to at all times flip to Rice’s e-book. It is simple, nonetheless, that AMC’s model injects new taste and nuance into the story. What was lacking from the film, I discovered within the collection, after which some. 

Interview was renewed for a Season 2 earlier than it even premiered, and with good purpose. It is the newest Tumblr darling, with fan artwork and theories proliferating the platform (and Twitter as effectively). “The followers of this present are so in tune with the characters and the themes, and it’s totally enjoyable to see all of the discourse,” Miller stated. 

“It is a actually particular factor occurring proper now,” she stated of the fandom.

As all of Season 1 is now out there on AMC+, Sel believes extra individuals will flock to the fandom earlier than Season 2. Whereas we’re ready, followers can catch Mayfair Witches, one other Anne Rice adaptation, on AMC in January. 

For now, although, we are able to rewatch Season 1 in all its glory. As a bisexual particular person, I used to be thrilled by the queerness of the present, and different followers felt the identical.

“I’m simply actually grateful that the present is unabashedly queer,” Sel stated. “I’m not used to seeing myself represented on the display screen usually.”

Interview with a Vampire is now on Max by means of Oct. 31.

UPDATE: Sep. 14, 2023, 10:00 a.m. EDT This text initially ran November 24, 2022. It is being reposted to have fun the present’s availability on Max.

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