Interview With the Vampire lets Sam Reid’s Lestat be the absolute worst

Ann Rice Interview With The Vampire it is an enduring story of eternal love, of the misery of immortality, and of being frozen in sorrow. It is also the story of Lestat de Lioncourt, the worst man ever and also an eternal object of fascination and adoration.

When I say that Lestat is the worst person ever, I’m not exaggerating. He threatens characters as much as he attracts them, especially those he claims to love. In fact, you’re probably worse off than someone who loves Lestat than someone who hates him: In AMC’s An interviewLestat is so obsessed with his love Louis, he stalks him, manipulates him emotionally, and murders anyone who comes near him, and that’s before Lestat turns him into a vampire.

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AMC’s adaptation of Rice’s classic novel makes several radical changes to Rice’s text. Instead of being a plantation story taking place in the 1800s between plantation owner Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt, the story is pushed forward in time to the early 1900s. Instead of being a plantation owner, Louis is a black man who lives in New Orleans as a barely tolerated brothel owner, balancing his life between two worlds already before he meets Lestat. For the most part, fans of the series have accepted these changes because the characters still feel as true to what Rice wrote. In particular, fans have embraced Sam Reid’s portrayal of Lestat, who plays the character with a recognizable, sad charm and a suppressed capacity for violence.

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Not that the fandom excuses or rationalizes this behavior away. To love Lestat is to know that he will disappoint you. Recently, the fandom for the Interview With The Vampire television show found itself at a crossroads over Lestat’s actions in the series. Could you love a character who lies like he breathes, doesn’t care if he hurts people, and often hurts the people he cares about? For decades, the answer to that question, at least as far as Lestat is concerned, has been yes.

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Jacob Anderson as Louis looks unhappy next to Sam Reid's Lestat;  they are both looking at a little girl who is sitting at a table in front of them

Photo: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

In the novels, which after the first book are told from Lestat’s point of view, he does things so terrible that explaining them out of context feels like a joke. When Lestat is briefly given a human body, he immediately sexually assaults a woman. As a young vampire, he turns his mother and makes out with her. All throughout An interview, which is told from Louis’ point of view, he does things specifically to set Louis off. At one point, Lestat wants to kill someone that Louis declared off-limits, but this person was also challenged to a duel to the death. Louis tackles Lestat in the mud of a Louisiana swamp as his victim wins the duel, then in the split second that Louis relaxes his grip Lestat moves freely and killing the poor mortal. His modesty and his theatrics are as charming as they are terrifying. As Lestat’s father dies, Louis insists that Lestat not play the piano, so Lestat takes to banging pots and pans.

Lestat is just the kind of character that people become obsessed with. Ann Rice clearly did it, and she was the one who made it up. It’s a blurb from my shows – a fictional character that one could talk about endlessly as if they were a real person, even though they are both fake and have, in their fiction, committed war crimes. to do

Lestat is not the only blorbo who is morally deficient, or the most important, but for many other blorbos it may be the plan as well.

Followers of House of the Dragon they have also involved one of the show’s characters growing up to be an evil blob. Aemond Targaryen, once he lost an eye and grew out his hair, became a heartthrob among some House of the Dragon fans, but besides his appearance, the truth is that he is evil and crazy. Vriska, from the webcomic Home stock, feels like she was engineered in a lab to be angry, with the active and vocal fandom arguing about her actions for months at a time. Even the more accurate Kilgrave from Jessica Jones he had a fandom that he enjoyed, if not because of its evil. Like Lestat, these characters have a theatrical nature and an almost admirable ability to hold grudges, and also an ability to commit acts of violence that they only try to hide. What makes these characters interesting is how, even after you see what they can do, you still want them around.

Tom Cruise as Lestat in Interview with the Vampire, with long, blond hair and blood dripping from his fangs

Image: Warner Bros.

Lestat sits on a floral chair next to a Victorian lamp in an interview with the vampire

Image: AMC

When Lestat finally appears in the present day in the previous film adaptation of Interview With The Vampire, he shouts that Louis is crying a lot. You can’t help but smile, because after two hours of Louis you might like a change of pace. It feels like a trick – even after watching everything Lestat has been through, you have to admit when he’s making points. It’s not just that Lestat says the things we all long to say but don’t, for the sake of polite society. As fans of Rice’s novels know, the appeal of Lestat is that he has been wounded by the world in bad ways like so many of us, and in response he has decided to take revenge on her. everything, everywhere, with every second of his time left. Earth. Lestat is so wrapped up in his own pain – his wounds bordering on selfishness – that it gives him a kind of clarity that one could mistake for sympathy. He does not like or trust other people, but he understands them, or at least he understands how to act so that they give him what he wants. Watching him is a lesson in truly understanding what it means to put yourself before everything else. He is the answer to the question, “Aren’t you tired of being nice?” Don’t you just want to go apeshit?”

Not everyone holds pain as deep as Lestat’s pain, but many of us in the world, like Lestat, have been abused, abandoned, mistreated, and to see loved ones die. It would be a pity if these experiences gave us a good insight into human nature. But Lestat’s tragedy is that, despite all his powers, his ability to read and manipulate people is not a dark gift that the evil of the world has given him. It’s just self-defense, and it doesn’t even work very well.

Reid’s performance as Lestat in AMC’s An interview captures both its dangerous lack of inhibition and its fundamental instability. So often when I look An interview I wonder how clear Sam Reid’s face is; his eyes plead for love even as he kills people or insults his chosen little family. Every emotional wound as Louis and Lestat fight each other shows on his face, not only through his sadness but through his anger. He’s still just a kid hitting people, expecting them to leave him and deciding to give them a reason. After Louis cheats on Lestat, they agree to an open relationship. Louis has the ability to get involved with someone, which Lestat learns about by spying on him and watching them. Lestat confronts Louis about his relationship. Although Lestat is completely in the wrong, it’s hard not to be moved when he cries out near tears, “I heard your heart dance!” Despite the fact that this injury is completely self-inflicted, the pain is real.

In this last one An interview change, the easiest thing that comes to the surface is how similar Louis and Lestat are, despite themselves. They are both frozen in a moment of grief, unable, due to their vampire nature, to change or move forward. Watching Lestat destroy his own life again reminds me of the way I behaved as a teenager, full of anger at the world and pointing that anger at everyone a person I met. If I were trapped in that moment forever like an insect in a drop of amber I don’t know that I would be any different from Lestat, trying hard to keep people from leaving even if I had to kill them to do it.

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