Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire is a permanent story of everlasting love, the woes of immortality, and being frozen in grief. It’s additionally the story of Lestat de Lioncourt, the worst particular person of all time and in addition an everlasting object of fascination and adoration.
After I say Lestat is the worst particular person of all time, I’m not exaggerating. He menaces characters as a lot as he charms them, particularly those he proclaims his love for. In actual fact, you’re in all probability worse off as somebody Lestat loves than one he hates: In AMC’s Interview, Lestat is so obsessed together with his love Louis, he stalks him, emotionally manipulates him, and murders anybody that will get near him, and that’s earlier than Lestat makes him a vampire.
AMC’s adaptation of Rice’s classic novel makes a number of radical adjustments to Rice’s textual content. Fairly than being a plantation story happening within the 1800s between the plantation proprietor Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt, the story is pushed ahead in time to the early 1900s. As a substitute of being a plantation proprietor, Louis is a Black man residing in New Orleans as a barely tolerated brothel proprietor, already balancing his life between two worlds earlier than he meets Lestat. For the big half, followers of the collection have embraced these adjustments as a result of the characters nonetheless really feel so true to what Rice wrote. Specifically, followers have taken to Sam Reid’s portrayal of Lestat, who performs the character with a recognizable, infuriating appeal and a barely suppressed capability for violence.
It isn’t that the fandom excuses or rationalizes this conduct away. To like Lestat is to know that he’ll disappoint you. Not too long ago, the fandom for the Interview With the Vampire tv present found itself at a crossroads over Lestat’s actions in the series. Might you’re keen on a personality that lies like he’s respiration, doesn’t care if he hurts individuals, and regularly intentionally causes hurt to the individuals he cares about? For many years, the reply to that query, no less than in regard to Lestat, has been sure.
Within the novels, which after the primary guide are instructed from Lestat’s viewpoint, he does issues so horrible that describing them out of context looks like a joke. When Lestat briefly positive aspects a human physique, he instantly sexually assaults a lady. As a younger vampire, he turns his mom and makes out together with her. All all through Interview, which is instructed from Louis’ perspective, he does issues particularly to piss Louis off. At one level, Lestat needs to kill somebody that Louis declared off limits, however this particular person has additionally been challenged to a duel to the loss of life. Louis tackles Lestat within the mud of a Louisiana swamp whereas his sufferer wins the duel, after which within the cut up second that Louis relaxes his grip Lestat wriggles free and murders the poor mortal. His pettiness and theatricality are as pleasant as they’re horrifying. As Lestat’s father dies, Louis asks that Lestat not play the piano, so Lestat resorts to banging on pots and pans.
Lestat is only a type of character that folks turn out to be obsessive about. Anne Rice clearly did, and she or he was the one who made him up. He’s a blorbo from my shows — a fictional character one may discuss endlessly about as if they’re an actual particular person, even when they’re each pretend and have, of their fiction, dedicated struggle crimes.
Lestat isn’t the one or most important morally poor blorbo, however for a lot of different blorbos he would possibly as properly be the blueprint.
Followers of House of the Dragon have additionally grappled with one the present’s characters rising up into an evil blorbo. Aemond Targaryen, as soon as he lost an eye and grew out his hair, turned an authorized heartthrob amongst some Home of the Dragon followers, however greater than his appears to be like, it’s the truth that he’s evil and crazy. Vriska, from the webcomic Homestuck, felt like she was designed in a lab to be infuriating, with the energetic and vocal fandom arguing about her actions for months at a time. Even the extra definitively evil Kilgrave from Jessica Jones had a fandom that enjoyed him, if not regardless of then due to his evilness. Like Lestat, these characters have a theatrical nature and an virtually admirable capability to carry a grudge, and in addition a capability to commit acts of violence that they simply barely attempt to cover. What makes these characters fascinating is how, even after you’ve seen what they’re able to, you continue to wish to have them round.
When Lestat lastly emerges within the current day within the earlier film adaptation of Interview With the Vampire, he calls Louis a giant whiner. You possibly can’t assist however giggle, as a result of after two hours of Louis you could be longing for a change of tempo. It looks like a trick — even after watching the whole lot that Lestat has put Louis by way of, it’s important to admit when he’s making factors. It’s not simply that Lestat says the issues all of us lengthy to say however don’t, attributable to well mannered society. As followers of Rice’s novels know, the attraction of Lestat is that he was wounded by the world in mundane methods like so many people are, and in response he’s determined to take revenge on the whole lot, in all places, with each second of his remaining time on Earth. Lestat is so wrapped up in his personal ache — his wounds festering into selfishness — that it provides him a type of readability one may mistake for empathy. He doesn’t like or belief different individuals, however he understands them, or no less than understands the best way to act in order that they provide him what he needs. Watching him is a lesson in actually understanding what it means to place your self forward of the whole lot else. He’s the reply to the query, “Aren’t you bored with being good? Don’t you simply wish to go apeshit?”
Not everybody holds ache as deep as Lestat’s ache, however many people on the earth have, like Lestat, been abused, deserted, handled cruelly, and watched family members die. It will be a mercy if these experiences gave us some nice perception into human nature. However the tragedy of Lestat is that regardless of all his powers, his capability to learn and manipulate individuals isn’t a darkish present given to him by the world’s ills. It’s merely self-protective, and it doesn’t even work very properly.
Reid’s efficiency as Lestat in AMC’s Interview captures each his harmful lack of inhibition and primary immaturity. So usually after I watch Interview I marvel on the expressiveness of Sam Reid’s face; his eyes plead for love whilst he kills individuals or insults his little chosen household. Every emotional wound as Louis and Lestat struggle with one another reveals on his face, not simply by way of his unhappiness however by way of his anger. He’s nonetheless only a baby lashing out at individuals, anticipating them to depart him and deciding to offer them a purpose. After Louis catches Lestat dishonest, they comply with an open relationship. Louis has the audacity to really hook up with somebody, which Lestat learns about by spying on him and watching them. Lestat confronts Louis about his dalliance. Though Lestat is totally within the incorrect, it’s exhausting to not be slightly moved when he cries out, close to tears, “I heard your hearts dancing!” Regardless of this wound being utterly self-inflicted, the ache is actual.
On this most up-to-date Interview adaptation, what involves the floor most readily is how alike Louis and Lestat are, regardless of themselves. They’re each two individuals frozen in a second of grief, unable, attributable to their vampire nature, to alter or transfer on. Watching Lestat repeatedly break his personal life jogs my memory of the way in which I behaved as a young person, filled with anger on the world and pointing that anger at everybody I met. If I used to be trapped in that second endlessly like an insect in a drop of amber I don’t know that I’d be totally different than Lestat, making an attempt desperately to maintain individuals from leaving me even when I needed to kill them to do it.