Interview with the Vampire, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten DunstWarner Brothers/Getty Pictures

Tom Cruise had by no means performed a villain earlier than.

By 1994 he had been a reckless scorching shot pilot, a scorching shot bartender and a scorching shot race automotive driver, all males who had prompted different folks, particularly ladies, nice angst. However he had but to play a completely nefarious creature.

Enter the chance to play the vampire Lestat.

Trying again, the pairing of Cruise and Brad Pitt to convey the late Anne Rice's best-selling novel Interview With the Vampire to life, so to talk, seemed like a slam-dunk concept, the largest film star on the planet teaming with the world's greatest heartthrob, former Sexiest Man Alive meets future Sexiest Man Alive, insert fangs. 

But that is not precisely how the saga started.

Cruise "is not any extra my Vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler," Rice told the Los Angeles Times back in 1993 when the lavish manufacturing being directed by Neil Jordan received underway, with government producer David Geffen taking part in peacemaker between the disgruntled writer and the main man everybody else was enthusiastic about.

Clearly the present went on, Cruise approached the function of Lestat with the depth he is recognized for bringing to each set he walked onto, Pitt fell in love with New Orleans, and it marked the breakthrough function of the wee Kirsten Dunst.

And in the end Rice ended up very joyful. 

In honor of the writer, who died Dec. 11 on the age of 80, listed below are 25 issues to know about how Interview With the Vampire made it from the web page to the display:

Anne Rice

1. Within the 1976 e book Interview With the Vampire, the primary in Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles sequence in addition to her first printed novel, Lestat is described as "a tall, fair-skinned man with a mass of blond hair and a sleek, virtually feline high quality."

However hey, Jack Reacher is meant to be 6-foot-5, and that labored out, proper?

Steve Eichner/Getty Pictures

2. Rice had truly offered the rights to Interview with the Vampire all the way in which again in 1976, and Paramount initially provided the function of Lestat to John Travolta. Because the years glided by, Mel Gibson and Richard Gere had been within the working within the 1980s, after which Daniel Day-Lewis turned it down.

Studios "have tens of millions and tens of millions of {dollars}," Rice lamented during a book tour stop in Dallas in January 1993, a tad miffed as a result of, she stated, the studio had needed to attend and see how Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie Bram Stoker's Dracula did on the field workplace earlier than committing to make Interview With the Vampire. "They're making these motion pictures which have a big impact on America, they usually're idiots. They're stumblebums."


3. Rice did like government producer David Geffen, who had since acquired the rights, and she or he authorized of Neil Jordan signing on to make the movie, being an enormous fan of the Irish director's The Firm of Wolves—which, by the way, is claimed to be Lestat's favourite film in The Story of the Physique Thief, the fourth e book in The Vampire Chronicles.

"I've had a great relationship with David Geffen, though it is type of iffy proper now," she told Movieline originally of 1994. "Once I was engaged on the script for Interview, I advised him I needed to do precisely what I needed to do with it. And that is the way in which I wrote it. Neil Jordan has rewritten it, and they're placing his identify on the credit, and I do not know if you already know, however the WGA will solely enable a director to share writing credit score if he brings over 50 % unique materials. I do not know if he is accomplished that or not. Possibly he has."

Getty Pictures

4. The issue was that Rice had constructed up a really specific picture of Lestat in her thoughts already. She stated that she pictured the strapping Dutch actor Rutger Hauer when she first created the character. So there was that, and it was obvious that she had a really particular imaginative and prescient.

"Jeremy Irons would have been fabulous," she told Movieline, swatting away the interviewer's remark that the British actor, then 45, was "too outdated." "He must have been made as much as look youthful," Rice stated, "and he must have had wild blond hair, however he might have accomplished it."

Rice additionally thought John Malkovich, then 40, might have accomplished it, or Christopher Walken, having admired him as a blond villain in Batman Returns. Julian Sands was excessive on her checklist as effectively.


5. And even when the manufacturing had its Lestat, Rice did not cease questioning what may need been.

"I feel Brad Pitt could be a wonderful Lestat," she advised Movieline. "I attempted for a very long time to inform them that they need to simply reverse these roles—have Brad Pitt play Lestat and have Tom Cruise play Louis. After all, they do not take heed to me."

"Oh, the selection [of Cruise for Lestat] is simply so weird. Sure, [Tom] might do Louis, he might try this half, the brooding, darkish, guilt-ridden, passive, reflective, reactive factor."

Because it was, "it is virtually unimaginable to think about how it'll work," she added, "and it is actually virtually unimaginable to think about how Neil and David and Tom might have provide you with it. I've one query: Does Tom Cruise have any concept of what he is entering into?"

NBC/Geffen Footage

6. Because it turned out, Cruise knew precisely what he was entering into and, although reportedly "deeply harm" by Rice's preliminary criticism, he grabbed the function by the jugular, studying all of her books, studying piano, shedding pounds and absorbing the ambiance in Paris with then-wife Nicole Kidman to get a leap on Lestat's hedonistic life-style forward of the beginning of manufacturing.  

Of the supply materials, which is advised from Louis' standpoint, "it's important to learn it very fastidiously to search out the clues to who Lestat is," Cruise said in 1994.

And ultimately, he turned Rice—and, based on the writer, he turned all of the readers who had been initially outraged simply as she was.

"I feel Tom did an exquisite job, I actually do," she acknowledged in a 1994 interview. "I too was shocked at first and I used to be very a lot towards it, however Tom Cruise actually did learn the books, I feel, and he received the essence of Lestat. He received Lestat's energy and his charisma and his appeal. He received all of that throughout within the film. He had nice talent in that efficiency, I feel, and nice energy."

Rice famous that the one downside was that Cruise was too rattling charming. "Since he is not all that nasty, why does Louis hate Lestat? How can he?" she additionally mused in 1994. "Nicely, I am going to take that downside any day over a extra shallow answer. Tom his the suitable notice. And Louis was Louis. Nothing might consolation Louis. The movie received it."

Getty Pictures/SGranitz/WireImage

7. Early on, there was an entire potential different vampire universe on the desk.

Rice's editor, Vicki Wilson, "actually needed Anjelica Huston to be Lestat," Rice told Movieline. "I wrote the script by which Cher was purported to play Louis, not Lestat [Geffen was supposedly all in on Cher]. Julia Phillips [producer and writer of the notorious tell-all You will By no means Eat Lunch in This City Once more] and I had been creating that collectively, and the entire concept was that Louis could be a transvestite lady. At the moment in historical past, you can personal your individual plantation and run issues in the event you had been a person, you could not in the event you had been a girl. It was the French legislation. So this was a girl who dressed like a person, and in any other case it was precisely the identical as Interview With the Vampire."

(This model completely must be within the works someplace now, although, proper?)

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Assortment through Getty Pictures

8. When Kirsten Dunst's Claudia is nearly killed by Louis in 1794, Lestat turns her into one in every of their form to provide his usually depressing roommate one thing to stay undead for. The 10-year-old actress was the primary actress to audition for the function.

"I used to be with my coach," Dunst recalled in a 2016 Variety chat with Rami Malek. "He was exterior of the room. He listened on the door to listen to, like, what I used to be doing. And he is aware of I did not nail it. And I walked out, and he was like, 'No, you return in there.' He is like, 'Apologize to the casting director.' He is like, 'She did not do what she will do.'"

George Rose/Getty Pictures

9. River Phoenix was going to play interviewer Daniel Molloy, whose curiosity in Louis' story as they chat in modern-day San Francisco frames the following flashback narrative, however the 23-year-old actor died of an unintended drug overdose on Oct. 31, 1993, 4 weeks earlier than they had been set to start out filming.


10. So, Christian Slater joined the manufacturing on the 11th hour.

"We might met earlier than and I revered him, and his work tremendously," he stated of Phoenix in a 2008 interview with Venice Magazine. "That was so tragic, and it was actually awkward to be moving into that type of state of affairs. However I feel I eased my very own discomfort by not accepting cash for it and donating my wage to his charities. It was nice to work with Neil Jordan, and Brad Pitt was nice, and that was the second time we might labored collectively, in fact, after True Romance."

Pitt recalled to Entertainment Weekly, "We misplaced River. Actually every week earlier than he is supposed to come back in, he handed away. It was a horrible second. Christian Slater got here in and gallantly stuffed in for him. However that entire factor was darkish."

NBC/Geffen Footage

11. Apparently it wasn't simply Louis who was endlessly ruing the day.

Instructed he seemed depressing all through Interview With the Vampire, Pitt advised Entertainment Weekly in 2011, "I am depressing. Six months within the f--king darkish. Contact lenses, make-up, I am taking part in the bitch function…"

Throughout a stretch of capturing in London, "In the future, it broke me… I referred to as David Geffen, who was a producer… I stated, 'David, I am unable to do that anymore. I am unable to do it. How a lot will it take to get me out?' And he goes, very calmly, 'Forty million {dollars}.

Francois Duhamel/Sygma through Getty Pictures

12. Pitt stated that whereas Cruise was studiously getting ready, he was the one who did not know precisely what he was entering into.

"There was no script," the As soon as Upon a Hollywood star recalled to EW. "I knew the e book, and within the e book you could have this man asking, 'Who am I?' which was in all probability relevant to me at the moment. Within the e book it's a man occurring this search of discovery. And, within the meantime, he has this Lestat character that he is entranced by and abhors. However then I received the script two weeks earlier than we began capturing."

Pitt continued, "Within the film, they took the sensational points of Lestat and made that the heart beat of the movie, and people issues are very gratifying and superb, however for me, there was simply nothing to do—you simply sit and watch Tom Cruise. He had all this stress to make it work, and he made it work—and good on him."

Pacific Coast Information

13. On a brighter notice, Pitt did start his enduring love affair with New Orleans whereas the movie was on location there.

"I simply rode my bike round all night time," he advised EW. "I made some nice pals there." He additionally invested in inexperienced structure to assist rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and he and Angelina Jolie owned a house within the French Quarter till 2016, when they sold it within the wake of Jolie submitting for divorce.

Patrick Frilet/Shutterstock

14. Oak Alley Plantation, a historic antebellum website in Vacherie, La., that served as the skin of Louis' house, is reputed to really be haunted by the benevolent ghost of its former proprietor, Josephine Stewart, or of her daughter Louise, who misplaced a leg after a wound turned gangrenous. She was lower by the iron hoop beneath her personal skirt whereas making an attempt to keep away from a kiss from a drunken suitor.

Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock

15. After all the fangs had been pretend, however each Tom and Brad grew their hair lengthy to play Lestat and Louis.

Warner Bros. (1994)

16. Dunst has famously stated that the half the place Claudia (caught within the physique of a 10-year-old without end, regardless of years having passed by) revives Louis was her first-ever kiss on the lips—and it was terrible.

"It was only a peck," the actress reminded Bullet magazine in 2013. "I keep in mind Brad would watch plenty of Actual World episodesHe had this lengthy hair. He was only a hippie-ish cool dude. Everybody on the time was like, 'You are so fortunate you kissed Brad Pitt,' however I believed it was disgusting. I did not kiss anybody else till I used to be 16, I feel. I used to be a late bloomer."


17. All that real-life angst solely served to imbue Louis with extra ache—in a great way, based on the movie's hardest critic.

"Brad Pitt instantly infused the despairing Louis with comprehensible feeling," Rice wrote in 1994. "He performed it passive and quiet, and for me and for many viewers (they name me and inform me) he received what guilt was all about, a guilt typically that's unattached to anyone dying or loss. He captured the despair of some one who has fallen from grace, misplaced his religion, seen what he can not abide. Brad's eyes, his method, his gentle voice all through the movie had been magical."


18. Rice was additionally just a little iffy about Antonio Banderas taking part in the 500-year-old vampire Armand, described within the e book as trying like an exquisite adolescent boy of Slavic descent, however simply as she got here round with Tom, she later stated that Banderas too was "fantastic."

19. As a result of Armand solely components into Louis and Claudia's journey once they transfer to Paris, Banderas by no means met Cruise throughout the precise filming.

Moviestore Assortment/Shutterstock

20. It was the success of Interview With the Vampire that propelled Banderas, extra well-known in his native Spain on the time, into starring roles in Desperado and By no means Discuss to Strangers.

"We used Philadelphia to get him Interview With the Vampire. Then we used Vampire to extend his asking worth," his agent Emanuel Nunez told Entertainment Weekly in 1995.


21. Rice called Dunst "magnificent and flawless as Claudia, surprising in her gentle, completely paced shifts between maturity and infantile innocence. The function as she performed it's far much less sinister than the Claudia of the e book, and maybe even just a little extra harmless then my first draft script. However the change appeared to work wondrously to ship the heartbreak of Claudia's dilemma to the viewers. She was a girl, however she was in a toddler's physique. The actress confirmed unbelievable intelligence and crafty, and but a toddler's tragic vulnerability and heartrending capability to be dissatisfied."

22. Claudia was solely 5 within the novel, which Rice started writing after her 5-year-old daughter Michelle died of leukemia in 1972, simply earlier than her sixth birthday—a horrible ordeal that the writer was satisfied she noticed coming. "I had a prophetic dream of my daughter dying of one thing incorrect along with her blood. A horrible, horrible dream," she shared with the Washington Post in 1988. "It was essentially the most clear instance of a prophetic dream I've ever heard of."

Francois Duhamel/Geffen/Kobal/Shutterstock

23. Cruise "has this distinctive factor, like he can maintain absolutely the middle of the display of your consideration, simply effortlessly," Jordan, who had by no means met the High Gun star earlier than this film, later praised the actor. "That is what being a star is. However while you've received a star truly who's received this vitality of their expertise, it's type of mesmeric, you already know."

"In a approach," the director mirrored, "the world of a vampire is just not that totally different from the world of an enormous Hollywood star. You are type of stored from the cruel daylight, you reside in type of an odd seclusion... each time you emerge, an amazing ripple runs by means of folks. And the results these characters had, as Ann described them within the e book, was like that. Lestat would enter a room and an invisible stone had dropped right into a pool."

24. That is an animatronic Lestat flopping on the the ground as blood oozes from his neck when Claudia informs him she let him drink lifeless blood after which cuts his throat.


25. Cruise and Oprah Winfrey would go on to share some actually particular moments later, however celebrating Interview With the Vampire wasn't one in every of them.

"I consider there are forces of sunshine and darkness on this planet, and I do not need to be a contributor to the pressure of darkness," Winfrey defined to Cruise, when he visited her present in October 1994, why she and about 30 different folks walked out of a screening of the movie.

"The film is just not for everybody," the ever-gracious Cruise replied.

Fortunately Oprah wasn't the arbiter of style on this specific occasion, and Interview With the Vampire made $224 million worldwide, with the New York Times calling Cruise "flabbergastingly proper for this function."

It could have taken what felt like 200 years to make, particularly for Pitt, however when it was accomplished, it was accomplished proper.

Even Pitt agreed that it was the "shoot from hell" for him, however "price each minute of it. We received a terrific film out of it. You already know, it is a part of the job."

And since there is no such factor as a narrative solely having one incarnation in Hollywood, an entire Interview With the Vampire sequence is within the works at AMC, starring Sam Reid and Jacob Anderson as Lestat and Louis, with Bailey Bass as Claudia. The community has acquired the rights to all 18 Vampire Chronicle books in hopes of making a brand new love eternal.

(Initially printed Nov. 11, 2019, at 1:21 p.m. PT)


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