Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) Poster


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All the actors playing vampires were required to hang upside down for up to thirty minutes at a time during the make-up application. This would force all the blood in their bodies to rush to their heads, causing the blood vessels in their faces to bulge out. The make up artists would then trace over the swollen veins creating the eerie translucent-skinned vampire look. Unfortunately for the actors, they would have to repeat the process several times over, as the blood would quickly drain from their heads. This, in part, accounts for the lengthy make-up process.
In an article released in September 2011, Brad Pitt revealed that he had a miserable experience while making this film. He complained of discomfort while wearing his costumes and colored contacts and being forced to play second fiddle to Tom Cruise, both on screen and off. He said at one point he called his friend and producer David Geffen and begged him for a way out. Learning that there was no way, he toughed it out for the remaining months.
Christian Slater was given the role of Malloy, upon the death of River Phoenix, who was originally supposed to be Malloy. Slater donated his 250,000 dollar salary to two of Phoenix's favorite charities.
Tom Cruise wanted a private set, and hence tunnels were built to escort the actors to and from the set. This was done so that the vampire's makeup effects would remain a secret.
Kirsten Dunst shared her first on-screen kiss in this film with Brad Pitt, even though there was an 18-year age difference between them. In a subsequent interview, she revealed the scene had made her uncomfortable. She remarked: "I thought it was gross, that Brad had cooties. I mean, I was twelve."
In the book, the reason why Louis becomes depressed in the beginning of the movie is because he feels guilty about the death of his brother; not because he had a wife and child that died. In fact, he never had a wife in the book version.
Anne Rice wrote Lestat in the 1976 novel with Rutger Hauer in mind. The rights to the novel were optioned by Paramount for $150,000 before the book was published, and John Travolta was earmarked to play Lestat, but a glut of vampire films at the time with Dracula (1979), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), and Love at First Bite (1979) put the project on hiatus. By the time the film was in preproduction, Hauer and Travolta had become too old to portray the ever-young vampire (ironically, Hauer would later portray a vampire in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) and Salem's Lot (2004)). Upon learning that Tom Cruise had been cast, Rice was livid and stated Cruise could not carry the part, calling the casting "so bizarre; it's almost impossible to imagine how it's going to work" and "the worst crime in the name of casting since The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)." Rice recused herself from the production and did not view the film until a producer sent her a VHS copy. Rice was so impressed by Cruise's performance that she wrote him a letter of apology.
The first film production to be given permission to close down two lanes of traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Although the screen credits read "Screenplay by Anne Rice based on her novel," the script was actually heavily rewritten by director Neil Jordan. Writers Guild rules meant that Rice got credit.
Johnny Depp was offered the role of Lestat.
Tom Cruise was placed on an elevated platform during some scenes to reduce the height difference between his character and other vampires.
Anne Rice was so pleased with this adaptation that she took out a two-page ad in both Vanity Fair and the New York Times, endorsing it as "a masterpiece."
Anne Rice met with Tom Hanks to take the part of Lestat after seeing his performance in Philadelphia (1993), but Hanks turned down the part in order to star in Forrest Gump (1994).
Stephen Rea studied French comedy and pantomime to prepare for his role as Santiago. The scene in which he dances up the tunnel wall and ceiling was inspired by Fred Astaire's famous scene in Royal Wedding (1951).
Louis describes Claudia as five years old in the novel, but Kirsten Dunst was twelve years old at the time of filming.
Christina Ricci, Dominique Swain, Julia Stiles, Erin Moore, and Evan Rachel Wood auditioned for the role of Claudia.
There's a scene towards the end of the movie where Louis is watching Superman (1978) in a cinema. This scene doesn't appear in the novel because the book was written in 1976, two years before the film was made.
The estate of Louis (Brad Pitt) in the beginning of the film was the historic Oak Alley Plantation located on the Mississippi River in Vacherie, Louisiana, which is near New Orleans. The plantation's "guest book" is on display and was signed by Pitt and Tom Cruise.
Many buildings and street lights were darkened for the filming by agreement with the companies and the city. The set was immediately torn down after the filming.
The character Lestat's full name is Lestat de Lioncourt. He was based on Anne Rice's husband Stan Rice, and even given Stan Rice's birthday of November 7th.
Would be the highest grossing vampire movie for over a decade, however, as of 2016, it's the highest grossing R rated vampire film of all time.
Jeremy Irons turned down the part of Lestat as he didn't want to play another character that required hours in the make-up chair, coming off the back of The House of the Spirits (1993).
The scenes set on the riverfront in New Orleans (including the infamous "Chat Noir") were filmed on a false front built on the levee downriver from the actual French Quarter. The entire set was constructed around the old section of Jackson Barracks, a National Guard post.
Daniel Day-Lewis was originally given the part of Lestat, but dropped out weeks before filming. Tom Cruise eventually got the role after Johnny Depp turned down the role.
Kirsten Dunst wasn't allowed to watch the film when it was released because her parents thought that it was too scary for her. She was twelve years old at the time.
Louis claims not to be broody in the novel, but he is in the film; allegedly Brad Pitt didn't have a happy time making the film.
Tom Cruise prepped for the role of Lestat by watching videos of lions attacking zebras in the wild.
Kirsten Dunst lost out on an award as Best Supporting Actress at the Chlotrudis Awards for her performance in this movie and also for Little Women (1994). She lost by a single vote, given to Dianne Wiest in Bullets Over Broadway (1994).
Tom Cruise spent three and a half hours every day in the make-up chair.
Although the reporter gets a name in the film (Daniel Malloy), in the novel he's just known as "the boy"; he was also younger than Christian Slater. The book also refers to Louis as "the vampire" in the interview scenes.
Kirsten Dunst later starred in the music video 'I Knew I Loved You' by Savage Garden, a band which took its name from the same Anne Rice novel series.
The Old Coliseum Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana, seen when Louis goes to see Tequila Sunrise (1988), burned down on February 3, 2006.
When Lestat and Louis are arguing at Louis' plantation, Louis says the help watch them eat from empty plates and drink from empty glasses. They only did that in the book in order to fool Lestat's blind father. They never would have bothered to do that otherwise.
A gay subtext to the novel was omitted from the film; Lestat expects Louis to sleep with him; Lestat, Louis (and later Claudia) are a family. Anne Rice mentions "stone walls" in the novel, which could be an oblique reference to the gay rights movement of the same name.
Louis is 200 years old in the film, but in the novel he's 185 years old. The age difference was to tie in with when the film was set.
Christian Slater had to have his shooting schedule for Murder in the First (1995) be reworked to allow him to appear in the film.
The novel was written in 1976; by 1993 it was reprinted 48 times.
Lestat tells Louis that eating rats is a good way to stay alive if you're "in a ship for a month at sea." This is a reference to Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, in which Dracula hides on a ship belowdecks and survives by eating rats until he can arrive in London.
John Malkovich, Peter Weller, Alexander Godunov and Brad Pitt were considered for the role of Lestat at various points of development.
At one point in development, the role of Louis was re-written to be a female character and Cher and Anjelica Huston were considered to play this role.
Tom Cruise (Lestat) and Antonio Banderas (Armand) never actually met during the film. However, towards the end of the original novel, there was a scene in which both characters have a conversation.
Antonio Banderas also voiced Armand in the Castilian Spanish dubbed version of the film. Unlike the rest of the cast, whose Spanish voice actors dubbed their respective characters in Barcelona, Spain, Banderas dubbed his own voice in Los Angeles, California,
Neil Jordan retained final cut on the film.
The film was a subject of controversy due to inspiring a real life crime shortly after the film's theatrical release. On November 17, 1994, a man named Daniel Sterling and her girlfriend Lisa Stellwagen watched the film together. The next day, Sterling stabbed Stellwagen seven times in her chest and back and sucked the blood from her wounds. Fortunately, Stellwagen survived the multiple stab wounds and Sterling was arrested. He claimed in court that the film influenced his plan and the jury convicted him of attempted first-degree murder, among several other charges.
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Due to Anne Rice's fear that her novel was not being adapted because Lestat and Louis could be perceived as homosexuals, at one point she rewrote Louis as a woman, and considered Cher for the role. While eventually the role went back to being a man, Cher would write along with Shirley Eikhard a song for the movie's soundtrack, "Lovers Forever", that wound rejected by the producers and eventually released on Cher's 2013 album "Closer to the Truth".
Stephen Dorff was considered for the role of Daniel Malloy before Christian Slater was cast. Both would go on to co-star in Uwe Boll's video game adaptation, Alone in the Dark (2005).
The river scenes were done by removing such modern items as the Greater New Orleans Bridge and radio towers and replacing them with 18th century sailing vessels in post-production. The sailing vessels on the set were Alexandria and Gazela.
Title is often misquoted as "Interview with a Vampire". Interestingly enough, in France and Germany, their respective titles "Entretien avec un vampire" and "Interview mit einem Vampir" clearly translate the film and novel's title as "Interview with a Vampire".
Antonio Banderas previously auditioned for the role of Dracula in Dracula (1992).
While the production was filming in London, Brad Pitt stayed in a house which used to be owned by Peter Cushing.
Oprah Winfrey stormed out of the premiere during the first reel, disgusted by the amount of blood in the film.
Natalie Portman auditioned for the role that went to Kirsten Dunst.
Claudia cries tears of blood in the novel; the vampires in True Blood (2008) can do the same.
First cinema feature of Helen McCrory.
Thandie Newton and Tom Cruise also appear together in Mission: Impossible II (2000).
In 1978, when John Boorman was planning to direct, he intended for Jon Voight to star as Lestat.
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This was the first LGBT related film to gross more than 100 million dollars at the U.S. box-office. Worldwide, it's number two behind the The Birdcage (1996).
Anne Rice mentions Marie Antoinette in the novel; Kirsten Dunst later played her in the film of the same name.
Four of the cast have starred in films directed by Barry Levinson. Tom Cruise in Rain Man (1988), Brad Pitt in Sleepers (1996), Christian Slater in Jimmy Hollywood (1994) and Kirsten Dunst in Wag the Dog (1997). Coincidentally Jimmy Hollywood and Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, were both released in 1994.
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Lestat hires a painter to decorate Claudia's room with unicorns; this hearkens back to Tom Cruise's role in the fantasy film Legend (1985).
When Lestat dances with the corpse of Claudia's mother, he says "there's still life in the old lady yet". He never says this in the novel.
Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt appear to have swapped their complexions in this film, as Cruise has blond hair and Pitt has black hair. In real life, Cruise has black hair and Pitt has blond hair.
Although the film's tagline "Drink from me and live forever" is never said by any character on the film, it would eventually be used in the chorus of the 1996 song "Transylvania" by the Japanese band Malice Mizer ("Drink from me and live forever" is the only phrase said in English during the lyrics of the song, whereas the rest of the lyrics are sung in Japanese).
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Kat Graham auditioned for Claudia. She would later star in ''The Vampire Diaries (2009 - 2017)''.
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First American feature film of Laure Marsac.
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After Claudia drinks blood for the first time, she says she wants some more twice in the film, but only says it once in the novel.
Heathcote Williams was going to be in this film, but was replaced.
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Although Tom Hanks, who starred in Philadelphia (1993), didn't star as Lestat in this film, his Philadelphia co-star Antonio Banderas appeared in this film as Armand.
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The cassette recorder seen on Daniel Malloy's desk and used to record his interview with Louis is an Aiwa model TP-S101.
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Tom Cruise co-starred with Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (1988). Brad Pitt would go on to co-star with Hoffman in Sleepers (1996). Incidentally, both films were directed by Barry Levinson.
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This was Domiziana Giordano's first American feature film.
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Director Trademark 

Neil Jordan: [Stephen Rea] Rea, who plays Santiago, makes regular appearances in Jordan's films.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The original novel includes a scene where Lestat appears in the tunnels under the Theater des Vampires in Paris, to confront Louis immediately after Claudia's death. This scene was filmed with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, but was cut from the final film.
It is stated in the books that the vampires (according to Anne Rice) shed blood tears, as all their body fluids are replaced with blood. In the film, however (e.g. when Louis remembers Claudia's death), they are normal human tears.
An animatronic Lestat was used during the shot where Lestat is bleeding on the floor, after having had his throat cut by Claudia.
Body count: 56.
The car that Malloy (Christian Slater) drives at the end in is a 1965 Ford Mustang.

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