All the actors playing vampires were required to hang upside down for up to thirty minutes at a time during make-up. This would force all the blood in their bodies to rush to their heads, causing the blood vessels in their faces to bulge. The make-up artists would then trace over the swollen veins, creating the eerie, translucent-skinned 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.
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Christian Slater was given the role of Malloy upon the death of River Phoenix, the original choice for the role. Slater donated his $250,000 salary to two of Phoenix's favorite charities.
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In an EW interview in September 2011, Brad Pitt revealed that he had a miserable experience while making this film. He recalled the discomfort of the makeup, colored contacts and particularly filming in an enclosed dark indoor area. He said at one point he called his friend and producer David Geffen and begged him for a way out. Learning that it would cost $40 million, he toughed it out for the remaining months.
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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.
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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 and recorded a two-minute video endorsing the film that was included as a pre-feature on mid-1990s VHS releases of Interview with the Vampire.
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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."
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The first film production to be given permission to close down two lanes of traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.
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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.
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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."
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Tom Cruise wanted a private set, so 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.
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Tom Cruise was placed on an elevated platform during some scenes to reduce the height difference between his character and other vampires.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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 Cruise.
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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 it down.
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Louis describes Claudia as five years old in the novel, but Kirsten Dunst was twelve years old at the time of filming.
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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 his 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 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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Tom Cruise prepped for the role of Lestat by watching videos of lions attacking zebras in the wild.
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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).
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Christina Ricci, Dominique Swain, Julia Stiles, Erin Moore, and Evan Rachel Wood auditioned for the role of Claudia.
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During filming, tensions developed between Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt over the latter's alleged poor personal hygiene. According to Cruise, his co-star didn't use any deodorant and the resulting body odor became noticeable.
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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.
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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.
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Tom Cruise spent three-and-a-half hours every day in the make-up chair.
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The character Lestat's full name is Lestat de Lioncourt. He was based on Anne Rice's husband, Stan Rice, and even given his birthday; November 7th.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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While in the movie Armand is older, Spanish, and has long black hair, in the book he is only 17, has curly red hair, and is Russian.
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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.
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According to the timeline from Queen of the Damned (2002), Lestat was turned into a vampire in 1788. Louis states at the beginning of this movie (and in the novel) that Lestat turned him in 1791, meaning Lestat had only been a vampire for ~three years before creating his new companion.
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In his beginning narration Louis says that he was twenty-four when he was turned in 1791, making him "younger" than Malloy. Christian Slater, (Malloy), was twenty-four during filming.
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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.
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Louis claims not to be broody in the novel, but is in the film; allegedly, Brad Pitt didn't enjoy making the film.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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Louis is 200 years old in the film, but 185 in the novel. The age difference was to tie in with when the film was set.
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The novel was written in 1976. By 1993, it was reprinted 48 times.
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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.
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According to Kirsten Dunst, Tom Cruise always sends her a coconut cake with white chocolate chips every Christmas. Dunst refers to it as a "the Cruise cake," which she is always excited to receive, admitting the cake never lasts a day.
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The Old Coliseum Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana, seen when Louis goes to see Tequila Sunrise (1988), burned down on February 3, 2006.
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Christian Slater had to have his shooting schedule for Murder in the First (1995) be reworked to allow him to appear in the film.
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In the film, Lestat shows Louis a trick for using rat's blood poured into a wineglass to appear "normal". Lestat reaches to the floor, picks up a rat, bites its neck, and drains its blood into the glass. For the shots of the rat on the floor, a live, trained rat was used. The wiggling rat in Cruise's hand was a puppet from Stan Winston that could be controlled via cables that were run, along with a blood tube, along the actor's inner arm.
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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, considering Cher for the role. While, eventually, the role went back to being male, Cher, along with Shirley Eikhard, wrote a song for the movie's soundtrack called "Lovers Forever", that was rejected by producers but eventually released on Cher's 2013 album, "Closer to the Truth".
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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.
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Anne Rice said, "I was particularly stunned by the casting of Cruise, who is no more my vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler."
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Christian Slater replaced River Phoenix after Phoenix's death. Phoenix's then-girlfriend was Samantha Mathis, Slater's ex-girlfriend.
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John Malkovich, Peter Weller, Alexander Godunov and Brad Pitt were considered for the role of Lestat at various points of development.
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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.
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Kirsten Dunst said in a recent interview that everyone she knew at the time of filming said "You're so lucky you kissed Brad Pitt," referring to their kissing scene. But the young Dunst said she thought it was disgusting." Years later she said "Kissing Brad was so uncomfortable for me. I remember saying in interviews that I thought it was gross, that Brad had cooties. I mean, I was 10." She said she did it out of her love for acting, but the experience put her off kissing any more men for a few years. The next person she locked lips with onscreen happened at the age of 15.
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While the production was filming in London, Brad Pitt stayed in a house which used to be owned by Peter Cushing.
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On his work with Stan Winston, director Neil Jordan revealed: "When we were working on 'Interview with the Vampire,' Stan came over to Ireland and we went through the whole script, acting out the roles again and again. It was like two guys wrestling in a room. It demonstrates the great thing about Stan: he always comes at it from the dramatic side -- the actors and the character. His work is all in support of that. We did some very subtle things in Vampire, to the point where it was difficult for the audience to tell where the actor's work ended and Stan's began. He also built some prosthetics and armatures, which he approached as if they were actors in the film. They had to perform. That's the genius of Stan."
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The title is often misquoted as "Interview with a Vampire". Interestingly, in France and Germany, their respective titles "Entretien avec un vampire" and "Interview mit einem Vampir" clearly translate as "Interview with a Vampire".
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It was John Rosengrant and Shane Mahan, both huge fans of Rice's book, who initially brought the project to Stan Winston's attention. "Shane and I were very gung-ho about this show," Rosengrant said. "Not only were we big fans of the book but we saw this as an opportunity to do a serious horror movie, in the tradition of the Hammer films. It was also a chance for us to do something completely different than Jurassic Park. We didn't want to get typecast as the studio that only did big animatronics." Winston said, "When John and Shane came to me and said they heard that Neil Jordan was going to do Interview with the Vampire, I was interested. I hadn't read the book yet, but I was a big fan of Neil Jordan as a director. So, I put a call in to him, asking that he take a meeting with me regarding the film. And he was shocked to hear from me -- shocked -- because, to his mind, I was the 'dinosaur guy'. He would never have thought of this studio for the makeup effects for Interview with the Vampire. I literally had to sell this studio and myself to him. I had to convince him that we did makeups, that I'd started doing makeups. Because I'd done dinosaurs, I had to fight to get that job."
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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).
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Oprah Winfrey walked out of the premiere during the first reel, disgusted by the amount of blood in the film.
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Christian Slater and Brad Pitt also starred together in True Romance (1993), which was released the previous year.
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When Lestat is around, Claudia dresses like the little girl he wants her to be. After he's out of the picture, Claudia is able to dress as the adult she truly is.
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The film marks the first collaboration between Neil Jordan and composer Elliot Goldenthal. They also worked on Michael Collins (1996), The Butcher Boy (1997), In Dreams (1999) and The Good Thief (2002).
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Anne Rice mentions Marie Antoinette in the novel. Kirsten Dunst later played her in the film of the same name.
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This was the first LGBT-related film to gross more than $100 million at the U.S. box-office. Worldwide, it's number two behind The Birdcage (1996).
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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).
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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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Four members 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 (1994) and this film were both released in 1994.
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In this film, Tom Cruise has blond hair as Lestat and Brad Pitt has brown hair as Louis. In real life, Cruise has black hair and Pitt has brown hair.
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Laure Marsac (Mortal Woman on Stage) had already worked in another vampire movie: Un vampire au paradis (1992).
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George Fenton, who had worked with Neil Jordan on The Company of Wolves (1984), High Spirits (1988) and We're No Angels (1989), composed a score that was rejected by producer David Geffen.
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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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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 tears.
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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.
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An animatronic Lestat was used during the shot where Lestat is bleeding on the floor after having had his throat cut by Claudia.
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Body count: 56
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Tom Cruise (Lestat) and Antonio Banderas (Armand) never actually met during the film. However, when Louis confronts the Paris vampire coven after Claudia is killed and the end of the original novel, there are scenes in which both characters appear together and have a conversation.
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The car that Malloy (Christian Slater) drives at the end is a 1965 Ford Mustang.
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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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