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

Anne Rice’s Conversation with the Vampire it is a timeless tale of eternal love, immortality, and grief. It is also the story of Lestat de Lioncourt, the worst person of all time and also an eternal object of admiration and adoration.

When I say Lestat is the worst character of all time, I am not exaggerating. He threatens the players as if he is attracting them, especially those to whom he declares his love. In fact, you might be as bad as someone Lestat loves more than he hates: In AMC’s ConversationLestat is obsessed with his love Louis, captures him, manipulates him emotionally, and murders anyone who comes close to him, and this is before Lestat turns him into a vampire.

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AMC’s adaptation of Rice’s classic novel makes several changes to Rice’s text. Instead of being a plantation story that takes place in the 1800s between landowner Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt, the story is pushed forward in time to the early 1900s. Instead of being a landowner, Louis is a black man living in New Orleans as an illegal brothel owner, balancing his life between two worlds before meeting Lestat. For the most part, fans of the series have embraced these changes because the characters still feel true to what Rice wrote. In particular, fans have taken to Sam Reid’s portrayal of Lestat, who plays the character with a recognizable charm, anger and repressed violent energy.

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It doesn’t mean that fandom justifies or justifies this behavior. Love Lestat knowing that he will disappoint you. Recently, the fandom of Conversation with the Vampire television found itself at a crossroads over Lestat’s actions in the series. Would you love someone who lies like they’re breathing, doesn’t care if they hurt people, and often intentionally hurts people they care about? For decades, the answer to that question, especially regarding Lestat, has been yes.

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Jacob Anderson as Louis looking distraught next to Sam Reid's Lestat;  they both looked at the little girl sitting on the 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 bad that explaining them out of context feels like a joke. When Lestat briefly finds a human body, he has sex with a woman. As a young vampire, he transforms his mother and her companions. Everything inside Conversation, which is told from Louis’s point of view, does things directly to annoy Louis. At one point, Lestat wants to kill someone who was informed by Louis to break the boundaries, but this person was also challenged to a duel to the death. Louis captures Lestat in the swamps of Louisiana when his character wins a musical, and then in the second episode that Louis returns his capture Lestat wanders free and kills the poor mortal. His gentleness and athleticism are as endearing as they are terrifying. As Lestat’s father dies, Louis asks that Lestat not play the piano, so Lestat goes banging pots and pans.

Lestat is just the type of character that people are obsessed with. Anne Rice did it clearly, and she made him. He’s a blorbo from my show – a fictional character who can talk endlessly as if he’s a real person, even though they’re both fake and have, in their fiction, committed war crimes.

Lestat isn’t the only or the most important one with a bad character, but there are many other blorbos that can be a blueprint.

Fans of House of the Dragon they also clashed with the show’s characters who grow up to be an evil blorbo. Aemond Targaryen, as soon as he lost his eye and grew his hair, he became a confirmed heart among others. House of the Dragon fans, but more than his looks, it’s the fact that he’s evil and crazy. Vriska, from the webcomic Homestuck, felt like he was engineered in a laboratory to be aggressive, with an active and vocal fandom debating his actions for months at a time. Even the worst Kilgrave is from Jessica Jones he had a fandom that loved him, if not for his misdeeds. Like Lestat, these players have athleticism and an admirable ability to hold grudges, and also the ability to engage in violence that they only try to hide. What makes these characters so interesting is that, even after you see what they’re capable of, you still want to be around them.

Tom Cruise as Lestat in Interview with the Vampire, with long curly hair and blood dripping from his teeth.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Lestat Lounging on a flowery armchair next to a Victorian era lamp in an interview with a vampire

Photo: AMC

When Lestat finally emerges in the present day in the previous movie adaptation of Conversation with the Vampire, calls Louis an adult. You can’t help but laugh, because after two hours of Louis you might be wishing for a change of pace. It seems like a lie – even after seeing all that Lestat put Louis through, you have to admit he’s making points. It’s not just that Lestat says the things we all wish we could say but don’t, for the sake of polite society. As fans of the Rice books know, Lestat’s appeal is that he has been hurt by the world in the same mundane ways as most of us, and in response has decided to get revenge on everything, everywhere, and every second of his remaining time. The world. Lestat is so wrapped up in his pain – his wounds drowning in self-reflection – that it gives him the kind of clarity one can mistake and sympathize with. He doesn’t like or trust other people, but he understands them, or he understands what he has to do to get 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 good?” Don’t you just want to go?

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

Reid’s performance as Lestat in AMC’s Conversation it captures both his dangerous lack of resistance and weakness. So often when I see Conversation I am amazed by the expression on Sam Reid’s face; his eyes beg for love even as he kills people or curses his chosen little family. Every emotional wound as Louis and Lestat fight shows on his face, not just his sadness but his anger. He is still a child who insults people hoping that they will leave him and then he decides to give them a reason. After Louis catches Lestat cheating, they agree to an open relationship. Louis has the courage to befriend someone, which Lestat learns about him by spying on him and watching them. Lestat confronts Louis about his dalliance. Even though Lestat is a complete sinner, it’s hard not to be a little moved when he shouts, close to tears, “I heard your hearts dance!” Despite the fact that this wound is self-inflicted, the pain is real.

In this case Conversation In contrast, what comes across easily is that they are similar to Louis and Lestat, despite themselves. Both are people frozen in time of grief, unable, due to their vampire nature, to change or move forward. Watching Lestat continue to destroy his life reminds me of how I was as a teenager, full of anger at the world and projecting that anger on everyone I met. If I were caught at that moment completely like a bug in a drop of amber I don’t know if I would be any different from Lestat, trying desperately to keep people from leaving me even if I killed them to do it.


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