“Interview with the Vampire” review: Undead Creoles


Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Ella Michna, Assistant Reviews Editor

Many of us are familiar with the 1994 film “Interview with the Vampire,” but the new series adaptation far exceeds both the film and the original novel by highlighting experiences around race and sexuality.

The author of the novel herself, Anne Rice, played a role in producing the eight-episode series before her death in December 2021. In fact, AMC purchased the rights to 18 Anne Rice novels and plans to make multiple contents from her “Immortal Universe” of witches, vampires, and more. We already have another series of hers out called “Mayfair Witches,” and the “Interview with the Vampire” series has been renewed for a second season. Rice’s son, Chris Rice, continues to have a hand in these productions.

Best-selling author and New Orleans native, Anne Rice grew up right on St Charles. Her novel follows two vampires, Louis and Lestat, who attempt to heal their dilapidated relationship by taking on a young girl, Claudia, as their daughter-of-sorts. The movie version, however, undermines the book by removing the homoerotic relations between Louis and Lestat. This is why when the series version went above and beyond by fully and unashamedly expanding upon their relationship, it was met with critical acclaim. The main actors, Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid have incredible chemistry that heats up the room even during disturbingly gory scenes, but they can also pull off the comedic dynamic of an old bickering couple with elegant gay charm.

Louis de Pointe du Lac is a Black Creole man who runs a successful line of brothels in New Orleans’ Storyville in the 1910s. This is a much-needed improvement on the original book’s plot-line where he was a plantation owner, and it gives us a look at New Orleans’ multicultural history. Instead of portraying slaves like expendable livestock for the vampires, they hunt around the city, which provides a more palatable and invigorating premise. Louis meets Lestat, an 18th century French vampire, and they eventually consummate their love by exchanging blood in a breathtaking scene that borders between extreme violence and deep intimacy.

While Louis and Lestat’s relationship becomes increasingly toxic and brimmed with resentment, contrasting scenes keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Lestat is overly enthusiastic about murdering people, and Louis turns to feeding from animals. They constantly argue, pressuring each to become more like the other. One moment, they seem like they’re about to murder each other, but the next, they curl up in their coffin together to sleep. Even up to the end of the first season’s last episode, the pendulum is still swinging: Louis leaves Lestat’s body in an alley, giving hope of resurrection, instead of burning it.

This entire story gets narrated in flashbacks as a journalist interviews Louis in his luxurious modern home in the United Arab Emirates in 2022. The scenes here are pristine and quiet in comparison to the lively old New Orleans imagery that dominates most of the show, but maybe that’s the point. In his minimalist gray penthouse, Louis completely opens himself up to the journalist in a conversation that’s shockingly blunt and intimate for two people who don’t really know each other. There is a similar tension between them as there is between Louis and Lestat: sometimes Louis completely lays himself bare by describing his vulnerabilities, while other times he puts up his guard like a cat with raised hairs. Anderson’s excellent acting makes us feel the tension through the screen.

Sam Reid also has excellent acting skills. He can be seductive and elegant, but he can also be grotesquely terrifying. Together, of course, these actors have great aforementioned chemistry, not just in the romantic sense but also in the scenes where they are toxic enemies.

If you enjoyed the series and are in New Orleans, you can check out some of the filming locations such as Gallier House, the vampires’ home in the French Quarter, and our very own Loyola University at the front steps of Marquette Hall (ep 5).


“Interview with the Vampire” is available on Roku Channel.

Illustration by Ariel Landry