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How 'Interview With A Vampire' Is Tackling Vampire Fiction's Racism Problem

Photo: YouTube / AMC
Interview With A Vampire

When Anne Rice published her debut novel Interview with the Vampire in 1976, she probably wasn’t aware of the cultural phenomenon she would start. 

Known for its titular characters Louis de Pointe du Lac, Claudia, and the ever-alluring vampire Lestat di Lioncourt, the story follows Louis as he navigates immortality with his counterparts and starts to realize the horrors that follow with being undead.

The novel went on to spawn seven books and a 1994 movie adaptation starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and a then 12-year-old Kirsten Dunst. 

Then, in July of this year, AMC put out its first teaser trailer on its own take on the timeless vampire tale. 

Fans rejoiced for more adaptations of the novel but one of the biggest notable differences from the trailer we’ve seen is Louis is a Black man now. 

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"Interview With A Vampire" is tackling vampire fiction's anti-Blackness problem.

It’s undeniable that the vampire subgenre is predominantly white but with the new series, director Rolin Jones wanted a new take on the genre. 

Jacob Anderson, known for “Game of Thrones” fame, sat in an interview with the Root to talk about taking on the reluctant bloodsucker Louis. 

“This version of Louis De Pointe Du Lac, he’s maybe got slightly more fire in his belly. He is more likely to fight back against Lestat," Anderson said.

"Novel Louis, as much as I love him, he complains about Lestat more. I love him though. I’m not trying to take anything away from it. I think he’s just got a little bit more backbone—with love."

He also noted how his race played a big role in his portrayal of Louis. 

“I love playing Louis. I love playing this version of Louis. Louis was always creole, but now he’s Black creole. And it’s very much a part of the story and I’m very proud of that. In terms of backlash, I don’t want to give them any more time than they’re already getting,” he added.

In the novel, while not outwardly stated, it’s implied Louis is white due to his status and his ownership of a plantation. 

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However, in this new adaptation, Louis is now a owner of a brothel, giving him access to while circles because, as he says in the pilot of the series, he can’t be an “openly gay Negro man.”

AMC’s Series Tackles Louis and Lestat’s relationship head on.

Another important change for this series is it doesn’t shy away from the homosexual relationship between the two undead. 

One of the critiques of the 1994 adaption was how the film never truly showed the real relationship between Lestat and Louis.

The two never outwardly expressed their love, only lingering near each other long enough for viewers to infer. 

But the new series dives head first, showing their love in all its glory.

Sam Reid, who plays Lestat, spoke to EW about the relationship. 

"In terms of the queerness of the relationship, that's pretty straightforward — it's definitely not queer-coded. They're in a romantic relationship,” Reid said. 

He also added, “Once we just throw out, put that on the screen, and move past that, you can really look at the complexities and the nuance of their relationship. It's much more fun to play a relationship as opposed to people [who] are working out how to be in a relationship.”

The series is set to premiere on October 2nd on AMC and AMC+

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Victoria Soliz is a writer with YourTango who covers news and entertainment content. Her work explores pop culture trends, film and TV, and celebrity news