Following the death of acclaimed gothic horror novelist and vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights Anne Rice, we reflect on the legacy of the film adaptation of Interview with the Vampire.
When Interview with the Vampire was released in cinemas in 1994, audiences for the most part completely missed the glaring homoeroticism and queer subtext. Looking back, it’s hard to see how anybody could watch Interview with the Vampire and not see a queer story. The film’s queer themes always remain implicit rather than explicit – but they’re still there, lurking in the background, informing the characters and the journeys they’re on.
For those not in the know, Interview with the Vampire, based on Anne Rice’s 1976 novel of the same name, tells the story of a man called Louis (Brad Pitt) who is turned into a vampire by Lestat (Tom Cruise). Over the course of the film, the men become a couple of sorts – Lestat even turns a girl called Claudia (a young Kirsten Dunst) into a vampire, and they raise her as their own daughter.
As if that wasn’t queer enough, Interview with the Vampire also has plenty of scenes of very homoerotic bloodsucking. The vampires at the heart of the film need to feed to survive – but it’s clear that drinking blood is about so much more than just survival. It’s also a source of a deep, almost sexual pleasure.