This film is directed by Neil Jordan, and stars Tom Cruise, Prad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea and Christian Slater. It was produced by Stephen Woolley and David Geffen. It will be released this fall.
Unable to attend a recent sneak preview at the invitation of the producers, I was trusted with this tape by David Geffen so that I could have an early look at the film because it is based on my first noel, which was published in 1976--the first of the Vampire Chronicles. This was for me an event of indescribable excitement. Living in a dramatic clutter of laserdiscs, and videotapes, I am nourished daily by movies, loving them as much as books. All my life I have looked to films for inspriation, consolation, amusement and enlightenment; and here at last was a tape of the film based on my own book.
I am making this personal statement now for my readers, and for myself.
If you have no interest in this, don't read it. It's not a news story. I paid for the space. I don't want to be misquoted; I don't want my statement cut to pieces. So I bought the page, and please feel free to turn it whenever you wish.
What I have to say is this:
I loved the film. I simply loved it. I loved it from start to finish, and I found myself deeply impressed with every aspect of its making, including its heartfelt and often daring performances by all the actors and actresss, its exquisite set design and cinematography, and its masterly direction. But most personally, I was honored and stunned to discover how faithful this film was to the spirit, the content, and the ambience of the novel, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, and of the script for it which I wrote. I was shocked to discover that Neil Jordan had given this work and new and distinctive incarnation in film without destroying the aspects of it which I hold so dear.
I never dreamed it would turn out this way.
Never during 17 years of development had I ever expected the film version of this book to emerge with so much of the heard and soul intact. many scripts for INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE have crossed my desk over the years. In Hollywood restaurants, on Hollywood patios,at lunch tables at Le Dome and dinner tables at Morton's. I have talked and dreamed aloud about this film so many times I don't want to remember it all. And I have shed more tears over this process than I care to admit.
But this film surpassed my maddest expectations. Fearlessly it presented the love shared by the fictional characters, Lestat, Louis, Claudia and Armand; fearlessly it told the story of the making of the child Vampire Claudia; fearlessly it allowed my tormented vampire outsiders to transcend gender, and to speak from their souls about matters of life and death, love, loneliness, guilt and pain.
The charm, the humore, and invincible innocence which I cherish in my beloved hero Lestat are all alive in Tom Cruise's courageous performance; the guilt and suffering of Louis are poignantly portrayed by Brad Pitt; the enigma of Armand is embodied in Antonio Banderas; the role of the Interviewer is handled perfectly by Christian Slater; Stephen Rea is delightully sinister as Santiago; and Kirsten Dunst's mesmerizing performance as my tragic Claudia broke my heart.
In addition, the cinema maniac in me loved the pace of this movie, its tension, its suspense, its deep and spectacular sensuality. I loved its comic moments. I loved its stamina. I loved the relentless intensity, and its success as pur entertainment. I could not have hoped for anything better. To repeat, I never dared to hope for so much.
I thank everyone connected with this film--regardless of their motives or feelings--for attempting and accomplishing a unique work.
And I thank you, my readers--who wrote letters to me, the press, the studio, and the producers, who called to express your opinions, who came out in droves to my book signings to speak your hearts about this film, and about its casting and content.
Guys, you were great. You gave me to know that the book I'd written meant something to you. You gave me to know that Lestat, Louis and Claudia had a life in your minds, as well as in mine.
I wish every author could know the happiness you gave to me. I love you for it. And I hope and pray that I never let you down.
The recent development of the film has been an exquisitely painful process for me. Perhaps that's as it should be, given the nature of the book. But undoubtedly the process was painful or uncomfortable for others as well. I wish all of this could ahve been avoided. I wish that no one had been hurt, or insulted, or slighted or confused. But film making is an art, collaborative or not, and art can be vampiric; it can take all the tears and blook you have to give.
When you see this film, I think you will marvel, along with me, as to how something that developed with so many difficulties and so much controversy could turn out to give so many people what they want.
I think you will embrace this film as I do. I think you will find it spellbinding as I did. I think you will find it such a rich and sincere and unusual offering that if one part fails you, another will compensate for that disappointment; if one twist puts you off, another scene will engulf you; if any one incident doesn't please, another will sweep you away.
If I'm wrong, if you don't like the picture--let me know. Laugh in my face. Write me letters. Call me. Come to the bookstores when I'm there and scream. I can take it. I've never been a cuatious person. I have to stick my neck out now and say I think this film is great. I can't wait for Siskel and Ebert; I have to go on record immediately in my excessive and impulsive fashion.
I am proud to have my name connected with the screenplay and the film of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE.
SEE THIS FILM, GUYS. SEE IT!
All my love to you,
PS. Be prepared to give the studio, the producers, the stars and
everybody else just as much advice and help with the sequel as
you did with this first film! By this time, perhaps they will be
used to us.
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PS. Be prepared to give the studio, the producers, the stars and everybody else just as much advice and help with the sequel as you did with this first film! By this time, perhaps they will be used to us.