For part one of my Interview with a Vampire review series click here: In Episode Five Lestat dropped Louis from the sky. In Episode Six Louis is still recovering. He broke up with Lestat, and Celia helped him fight off Lestat’s attempts to get back together. Sam Reid’s performance here is really excellent because I can understand Louis’s pull toward him. His mannerisms, his charm, and yes his natural attractiveness, make him fascinating to watch. Lestat is extravagant and flamboyant to a level that makes Reid’s performance almost camp. Besides, as likable as Louis can sometimes be, there’s not much of a story without Lestat. Interview with the Vampire, after all, explores Louis, Lestat, and Celia’s toxic family dynamic. It poses the question, what would a family of immortal murderers with supernatural abilities be like? How would that mess them up?
The Queerness of Vampires
I hadn’t thought to ask this question, but the answer somehow feels important. I actually take back what I said that the narrative of Interview with the Vampire isn’t about queerness. Part of the plot is driven by the way society alienates LGBTQ+ people. Louis for example, may not tolerate Lestat’s abuse if he had a better relationship with his family. Although they are not outright homophobic, their instant dislike of Lestat whom they can probably tell is Louis’ lover, does imply homophobia. Of course, Lestat did also say that he hates Christianity, so maybe that was what did it.
Still, since homophobia can often be associated with Christianity, even this topic has implications. Lestat seems to hate Christianity because he was abused by his religious father. Also despite vampires having no issues with crosses according to the novel, it probably doesn’t help that he’s a vampire. Vampirism seems like a potential metaphor for being queer. After all, if the bite is a metaphor for sex, then being turned into a vampire by another man makes Louis’s vampirism inextricably linked to his sexuality as a gay man. He even says as much in the interview, stating that it was a transformative experience for him to be bitten, and then realize that he was gay.
Verily Ritchie discusses the bisexual history of vampires, particularly Dracula:
Louis as usual, cannot resist Lestat’s pull, so they end up back together. All in all, I thought episode 6 was a quite good episode, but the ending focused too much on the character Armand (Louis’ servant), as did the ending of episode 7. I would rather focus on Louis and Lestat. But who knows? Maybe Season 2 will make Armand a more compelling character.
I can’t say much about episode 7 without spoilers, so I’ll just say Louis and Lestat throw a huge Mardi Gras ball which is appropriately camp. I recommend this conclusion to Season 1 of Interview with the Vampire, mainly for the show’s wonderfully gothic aesthetic.
Interview with the Vampire. Sam Reid, Jacob Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Assad Zaman, Bailey Bass. Warner Bros. AMC.