Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bloody Monday - The Vampire Lestat

I know, it's almost Tuesday. My bad.

I do not know why I find blog schedules so hard to keep. I think it's more that I forget what day of the week it is than being lazy about posting. This weekend I played with my family on Sunday instead of posting Serial Sunday, so last night when I should have been posting Bloody Monday, I was posting Serial Sunday. Then this morning I actually had to go to work (I know, sad, isn't it?)

Okay, so how about we get on with it and talk about Anne Rice's Lestat?

Possibly one of the coolest vampires ever, and I suspect the literary character that most influenced my own vampire Roderick. A charming scamp, a daring imp. Irrepressible. Selfish. And yet... seeks redemption.

There are several versions of Lestat, of course. The Tom Cruise Lestat from the film Interview with the Vampire, is one version. I read the books long before the movie was released, so I had some trouble with the film. I hated the changes to the story line. I hated the "biting into ripe fruit" sound that accompanied every neck chomp.

And I hated Tom Cruise as Lestat. (I also hated Antonio Banderas for Armand, but that's a discussion for a different day). And it wasn't that Cruise as an actor couldn't pull off Lestat - Cruise cocky? Oh yeah. Joyful, full of impish glee? Yep. It was just that the look of Cruise could never work for me. I don't care how blond the hair, or how long the hair, I just couldn't reconcile Cruise to being my beloved Lestat. Now - the Cruise at the VERY END of Interview, where he attacks the boy reporter, Daniel, to the tune of Sympathy for the Devil - well, okay, that was totally perfect.

Lestat is comic, and he is tragic. He's been a rock star. He'd gone to ground. He's tried to follow the rules, but he's ultimately broken most of them. He is deliciously naughty. And so, so joyful.

I liked Stuart Townsend better. Even though he wasn't exactly blond throughout Queen of the Damned. Blond is not that important to me. Cruise had the personality, but Townsend had the better look. But I always have that kind of trouble with film adaptations of books. In books, I don't even care how much the author describes the character - I get a picture in my head that I am attached to, and then the director's vision always seems to mess with it. And I hate that.

The book Lestat... What are his weaknesses, do you think? I know he has a weakness for beauty, and for melancholy, and definitely for the memory of Claudia. He also has a bit of a weakness for wanting what he cannot have - but is there anything, really, that Lestat cannot have?

My favorite Lestat relationship is the one he has with David Talbot. He toys with David, let's David get to know him, and all while breaking who knows how many rules? Proving for David the existence of the vampires, aye, letting David KNOW for sure about the existence of vampires. And all without Lestat ever stopping to consider if the relationship is harmful to David - at least not until the end of Tale of the Body Thief. Where again Lestat more or less breaks the rules - he promises that he will never turn David against David's will - but as is the way with Lestat, the thing he cannot have is the thing he wants above all others - and so he almost can't stop himself from changing David. Which, of course, gives David exactly what he wants - the life of a vampire without the immorality of having chosen it for himself.

Interesting, hmm? And I think one of the most complicated and intense relationships in Rice's Vampire Chronicles.

So readers, tell me: Do you have a favorite Lestat, or a favorite Lestat moment?


  1. What I love about Bloody Monday is that it gets me thinking and remembering my favorite vampires throughout the week.

    Lestat is like your bi-polar friend - when nothing fun is going on, he gets to feeling very sorry for himself and becomes melancholy and morose.

    But when he's got a crazy idea and the increased energy to run with it - look out! From meeting the Devil to exchanging bodies and becoming human again - on an adventure, no one's more fun that the Vampire Lestat.

  2. Here's wishing my blogger twitter fb friends Happy Friday. Have a fun and safe weekend!