I confess, we accepted AMC’s seven-day trial offer just to watch (and re-watch) the remake of Anne Rice’s novel “Interview with the Vampire,” shaped into a new series constructed with care. The new series is wonderfully bold and steps into tackling a crucial question in act one. Set 50 years after the events in the film version, the interviewer Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) is now old, not the kid we met inside a San Francisco hotel room, but those audio tapes remain of his interview with Louis de Pointe du Lac. Now, set in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, Louis (Jacob Anderson) reaches out to Daniel to open their conversation again with the hope that both men have wised up.
Race and sexuality are a big part of this retelling which gives this version a depth the movie missed. Here, the series deliberately reframes Louis’ story where he was a plantation owner (a mixed man) whose view of a new world and new life with the vampire Lestat (Sam Reid), his maker, is complicated.
Told in episodic installments, the relationship between the two is electrifying and like all love affairs, deeply conflicted, as we examine their every shifting mood.
Circa 2022, the modern-day Louis lives in a Dubai skyscraper that sways, a specific and deliberate construction design. In rehashing his life, he pulls us back to his life as a cunning businessman in New Orleans and it’s clear that he’s a family man with a strong love for his kind sister (Kalyne Coleman), troubled brother (Steven Norfleet), and suspecting mother (Rae Dawn Chong). But Louis is a tortured soul and is always fighting what his heart wants and needs and what he’s allowed to have as an African American man in America and now, as an immortal vampire, and of yes, as a homosexual man—we can now clearly see that this modern life of Louis is filled with conflicts.
It’s genius recasting Louis’ character with such delicious complexities. It makes the story deeply entertaining and rich with storytelling possibilities, and when Louis performs a rather barbaric kill, it jump-starts a reaction that causes havoc to the very people (BIOPOC people) he cares to help.
In the chaos of the moment, Louis finds a dying young girl and begs Lestat to turn her, Claudia (Bailey Bass), into his vampire “daughter” which he does but keeps his distance.
The director attributed to this new series is Alan Taylor (“Game of Thrones”) with production designer Mara Lepere-Schloop, and costume design by Carol Cutshall. Let’s call these creatives the “holy trinity” because they complement each other perfectly.
“Interview with the Vampire” debuts new episodes every Sunday, at 10 p.m. ET.