See the Cast of ‘Interview with the Vampire’ Then and Now
Released in 1994 and based on Anne Rice’s novel of the same name, ‘Interview with the Vampire’ starred Brad Pitt as Louis, a man who is transformed into a vampire by Lestat (Tom Cruise). Louis recounts his time as a vampire, his regrets, and the many years he spent with Lestat to a reporter in present-day Los Angeles. The film was a major success, reinvigorating the vampire genre and launching the career of a little child actress by the name of Kirsten Dunst. 20 years later, we revisit the cast of the film and see what they’re up to now.
Tom Cruise, Lestat de Lioncourt
Then: Tom Cruise played Lestat, a pompous vampire who turns a grief-ridden Louis into one of his kind to be his companion. British actor Julian Sands was considered for the role and had the approval of author Anne Rice, but since Sands was not very well-known at the time, the studio opted for a bigger name: Tom Cruise. Rice reportedly didn’t believe Cruise could play the part, but was ultimately pleased with his performance.
Now: Cruise continues to be a major star, and has appeared in several major blockbuster films, including the ‘Mission: Impossible’ series, Steven Spielberg’s ‘War of the Worlds’ remake, and ‘Minority Report.’ He’s recently starred in the films ‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘Jack Reacher,’ and ‘Oblivion,’ and can be seen next in the upcoming sci-fi action flick ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ with Emily Blunt.
Brad Pitt, Louis de Pointe du Lac
Then: Brad Pitt played the role of Louis, a man grieving over the loss of his wife and daughter. Begging for death, he meets the vampire Lestat, who offers him a very different kind of life. Anne Rice rewrote the role of Louis as a female at one point to rid the story of its homosexual elements in the transition from novel to screenplay, and Anjelica Huston and Cher were considered for the part. Pitt was unhappy on set, as recounted in a 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly, in which he details his annoyance as a rising star when he discovered that his character, who was meant to be the focus of the film, was rewritten to stand in the shadow of Lestat — and Tom Cruise.
Now: But Pitt’s done just fine for himself: he’s known for roles in films like ‘Seven,’ the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ trilogy, and ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith,’ the film where he met his partner, Angelina Jolie, and the pair share several natural and adopted children together. Pitt had three films out in 2013 alone: ‘World War Z,’ ‘The Counselor,’ and ’12 Years a Slave’ — the latter of which he also produced. In addition to acting, Pitt is also a noted humanitarian and founder of the Make It Right foundation, which provided 150 sustainable, affordable new homes to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Christian Slater, Daniel Molloy
Then: Christian Slater played Daniel Molloy, a reporter who interviews Louis about his life as a vampire. River Phoenix was originally cast in the role, but the actor tragically died four weeks prior to filming and had to be replaced on short notice. Slater donated $250,000 of his money from the film to two of Phoenix’s favorite charities.
Now: Since then, Slater has appeared in films like ‘Broken Arrow,’ ‘Hard Rain,’ ‘Bobby,’ and ‘Alone in the Dark.’ He starred on the short-lived television series ‘Breaking In’ from 2011 to 2012, and has guest-starred on ‘Entourage’ and ‘Out There.’ He currently stars on the new series ‘Mind Games,’ and can be seen next in Lars Von Trier’s controversial sex drama ‘Nymphomaniac.’
Kirsten Dunst, Claudia
Then: Kirsten Dunst landed her first major film role in ‘Interview with the Vampire’ as Claudia, a young girl whose family falls victim to the plague. Upon discovering her, Louis is reminded of his deceased family and has Lestat turn Claudia into a vampire as well.
Now: Dunst went on to star in ‘Little Women’ and ‘Jumanji,’ and as a young woman she found continued success with roles in films like ‘The Virgin Suicides,’ ‘Bring It On,’ and ‘Spider-Man.’ As an adult, Dunst has taken on more mature roles in films like Lars Von Trier’s ‘Melancholia,’ and in the indies ‘Bachelorette’ and ‘On the Road.’ She recently reunited with her ‘Virgin Suicides’ and ‘Marie Antoinette’ director Sofia Coppola for ‘The Bling Ring,’ in which she made a cameo appearance as herself, and she also made a cameo appearance in ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.’ Up next, you can see her in ‘The Two Faces of January’ and ‘Midnight Special.’
Antonio Banderas, Armand
Then: Antonio Banderas played Armand, a vampire even older than Lestat who runs a theater of vampire performers. At the time, Banderas was working on making a crossover from Spanish films to English-speaking roles. It would be two more years before audiences were enamored with his performance in ‘Desperado.’
Now: Banderas is known for roles in ‘The Mask of Zorro,’ ‘Evita,’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’ (the sequel to ‘Desperado’). He’s also starred in kid-friendly films like ‘Spy Kids,’ and lent his voice to the ‘Shrek’ series and its spin-off, ‘Puss in Boots.’ In recent years he’s appeared in the films ‘The Skin I Live In,’ ‘Haywire,’ and ‘Ruby Sparks,’ and recently reunited with his ‘Desperado’ director Robert Rodriguez for ‘Machete Kills.’ He can be seen next in ‘Expendables 3.’
Stephen Rea, Santiago
Then: Stephen Rea played Santiago, a mysterious member of the troupe of theater vampires whose intentions may not be so friendly. Rea had previously appeared in ‘The Crying Game,’ which was directed by ‘Interview with the Vampire’ helmer Neil Jordan.
Now: Rea went on to appear in the films ‘The Musketeer,’ ‘Control,’ ‘Feardotcom,’ and ‘V for Vendetta’ — just a sampling of the diverse films on his resume. More recently you may have seen him in ‘Underworld: Awakening,’ ‘Utopia,’ or ‘Asylum,’ and he’s currently starring on the new BBC spy thriller series ‘The Honourable Woman.’
Thandie Newton, Yvette
Then: Thandie Newton was still a little-known actress when she landed the small supporting role of Yvette, Louis’ servant during his time in New Orleans. A year later she played a more notable servant: Sally Hemings in ‘Jefferson in Paris.’
Now: Newton garnered acclaim for her performance in the 1998 film ‘Beloved,’ and in 2000 she reunited with her ‘Interview with the Vampire’ co-star Tom Cruise for ‘Mission: Impossible II.’ Since then, she’s appeared in films like ‘The Chronicles of Riddick,’ ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,’ and ‘RocknRolla.’ Recently Newton appeared in the films ‘For Colored Girls’ and ‘Good Deeds.’ From 2003 to 2009, she starred on the medical drams series ‘ER,’ and she recently made her return to television, starring on the police drama series ‘Rogue.’