Uncategorized

Anne Rice Wants Your Help Casting The Vampire Lestat, But What Does He Look Like?

Like a lot of teenagers at the time, my first introduction to Anne Rice was through the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire.  I loved the movie and it inspired me to read the entire series of Vampire Chronicles books in high school.  This week publications around the web have been talking about the author’s recent Facebook post asking fans to give suggestions on who should play the vampire Lestat in the upcoming Vampire Chronicles television series.  People have thrown out suggestions left and right, but when horror podcast Nightmare On Film Street posed the question on Twitter, I stopped for a moment to seriously consider my answer.

Tom Cruise as Lestat in Interview with the Vampire

It was then that I realized my recollection of Lestat is purely that of the role played by Tom Cruise in the 1994 film.  I have no idea who I would cast because I honestly can’t remember how he was described in the books.

So I took to my bookshelves and sought out The Vampire Lestat, the second book in the Vampire Chronicles, in hopes of finding a solid description.  I was thrilled to discover, not only did it have a description, but the description appears in the first two paragraphs of the first chapter.  I wish all my writing research was this easy!  So what does Lestat look like?  I’ll let him tell you, just as he does in the book:

I AM THE VAMPIRE LESTAT…

I’m six feet tall, which was fairly impressive in the 1780s when I was a young mortal man.  It’s not bad now. I have thick blond hair, not quite shoulder length, and rather curly, which appears white under fluorescent light.  My eyes are gray, but they absorb the colors blue or violet easily from surfaces around them.  And I have a fairly short narrow nose, and a mouth that is well shaped but just a little too big for my face.  It can look very mean, or extremely generous, my mouth.  It always looks sensual.  But emotions and attitudes are always reflected in my entire expression.  I have a continuously animated face.

My vampire nature reveals itself in extremely white and highly reflective skin that has to be powdered down for cameras of any kind.

Lestat goes on to tell you how he looks when he’s starved, “skin shrunken,” “veins like ropes” over his bones, but I figure Hollywood magic can handle that piece, we just need a solid foundation to work from based on the description of Lestat.

If you browse the over 770 comments on Rice’s post people seem to be focusing more on Rice’s call for “up and coming young actors” or an actor’s sex appeal more-so than the actual appearance of the vampire she created.  Past experience as a vampire also seems to be helping.  Vampire veterans Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries), Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries/The Originals), Johnny Depp (Dark Shadows) Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga) and True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård all appear in the comments.  So who should play Lestat?

Here are some of the suggests from the Facebook comments that I could get behind:

Jamie Campbell Bower
Though some may feel he loses some cred for playing a Twilight vampire, the six-foot-tall actor already rocks wavy blonde tresses and bluish-gray eyes, which fits Rice’s mold of Lestat almost perfectly.

Jamie Campbell Bower in Will
Jamie Campbell Bower in the new TNT drama ‘Will’

Andy Biersack
Andy Biersack AKA Andy Six AKA Andy Black is probably most known for his music, but the Black Veil Brides frontman has a background in acting and is even set to star in the upcoming film American Satan.  The 6’4″ entertainer sports a shorter haircut as of late, but in the past, while performing in Black Veil Brides he sported a much fuller mane.  Though his hair color is naturally darker, Biersack has bluish-grey eyes and his androgynous features could make him a solid choice.

Andy Biersack

Toby Regbo
Probably best known for his role as King Francis II in the CW’s Reign, English actor Toby Regbo is another strong contender.  Though he’s just short of six feet tall he carries all of the other features of Lestat, including the curly blonde hair.

Toby Regbo
Toby Regbo from Reign

Dan Stevens
Coming off of playing a French patriarch in Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast almost makes playing the part of Lestat perfect for Dan Stevens.  After all, Lestat is an 18th-century Frenchman.  Though he played a CGI beast for most of the film, Stevens actually stands at six feet tall and has bright blue eyes and as we saw in the film, can actually rock a fairly decent mane, it would just need to be lightened.

Dan Stevens from the Beauty and the Beast movie poster
Dan Stevens from Beauty and the Beast

In addition to the above, there were a few additional ones I considered.  Rory Culkin was an interesting choice a few people threw out.   Alexander Vlahos was also called out based on his role in the Ovation television series Versailles, and a few mention Jonathan Rhys Meyers, though the image they used to support it was from his 1998 film Velvet Goldmine.

So who should play Lestat?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or at least go let Anne Rice know.

Send this to a friend