As you may know, while the film IWTV was in production with David Geffen, the author of the book had no legitimate contact with him or with the studio or with anyone connected with the film.
When the announcement was made that Tom Cruise would star as Lestat, I had deep reservations and severe criticisms. So did many many of my readers. I talked openly about this. A curtain thereafter divided me from the entire production, and with reason. Nobody likes to be criticized, and that includes movie people, too.
I understand and accept what happened. But to me, movies and books are not like sports. There is no immediate consensus on whether a player had scored a home run or a touch down. So it was okay to speak my mind on the casting, and I don’t have any regrets.
But to continue…
I saw no rough cuts of IWTV; I saw no clips. I went to no screenings. It wasn’t until David Geffen, himself took the unusual risk of sending me a VHS tape of the movie, that I saw it. And I approached this tape with a deep fear of being hurt, crushed, disappointed, destroyed by the finished work.
When I saw the film on VHS, I came out at once in favor of it, declaring that I loved it. I bought two pages in VARIETY to talk about it in a frank and unedited announcement. No one controlled what I wrote, or had any opportunity to delete any part of it. I loved the film. I said so. I had no idea at the time that the film would be a huge success. I really hoped it would be, but I didn’t know. It was so eccentric, so extreme, so weird. I came out in favor of it, fully prepared to sink with it if it failed, that is, to look stupid in my praise of it. I had no other moral and aesthetic choice. I went by the heart.
What happened on opening weekend is now history as they say. The movie made about $35 million dollars, and broke all kinds of records to do with seasons and ratings, etc. I don’t remember all the details, but it was a luscious American success. And I marveled then and I marvel now.
Whatever, I have not up till this date discussed the film in detail publicly. I didn’t want to program anyone’s response to it. I made my positive comments very general in order that my recommendation would not shape the public’s acceptance or rejection of any particular aspects of the film.
Well, over a month has passed. I have had a listed number — 1-504-522-8634 — in New Orleans for weeks; to receive by answering machine peoples’ responses to the film. The film is now open all over the world.
Therefore, I think it’s okay now to go into detail about how I saw this film. The film has established itself in the public consciousness. It’s okay to talk about details.
I want to do it. That’s why I’m writing this. This essay or commentary or whatever it is — is shaped entirely by personal feeling and preference. It doesn’t conform to anyone’s standards as a piece of writing. It is simply my point by point discussion of the film. I wrote it for myself and anyone else who wants to know how the author responded to INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, THE FILM.
If this personal statement seems arrogant, please reconsider. I am striving to make my remarks in full, and not to trust them to an editor or journalist who might for valid reasons cut them, or quote them out of context.
Look upon this gesture, if you will, as an American gesture. I have something to say. I say it. I do not wait to be asked, interviewed, packaged or covered by the news.
What fuels this statement is a passionate love of the film, a marvelous relief that it exists now in a form that can be preserved; that it was what I dreamed it could be, and that I got through the whole experience without being destroyed. A mediocre film would have destroyed me just as much as a bad