I picked up a 1989 copy of Interview with the Vampire at a secondhand bookstore back in May. I figured it was about time for me to read it since it’s had such an impact on pop culture and romanticized vampire fiction.
I started reading in my backyard on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The very next evening, when I was watching Better Call Saul on AMC, I saw this teaser trailer.
I literally looked up from my phone that I scroll through during commercials and was like Whoa. Because I had just read that scene.
AMC is doing an adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.
Even more reason to finish the book now.
As I continued to read, I took note of the incorporation of enslaved African-Americans in the storyline. I wondered how I would have read the scene differently twenty or even ten years ago. Before I watched shows like Underground, and read books like An Extraordinary Union and Kindred. Stories where slavery is a backdrop for the heroic journeys of the Blacks and they are their own heros.
In Interview with the Vampire, the slaves are included in the victim count of the vampires. They’re usually targeted because they’re a threat; they’re the only ones that believe the vampires exist and plot to take them down. I started thinking it would’ve been really interesting to incorporate enslaved Americans in the vampire storyline. They could’ve banded together to be an army against vampires.
Some of them would also be vampires. Why wouldn’t they? Seriously. Vampires are everywhere. Why wouldn’t any of them be Black? These thoughts were going through my head as I continued reading, while also trying to figure out when I’d get to the erotic parts that are promised in all the blurbs. (I got there.)
And then this trailer came out:
Louis is Black, y’all.
Louis is Black. (And fine.)
My thoughts were answered. Now I’m really interested in this adaptation. The originating setting is 1910 New Orleans. Louis is a Black Creole and he owns the plantation that had been the property of his slave holding ancestor. They’re incorporating the reality of slavery and African American lives and experience in the story. I’m here for it.
Then I saw this Instagram post.
Claudia is Black too. Claudia is a really interesting character in the book. She’s dealing with arrested development, alienation from parent, and an erratic need for devotion. She’s also cunning and proactive. I totally rooted for her, and I’m really curious to see what they do with her here.
My only hesitation is the interviewer guy. In the books the interviewer was wide eyed. A bit in awe, and pretty much doing a lot of listening. This guy comes across as a totally pompous and judgmental ass. Obnoxious AF. Like, dude, you’re talking to a vampire. Troublesome power dynamics are part of the territory. Get over it. Anyway. Ready for him to show some layers beyond this.
This new series Interview with the Vampire launches October 2 on AMC. How perfect is that? Right in time for spooky season.
Are you planning to check out the series?
If you want to nerd out even further like I did, watch this Interview with the Vampire behind the scenes video.