March 21, 2020

Why Are People Still Attracted to the Vampire Lestat?

Dacosta Michael

Although vampirism and the lore surrounding it go way back to European folklore, the Gothic novels of the 19th century brought us memorable characters and tropes we see in Hollywood. We constantly draw inspiration from Mary Shelly, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and their classic titles. So, Stoker’s vision of Count Dracula is the definite one we still look up to. His ideas were subversive, giving us a character that’s not just a beast but also a stylish master of seduction and eroticism.

His vision gave birth to a new breed of human bloodsuckers. Similarly, years later, Anne Rice wrote her take on the vampire myth and lore. After publishing a couple of commercially successful novels, a movie adaptation was at work. Although pretty flawed, the flick saw Tom Cruise as the “Brat Prince” Lestat, which was enough to make it legendary.

“Interview With the Vampire” was a moderate success financially. But, more importantly, it gave the whole role-playing sex act a new life. Sexy vampires, well-spoken, with manners, elegant dresses, and haircuts — it was pretty much a perfect match. Soon, television shows (“Buffy”), music (the ’90s Goth revival), and tabletop games (“Vampire the Masquerade”) won the pop culture war. More importantly, they changed the adult world of sex.

Interview With the Vampire — Short Background

Even if the critics weren’t too kind to the book on its release, Anne Rice’s Gothic piece is now a modern horror classic. She wrote it back in the late ’70s, expanding on her decade-old short story that drew inspiration from a personal tragedy involving her young daughter. The book tells the story of a vampire, Louis de Pointe du Lac, who talks about his life with a young reporter. The loss of his family brought him to Prince Lestat (also a son of Caine), who manipulates him into companionship by turning a young, sick girl into one of his kindred.

The book was adapted into a movie in the ’90s with an ensemble cast, starring the likes of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst. The film relatively closely follows the events of the book, implementing some minor changes. Unfortunately, its success wasn’t as great for the studio to continue with further adaptations of Rice’s work. Still, the cultural impact remains undisputed.

Why People Find Lestat Hot

Back in Eastern Europe, vampires were more like monsters. With beast-like claws and teeth, they’d devour their prey in gruesome fashion. But unlike these creatures of the night, modern Gothic literature made vampires more erotic, first Dracula in Bram Stoker’s classic, and later Lestat and Louis in Rice’s Interview With the Vampire. They’re all tall, beautiful men with pale skin and long, blond hair.

This erotic trope began appearing in music videos, similar movies, and other tales of fiction. In the end, it got rather juvenile with the “Twilight” series, but we’re not going to talk about that abomination here. The thing is, vampires are eloquent and intelligent. They are more complex than a beast lurking around in the Balkans, stalking people in woods and villages.

Another reason why people fell in love with Cruise and Pitt was their real-life looks. Two actors, renowned for their good looks and Hollywood status, playing sexy creatures of the night — what more could you want? Well, their acting careers went different ways since then, but whenever people find eroticism in vampire horror, they’ll usually come back to their iconic portrayal of Lestat and Louis.

Vampire Fantasy and the Actor’s Looks

Sure enough, fantasy means you’re free to imagine anything you’d like. From obscure, dark sex scenarios to hentai — it’s all out there. But when it comes to vampires, Tom Cruise’s status back then was so high that he could have had sex with anyone he wanted to. He was at the top of his game in the mid-nineties, making a box office hit out of anything you put him into.

And yes, there were earlier attempts to portray vampires as sexy, but it was more male-centric than anything. For example, Tony Scott’s (Ridley Scott’s brother) “Hunger” with David Bowie, Catherine Deneuve, and Susan Sarandon was a big flop commercially, even if it grew to cult status in the later years. But not even a pop phenomenon like Ziggy Stardust could have successfully brought the sexy vampire image to the mainstream. The only way you could do that was getting an A-list Hollywood star to agree on playing Lestat’s role.

Tom Cruise is still good-looking, making millions, but his golden days are well behind him. Luckily for the vampire sex lore fans, he will always remain as sexy as the film showed him to be. Generations of young people, hooked on role-playing and horror, will look up to him and Brad Pitt. All in all, he undoubtedly broke new ground.

RELATED: Know how vampires learned to love virgins so much

Lestat’s Taste in Women

Even if he’s interested in both men and women, Lestat has a pretty peculiar taste in his prey. In the books, he was choosing men more often in his early years as a vampire, saying that women aren’t as interesting. But as years went by, cultural changes occurred, and women emerged as more sophisticated subjects of interest. Of course, his bisexuality remains intact even if society flips.

That is one of the main reasons why people adore him. He isn’t a simple villain that moves from point A to B to get things done. He’s a complex character, showing signs of personality you can associate with. As flamboyant as he is, he isn’t comical by any means. Therefore, women fall for him instantly.

Sure, he won’t go for your elderly neighbor next door — he’ll go for a young naive girl that he can manipulate. Their dying fascination for his extravaganza and his charm will only lead them to an erotic death. Yup, an erotic death. That’s what makes vampires click in the minds of genre fans — the beauty of the dark — the melancholy breeze of eternal life.