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Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in 1994

(Photo: Rex Features / EastNews)

In the mid-90s, two lovers played together in “Interview with the vampire”, cementing their star status and starting another wave of popularity of bloodthirsty immortals. Today the movie can be watched on Netflix.

In November 1994 in Los Angeles, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt – who play the roles of Lestat and Louis in “Interview with the Vampire” by Neil Jordan, based on the novel by Anne Rice – celebrated the premiere of today’s cult film. Both on the screen and on the red carpet they looked like brothers.

Thanks to Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell, who captured the glamor of late-18th-century costumes, and a huge team of makeup artists, the actors transformed into immortal immortals with transparent skin, burning eyes and long hair. Louis and Lestat, who turned him into a vampire, wear ruffle shirts, velvet vests and ornate jackets.

At the premiere of the film, Cruise and Pitt presented stylizations typical of the 90s – in black, leather and slightly disheveled shirts. They both had shoulder-length hair – Pitt platinum, Cruise auburn, strong eyebrows and three-day stubble. Although it is difficult to tell them apart, Pitt has emphasized in every interview that they are not friends. – If he’s the North Pole, I’m the South Pole. If he’s the one who says hello to everyone, I’m the one who always stands by – said the actor in the magazine “Premiere”. He also talked about the competition on the set. Pitt did not like the movie he starred in at all. He confided to the Rolling Stone journalist that he “never wanted to kill himself”, while his protagonist – a widowed planter who becomes a vampire – only thinks about how to shorten his torment, first for human and then monstrous life.

There were more tensions. Apparently, writer and screenwriter Anne Rice harshly criticized the casting. She didn’t see Cruise in the role of Lestat at all. Her choice fell on Daniel Day-Lewis. After the premiere, she apologized for earlier comments. – Cruise has become Lestat – she admitted.

Both Pitt and Rice must have objected to Cruise, as there were rumors of his involvement in Scientology at that time. He was supposed to be drawn into the sect by his first wife – Mimi Rogers – in 1990. How dangerously addictive it could be to live under the delusion was yet to be suspected. With time, Cruise was to sacrifice everything for Scientology – marriage to Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, the daughter of Suri, whom Holmes had torn from the clutches of the sect, friends in Hollywood. He has never lost his position because his films earn too well for the industry to give up on a star with questionable views. – It’s a beautiful religion Cruise said not so long ago. In recent months, however, it has been written that he “distances himself” from the sect. He showed himself to the public in the stands of Wimbledon and Euro 2020. At the same time, he is also shooting the second part of “Top Gun” and two more installments of “Mission Impossible”.

Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the mid-1990s were at a similar point in their careers – after their first great successes, but before superstar status. Though they followed as different paths as Pitt said in interviews, they had a similar goal – to climb to the top. Tom did it mainly through the Mission Impossible franchise, Brad in part thanks to Ocean’s Eleven. He also became a powerful producer. He was certainly not interrupted by relationships with beautiful and famous women – Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie (although the latter ended in an aura of scandal, and now she wants to take away his custody rights from him).

Interview with the Vampire could have been a turning point for both, especially as the film heralded another wave of popularity for vampire production. It was created almost in parallel with Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 “Dracula”. The real rash was supposed to take place at the turn of the century, when vampires populated the imaginations of teenagers through “Twilight”, “The Vampire Diaries” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Adult productions such as “Pure Blood” and “Let Me In” tackled the myth of vampires as seductive and destructive characters. In subsequent films and series, the immortals experienced torments, trying to come to terms with their ambivalent existential condition. Their popularity around 2000 resonated with Millennium Fears. A few years later, vampires displaced werewolves, then zombies, and sometimes aliens as well. Since vampires often return from beyond the grave in times of social anxiety, we can expect their return in times of impending economic crisis. And they will probably have the handsome faces of Cruise, Pitt or Pattinson again.


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