Interview With The Vampire: Aussie star Sam Reid takes on iconic Tom Cruise role

“I was always into vampires.”
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New Orleans is a long way from the Monaro region in NSW, where actor Sam Reid grew up on a cattle property. 

The 35-year-old has had a lot of success on home turf, but now he’s kicking goals Stateside in the new series based on Anne Rice’s famous book, Interview with the Vampire. 

Reid, who tells us he loves gardening at his Sydney home when he’s not on set, sits down with WHO to chat about the new series, which has been lauded as better than Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt’s 1994 film adaptation by critics. 

WATCH BELOW: Interview with the Vampire 1994

Can you start by telling us a little bit about your character, and the show? 

I play Lestat de Lioncourt, who is a vampire who’s moved to New Orleans from France. He’s a bit of a mercurial, rule-breaking brat (laughs). And he’s looking for a companion, as being a vampire is pretty lonely because you live forever and you need a friend or a partner. He falls in love with Louis de Pointe du Lac, who he decides will be an immortal companion, and chaos ensues. So the show is about Louis’ interview with journalist Daniel Molloy and about his life as a vampire with Lestat. 

Sam Reid
This role’s got bite! (Credit: getty)

And had you seen the movie adaptation, starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt? 

Oh yeah. I’d seen the movie and I’d read the books. I had actually read the books before I saw the film. I got into the books when I was about 13 because they shot Queen of the Damned, the Stuart Townsend and Aaliyah film, in Melbourne. And being a kid wanting to be an actor, when I read that there was this big vampire movie being filmed in Oz, I was very intrigued. I was always into vampires, Dracula and Nosferatu. 

Sam Reid
Reid plays Lestat de Lioncourt opposite Jacob Anderson’s Louis de Pointe du Lac. (Credit: AMC+)

Did you draw inspiration from Cruise’s Lestat, or did you try to block out his portrayal? 

When I was in the audition process of the show, I didn’t really want to look at Tom Cruise because I’m sure they weren’t looking at somebody to imitate him. I love his performance in it, however, because I’d read the books I really went back to them.  The reviews are in and people are saying the TV series is actually better than the film. It’s lovely that they’re saying that, but we don’t hope to make a competition out of it. I think anything that brings people back to the source material, Rice’s books, is a good thing.  

Sam Reif
Interview with the Vampire streams on AMC+ (Credit: getty)

Lestat is quite theatrical. How do you get into character? 

It was a process because I had to learn French, and piano and singing. It’s a transformative process when they put the contact lenses in, and I had the acrylic nails on for six months. I had to grow my hair. So there were a few things that made me quite different to how I am on a daily basis.

Do you believe in vampires? I mean, this series makes you believe there could be some out there. 

That was Anne Rice’s MO. Her books existed in the real world. But do I believe vampires are real? No (laughs). But I believe their metaphor in society is real.

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