AMC’s Interview with the Vampire is based on the first book in Anne Rice’s popular Vampire Chronicles, and as such, features many of her lyrical refrains as well as beautiful dialogue of its own. As fans follow Louis de Ponte du Lac’s (Jacob Anderson) struggle to embrace his turning, orchestrated by the sensual vampire Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid), he begins to appreciate “The Gift” that his sire has given him. The way they communicate encompasses the sociopolitical strata of New Orleans in the 1910s and also seeks to tear it down, resulting in some truly dynamic quotes.
Joining them are Claudia (Bailey Bass), a young girl they incorporate into their brood, Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) in the modern day, who chronicles Louis’ account with a journalist’s keen sense of provocation and observation, and various other characters who magnify the troubling (and also enticing) experience of becoming an immortal.
“So, Mr. du Lac, How Long Have You Been Dead?”
Daniel Molloy Upon Reuniting With Louis
In an interesting twist from the film adaptation of Interview with the Vampire, in which a young Daniel Molloy interviews Louis in ’70s San Francisco, the series sees them reunite in modern-day Dubai to continue their story when Daniel is much older. Unlike his younger counterpart, enchanted with the prospect of immortality and eager to learn of its secrets, his older self is cagey, bitter, and far more shrewd.
This quote is the sarcastic intro as Daniel rolls the tape on their new book. All of his dialogue with Louis has a razor-sharp edge because at this point he feels he has nothing to lose. This version of Daniel is far more interesting and offers a much more compelling foil to Louis, an apex predator who, unlike Lestat, doesn’t play with his food.
“I Was Being Hunted.”
Louis De Ponte Du Lac Referring To Lestat
Louis’s voice-over colors the series, turning him into not just the only narrator, but a possibly unreliable one. As he speaks candidly to Daniel about his days in New Orleans as a proprietor in Storyville, he explains that while he “didn’t know it yet,” he was “being hunted” by someone (or something) he didn’t understand.
Just these simple words communicate exactly the sort of vampire Lestat is; methodical, calculating, and masterful. The reason Louis doesn’t know he’s being stalked is that Lestat is charming enough to make it seem like all their innocent run-ins are coincidental. He’s managed to survive a long time, and not only that, survive in luxury. He chooses Louis to be his life partner and nothing is going to stop him, not even Louis.
“I Hate The Sunrise And The Reminders It Brings.”
Louis To Referring To The Morning His Brother Died
Many members of Louis’ family are present in the first season to situate him in his mortal world and give his motivations context. After his father passes, he becomes the executor of his estate and as the eldest male, proceeds to handle his family’s considerable wealth with due diligence. His younger brother Paul, who is shown talking to thin air and being incredibly religious, resents him, and after their sister marries, does not see any more reason to live.
The morning Paul takes his life is the last morning that Louis is human, and he’s glad of it. Had he remained a human, he would have sunk into a depression every day break. Where other people would see a new beginning, he would only think of Paul’s ending.
“The Rage You Must Feel As You Choke On Your Sorrow.”
Lestat To Louis Before He Turns Him
One of the biggest changes to Rice’s original story is Louis’s background story. The series sees him as a person of color, one who feels weak and powerless in a white world no matter how much money or notoriety he creates for himself. This gives new meaning to “The Gift” Lestat offers him by turning him into a vampire.
Lestat actually sees Louis for who he is and wants to see him be himself, unapologetically. He recognizes how cruel the world is for Louis and others like him, and wants to bestow upon him the power to feel confident and worthy of love.
“You’re A Challenge Every Sunset.”
Lestat To Louis Before Bed
As Louis memorably tells Daniel during their reunion, Lestat was his “lover, murderer, mentor, and companion,” so it makes sense that their relationship was a complicated one. Lestat had a great amount of responsibility to Louis, and Louis had a devotion to him, but often their strong personalities clashed because of ego and pride.
It’s clear from this quote that part of what drew Lestat to Louis in the first place was his passionate and stubborn nature. He thinks Louis is magnificent when he shows dominance, and is heartbroken when he’s made to lower his head in the presence of bigoted white men. This quote’s poignance comes from the fact that even though Louis angers Lestat, he still loves him, further proving to him that he supports Louis being himself, always.
“It’s A Monotonous Gift The Petty Musings Of Meat.”
Lestat To Louis During Training
In order for Louis to survive as a vampire he must drink blood, following the typical vampire formula. Even though the urge is strong, Louis cannot help but identify with his victims. He recognizes them as mattering to someone somewhere, and thus finds it harder to kill them, especially if he can read their thoughts.
Lestat is unperturbed by listening to the “petty musings of meat,” and this quote really shows his callous regard for humankind. Most humans are beneath Lestat unless they’re capable of making music at a masterful level. Then, only then do they gain his respect, and to all others he can be unspeakably cruel if he thinks they deserve it.
“Uncle Les Got Secrets…He Sits On The Truth Like It’s A Chair.”
Claudia To Louis
Eventually Louis and Lestat decide to create a family of sorts. With only about 100 vampires in the world (or so Lestat tells Louis), it’s possible they will need to turn a mortal in order to not feel so alone in their existence. They decide to turn a child named Claudia, who reveals certain aspects of each vampire’s nature as she drives a wedge between them.
Louis is devoted to Claudia, and Claudia is devoted to Louis, but is threatened by his strong bond with Lestat. Claudia is only too ready to whisper things to Louis and plot against Lestat, revealing the mature mind that is developing in a body forever locked in childhood.
“I Had Walked My Entire Life As A Dead Man.”
Louis To Daniel
Once Louis becomes a vampire, his entire life is a series of paradoxes, the most glaring of which is clear from this quote. The highest heights of decadence in his human life are nothing compared to what he can experience as a vampire, as Lestat shows him through a series of hedonistic adventures.
Ironically, Louis was more dead when he was alive then when he’s undead. All of his senses are alight when he stalks the night (filmed on location in beautiful New Orleans), and it’s often overwhelming for him. But what happens when the shine wears off and the thrill dulls? As he explains to Daniel in their interview, eventually the honeymoon period ends, and the horrible reality of being forever cut off from every mortal he loves sinks in.
“We’re A Family.”
Claudia To Louis
Claudia and Louis feel that because they’re a family, there should be no secrets between them, and they resent Lestat for his mysterious ways. For as selfless as Lestat can be towards those he loves, he can also be incredibly self-serving, and at the end of the night the only thing that matters to Lestat is meeting his own needs and surviving.
He’s perfectly happy to betray Claudia if it means keeping Louis to himself, and will even sacrifice both of them if it means they would conspire against him. The intricacies of vampire politicos vis-a-vis interpersonal relationships are on full display even in this simple quote.
“I’ve Seen Death Over And Over Again. It’s Boring.”
Louis To Daniel
After over a century walking the Earth in the body of a 33-year-old, experiencing every pleasure unlife has to offer, Louis becomes bored from the monotony of his existence. Where once he found it exhilarating to be there at the ending of a person’s life, responsible for the last breath they took, he only finds misery and an uncomfortable apathy.
When he’s spent so much of his time as a vampire, it’s clear that it’s harder for him to access his human emotions and what tethers him to compassion, which seems more and more to be a human trait. He seems to put the point to Daniel that without the urgency of death and the short span of human life to give actions meaning, what’s the point of it all?