During a panel at the Summer TCA press tour on Wednesday, the team behind the upcoming AMC series discussed the decision to bring the queer love story between Louis and Lestat out of the realm of subtext and into text.
“It seemed pretty obvious to me what the story was here,” said creator, showrunner, and executive producer Rolin Jones. “When I was tasked with the books from AMC, there were a number of things they wanted: make it here now, make it big and grand. I just came back to them and I said, ‘I don’t think it’s a horror show. I think it is a gothic romance. I want to kind of write a very excitable, aggressive, toxic, beautiful love story.’ And they were down for it.”
Jones’ intent with the series was to tell that story, one about the tumultuous love between Lestat and Louis, which is so complicated. “I mean there’s queer sexuality, but there’s queer ethics and queer aesthetics,” he explained. And to dive into it all, he took full advantage of the longer runtime of a series, over that of a say the 1994 film, which left queerness on the fringes of subtext.
“I’m just trying to work backward from what it is in the late novels as you say they sort of canonize [their queerness] and come back and revisit this and go, OK, let’s see with the extra time that we have to tell the story, let’s see them really go through all the little obstacles and challenges of a relationship. I don’t know Bogie and Bacall with some things, something like that. That’s all I can think about,” Jones said.
For the love scenes throughout the series, the production made good use of its intimacy coordinators. “Yeah, we worked with an intimacy coordinator quite extensively,” Sam Reid, who plays Lestat, confirmed. “I think it’s really, really important working with an intimacy coordinator [because] it treats those scenes a bit more like a stunt scene or a fight scene so they’re properly choreographed as well as trying to keep some spontaneity in it. Yeah, it was kind of fun doing it in that way. We get to rehearse it and know exactly what was going to happen.”
“It gives anybody the right to ask any questions they want any time, which can sometimes be difficult in a hierarchical crew or something. But with a coordinator there it’s like everything is on the table.” added director Alan Taylor.
That care was clearly taken on set to make all invoices feel safe sets a good precedent, and it’s important because, should the show resonate with audiences, AMC has a lot of stories to tell. Jones confirmed that the first season tackles the first half of the first novel, but they’re just getting started. “AMC has bought all of the books. AMC wants to make all of the books,” he said.
Interview with the Vampire premieres October 2 on AMC. Watch the trailer below.