Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire hit the screens in 1994. That's centuries ago in Hollywood years. Now Rice, who was famously critical of the casting of Tom Cruise as the Vampire Lestat before being wooed by his performance, offers HER choice for Lestat: Robert Downey Jr.
Rice spoke at length to New York magazine about her most recent novel, Of Love and Evil, as well as her hopes for Universal Studios' potential reboot of the beloved series. She feels either Richard Armitage (who played Guy of Gisbourne in BBC's Robin Hood) or Matt Bomer (who played Bryce in Chuck) could play the part of Louis, the New Orleans planter and Lestat's lover. As for the tortured former slave, Armand, she prefers Max Records (who played Max in Where the Wild Things Are). Rice also has suggestions for Marius, one of the oldest vampires.
But the casting could not be complete without the main character, the devil-may-care Lestat. Rice waxed poetic about "the one name that's been floated," Downey:
He is a great actor. He would bring the gravitas and the wit and humor and all of that to the part, and I don't think he's too old. I think if he had a blond wig and makeup, he would be a wonderful Lestat. Lestat has to have the gravitas of a 200-year-old man and Robert Downey Jr. can do it. He can do anything. He's just incredible. That would be wonderful. But I don't know whether he's really interested and I don't know if that will work out. I hope so. I hope the rumors are true. ...
Lestat is 200 years old. He wasn't a boy when he became a vampire. A 19-year-old is a man in the eighteenth century, he's not a boy. So physical appearance is just one aspect of this. There's gotta be depth. There's gotta be the real feeling that you're in the hands of an immortal who's commenting on things. And also his wit and humor, his mischievousness is so great. He's just terrifically athletic and he's got those incredible eyes and great voice —I think Robert Downey Jr. would do a bang-up job of it.
This wish-listing on her part carries a bit of weight: Rice happens to hold the film rights to her books. Of course, she's aware that once she sells the rights, her opinions won't factor in the producers' decisions.
So, as it stands, the "what-if"s are just that. But if her opinion—and the opinion of her vociferous fan base—counts for something, it will count toward Robert Downey Jr.
We'll let you know more as it happens. Rice said, "I'm hoping that I will have something to announce soon."