This honor can only be bestowed upon a character that I have always loved and adored!!
LESTAT de LIONCOURT!!
Which I know is pretty cliche and probably many people have this favorite, but I don’t care. He is the only villain that I sincerely love.
Lestat is presented in the first book of the Vampire Chronicles “Interview with the Vampire” as the ultimate selfish villain. It’s not until “The Vampire Lestat” and “Queen of the Damned” that we really get to great look into his psyche and why he behaves the way he does. I think the main reason I love him so much is that his logic makes sense, he explains almost everything he does and just why he is doing it, and he appreciates humanity. He takes life, but he gives back by giving his “reader” a look into his world. I love the idea of a character having a history that even the author isn’t aware of, or probably one that he is with-holding. But he takes his readers along for the ride of his own discovery.
In “The Vampire Lestat,” Lestat wakes up from rock music being played near his crypt. What could be better than that? He wants to understand this generation, appreciates women that get dolled up wearing high heels and makeup, rides his motorcycle through the night, and becomes a rock star sensation. He loves his fans and they love him back. He draws in the attention of the world and captivates them just as much as he is captivated in return. He is dark, sensual, and always curious about humanity and life in general. And at the same time, he evokes a certain longing for something more. He is constantly lonely and appears unsatisfied, which is why he created Louis and then Claudia in order to make Louis stay. Their story of a threesome of vampires living in New Orleans captured my heart. But Lestat’s personal story of living in France and learning everything there was to know about being a vampire was even better.
In my humble opinion, Lestat is responsible for making vampires into sex objects, not Dracula. He made them deep creatures with histories and a story to tell. Lestat looks at the world in his own way and I love his narration throughout the books.
Lestat is unapologetic, but puts a meaning and a direct intent behind all that he does. In the first book, Louis tells of how he despised Lestat for killing two prostitutes and draining them dry. To Louis, it was cruel. To Lestat, it was justice. Lestat can read thoughts and knew that those two prostitutes had murdered a man for his money. How often have you read a book and been disappointed that the villain seemed bad just for the sake of being bad and throwing a wrench into the situation for no good reason but to do so. Never Lestat. There is no action without desirous intent. And also, he likes himself. He is never self-loathing. Resentful, maybe. Self-loathing, never.
That was until Anne Rice tried to make him into a Christian. I stopped reading once that started happening… no go zone. I wanted to maintain the idea of Lestat being a bad-ass, not some sinful and forgiveness seeking type of character. Even the thought of that is just wrong. Why bother writing about a character if you intend to destroy everything they once were? Why Anne? Why???
That being said, I know the inevitable question is who was the better Lestat in the films? Tom Cruise or Stuart Townsend. And I have to say that I think both actors portrayed the character properly for the movie they made. Cruise for perfect for the first film, and Townsend for the second. I like both their performances even though “Interview with the Vampire” was clearly the better movie. And I am not biased or anything just because I love Antonia Banderas.