Anne Rice sinks her fangs into 'People'

May 06, 1994|By Anita M. Busch | Anita M. Busch,The Hollywood Reporter

"Interview With the Vampire" author Anne Rice shot a letter off to People Weekly on Tuesday taking issue with a short magazine article on Tom Cruise and advising the magazine not to be "so eager to whore for [Pat] Kingsley or Cruise" by writing "idiotic trash" from the publicity machine run by Pat Kingsley.

The May 9 People article says Ms. Rice didn't want Tom Cruise to play the Vampire Lestat because she wanted "a less clean-cut lead."

Ms. Rice wrote, "Did Pat Kingsley dictate it to you, or are you really that stupid?"

A People Weekly spokesman responded, "People magazine extends Anne Rice its best wishes and has no desire to find out what she's like when she's really upset."

Ms. Rice maintains that her words have been twisted and that she has been vilified for trying to keep the integrity of the character that she created intact.

"I wanted a great actor of appropriate voice and height who could carry the part -- [John] Malkovich, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeremy Irons. It's a different league. Do any of you people actually read?" she wrote. "When you're talking Lestat, you're talking Captain Ahab, Custer, Peter the Great. It's that kind of class act."

According to a spokeswoman for Ms. Rice, the author believes that Mr. Cruise is too short and not in the league of other European or classically trained actors.

In Ms. Rice's book, the vampire Lestat describes himself saying, "I'm six feet tall. . . . I have thick blonde hair, not quite shoulder-length and rather curly. My eyes are grey. I have a fairly short, narrow nose and a mouth that is well-shaped but just a little too big for my face. . . . I have a continuously animated face."

Ms. Rice wrote that she wants the picture to be successful, and if it works, "it will be because of director Neil Jordan and Brad Pitt," who plays Louis. Ms. Rice wrote that "Cruise is a sweet guy" but he "is really going to be a tough act to swallow."

In response, Pat Kingsley said: "She certainly changed her tune about her opinion about people, including the director and Brad Pitt. She was knocking everyone before. I think she's hedging her bet on the movie. I think the real leap of faith is putting Lestat in the company of Peter the Great and Captain Ahab. I find her behavior very bizarre."

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