Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Vulture Transcript: Anne Rice on Twilight, Her Casting Dreams for a New Lestat, and Her Ever-Evolving Religious Beliefs

Thirty-five years ago, Anne Rice single-handedly launched a permanent pop-culture vampire fixation with Interview With the Vampire, the first installment of her best-selling ten-book series The Vampire Chronicles. Today, the author is interested in a different sort of eternal life: the kind that comes from religious salvation instead of erotic damnation. Raised Irish Catholic, the author re-converted in 1998 after years as a self-avowed atheist. Her spiritual awakening was followed by a transition to more explicitly Christian material: first the Christ the Lord books, which fictionalized the early life of Jesus Christ, and most recently, the Songs of the Seraphim series, about a reformed hit man named Toby O’Dare who becomes — of course! — a time-traveling angel-for-hire. (And then in July, Rice stunned her Christian fan base by announcing — on Facebook, no less — that she was leaving organized religion “in the name of Christ.”) She is currently making appearances in New York (tonight at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble) and California to promote her second Seraphim novel, Of Love and Evil. For a sprawling Vulture Transcript, we called Rice to discuss demons and angels, and her potential new entries in her Christ the Lord series, as well as more secular topics, like her takes on Twilight and True Blood, and whether she thinks Robert Downey Jr. should succeed Tom Cruise as the next Vampire Lestat.

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