Cher Almost Starred in INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and Wrote a Song About the Film

Oscar-winning actress and iconic singer Cher has us convinced she’s immortal. Although she just turned 78, you wouldn’t know it at first glance. Yet once upon a time, she very nearly played a famous immortal, when the part of Louis in Interview with the Vampire, was being written for her. When the role instead went to Brad Pitt for the 1994 film adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel, Cher wrote a song based on the story, but it also didn’t make it into the film. However, nearly two decades later, Cher released the song, “Lovers Forever,” on her 2013 album Closer to the Truth. So a vestige remains of her long-simmering interest in Rice’s supernatural world, even if she never got the chance to wear the fangs herself.

Cher Almost Played Louis in Interview with the Vampire

An adaptation of Anne Rice’s seminal novel about the undead was in development for the better part of two decades. For much of the 1980s, conservative Hollywood studios balked at the idea of a version of the book as written. Which is the story of two male vampires in a centuries-long relationship who raise a young vampire daughter together. As a way of getting around this roadblock, Rice devised a solution. She’d make the character of Louis, who was partially based on herself, into a woman disguised as a man. The intent was for Cher to play this version of Louis, who was still an 18th-century plantation owner. Here’s what Rice herself had to say on that script to Movieline back in 1994:

Cher as a vampire in the video for Dressed to Kill/poster art for Interview with the Vampire starring Tom Cruise.
Cher/Warner Bros.

The whole idea was that Louis would be a transvestite woman. At that time in history, you could own your own plantation and run things if you were a man, but you couldn’t if you were a woman. It was the French law. So this was a woman who dressed like a man, and otherwise it was exactly the same as Interview With the Vampire.

It’s hard to imagine casting Cher in a movie makes it less gay. Yet things like that went over the heads of mainstream culture back then. Also, as a fan of the novel, Cher actually wanted to see it done correctly herself. Once producer David Geffen got a hold of the Interview with the Vampire property in the early ’90s, he committed to making a faithful version. As one of the few out gay men in a position of power at that time in Hollywood, he had the clout to make it as written.

“Lovers Forever” Was Cher’s Ode to Louis and Lestat

Eventually, Anne Rice wrote a new script. Louis was a man again and Cher was out. However, Cher was still a big fan of the book, and was close friends with David Geffen. So she wrote a song for the film (with musician Shirley Eikhard) called “Lovers Forever.” For unknown reasons, the studio went with a Guns n’ Roses cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” instead for the film. Although, we can guess that Cher’s use of the word “lovers” for the vampires made the studio uncomfortable at the time. Believe it or not, mainstream audiences at the time largely didn’t get that Lestat and Louis were more than just bloodsucking buddies.

Cher revived the song for her 25th album, giving it a modern dance update. It took decades, but “Lovers Forever” ended up crawling out of the grave. Fans of Cher have even uploaded videos for the song, which show Cher emerging out of a coffin, sporting fangs, and looking as glamourous as Lestat ever did. The images were from a video backdrop from her song “Dressed to Kill,” a song she performed on her 2013 tour of the same name.

With Interview with the Vampire now a hit TV series, maybe the song can finally make it into an official production. We certainly could see Sam Reid’s Lestat singing it in his rock star phase. Perhaps with Cher in the audience? Hopefully, we can manifest this into existence.

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