"I was particularly stunned by the casting of Cruise, who is no more my Vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler."
- The Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1993
"The Tom Criuse casting is just so bizarre, it’s almost impossible to imagine how it’s going to work, and it’s really almost impossible to imagine how Neil, David and Tom could have come up with it. I have one question: Does Tom Criuse have any idea of what he’s getting into? I’m not sure he does. I’m not sure he’s read any of the books other than the first one, and his comments on TV that he wanted to do something scary and he loved "creature features" as a kid, well, that didn’t make me feel any better. I do think Tom Cruise is a fine actor. [But] you have to know what you can do and what you can’t do."
- an interview with Martha Frankel, published in Movieline (Jan/Feb 1994)
"ON TOM CRUISE: From the moment he appeared Tom was Lestat for me. He has the immense physical and moral presence; he was defiant and yet never without conscience; he was beautiful beyond description yet compelled to do cruel things. The sheer beauty of Tom was dazzling, but the polish of his acting, his flawless plunge into the Lestat persona, his ability to speak rather boldly poetic lines, and speak them with seeming ease and conviction were exhilarating and uplifting. The guy is great."
Cruise did a great job, but he did more than portray Lestat: He added dimension to his character. His portrayal became a commentary on Lestat as much as it is an expression of his character. Lestat, telling his own story in The Vampire Lestat, is obviously vain and extremely aware of his own good looks, his grace and beauty. And Cruise is not the Lestat that Lestat would wish to be seen as. Physical beauty or the possibility of androgyny is written over by Cruise’s narrow, close set eyes and prominent, bony nose, which make Lestat’s calculating ego visibly obvious, betrayed by Cruise’s beady eyes and the character’s ego-drenched rages. The dissonance fits: There is no full truth in the Vampire Chronicles series, given that the stories encompass multiple narrators with differing takes on other characters, themselves, and the events that take place. Everything is another take, another angle, another commentary. The book-Lestat is still Lestat to me, but I also know it’s Lestat’s Lestat. Cruise’s Lestat in IWTV is another commentary, one that casts doubt on Lestat’s whole narrative, much like IWTV and The Vampire Lestat vie for the truth of who Lestat (and Louis) are.