How Tom Cruise Inspired New Movie Horror Movie The Invitation

Exclusive: The Invitation star Thomas Doherty reveals the inspirations for his charming vampire character, including Tom Cruise’s Lestat.

The Invitation star Thomas Doherty reveals how Tom Cruise inspired his vampire performance. Jessica M. Thompson’s Director The Invitation was originally entitled The Bride. But Thompson herself recently revealed that the title had to be changed after male audiences indicated they didn’t like it.

The movie now known as The Invitation stars Game of Thrones‘ Nathalie Emmanuel as Evie, a woman who takes a DNA test and finds she has a long-lost cousin. But this joyous discovery turns to horror when Evie accepts an invitation to a lavish wedding thrown by her new-found relative, and finds herself plunged into a nightmare of survival. The Invitation co-stars Doherty as Walter DeVille, the mysterious man who owns the sprawling English estate where the horror wedding is hosted.


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Given that The Invitation is billed as being “inspired” by Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it’s no surprise at all that some of Evie’s elegant new acquaintances turn out to be vampires. Indeed, vampires were on Doherty’s mind as inspirations for his portrayal of the sexy and evil Walter. Speaking to Screen Rant, Doherty mentioned two specific performances that informed his portrayal:

I watched a lot of vampire movies and horror movies before. Interview with the Vampire — that kind of got that charm and that charismatic, evil thing, especially in Tom Cruise’s character. Al Pacino plays the devil in a movie, and the same idea. So, I guess it was just tapping into that. Being a bad character and playing a good character, and having that mystery and knowingness in my eyes, that helped a lot to have that idea.

The Pacino movie referred to by Doherty is of course The Devil’s Advocate, the bonkers 1997 thriller starring Keanu Reeves as a young lawyer who discovers that his father is literally Satan. In terms of actual vampire inspiration, Cruise’s portrayal of Lestat in 1994’s Interview With the Vampire is certainly much more in line with a character who is based at least in part on the classic bloodsucker Count Dracula. Of course Cruise’s performance in the Anne Rice adaptation Interview With the Vampire was controversial at the time, particularly among Rice fans who felt the Top Gun star was wildly miscast. But though Cruise was to some degree panned for his performance in that movie initially, it seems that over the years his work has grown in reputation and is now regarded as one of the more memorable on-screen vampire performances.

The Invitation‘s Doherty certainly seems to think that Cruise nailed something in Interview With the Vampire, given that he used the performance as at least partial inspiration for his own work. Audiences will now have to decide if Doherty’s own take on the “bad character playing a good character” routine ranks up there with what Cruise pulled off in Interview With the Vampire. The Invitation unfortunately has just a 38% critics’ score currently on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating that it might be more of a guilty pleasure movie than some kind of a new vampire classic.

key release dates

  • The Invitation 2022

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