By Emilia Barrett
Speaking on condition of anonymity at a three martini breakfast, a former casting exec recalled the events leading to the studio’s pursuit of Brad Pitt for the role.
“It had such a boring inner monologue of a narrator. This kind of, in case you didn’t figure it out for yourself, I’m really depressed vibe going on that just screamed at me, you’ve heard this voice. I’ve heard this voice. I knew it. I went back, pulled both scripts. Even though it was a well-known movie at the time, Interview with the Vampire was like 30 years ago? Side by side, I compared the parts. I compared the parts and you know what I saw? I saw it.”
Drawing off her cigarette, smoke pooled about her head. “I saw this sort of immortal, doing his own tripping through the cosmos, hankering for some sort of meaningful human connection. It’s the same damn character. And you know how naive I was? I ran to the casting director. Shouting, it’s the same damn vampire! We’ve got to recast. It’s destined to fail. Pitt’s what, thirty, forty years older now! That kind of moping doesn’t work at sixty. At his age, it’s clinical depression, not sexy brooding!”
She stubbed her cigarette out and shrugged. “They already knew. I wasn’t even the first one to think of it. It was their bright idea. So, they got what they got. A mopey vampire in outer space. Hibernating. All alone, searching for another vampire in space that’s gone a little crazy. They couldn’t get Tom Cruise. Said he’d already played a villain once. That’s Ad Astra.”
Ad Astra is now streaming.