Mon. May 27th, 2024

Interview with a vampire

Interview with a vampire

Interview with a vampire

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the Season 2 premiere of “Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire,” now streaming on AMC+.

During the production of AMC’s “Interview With the Vampire,” showrunner Rolin Jones and star Jacob Anderson affectionately referred to Anderson’s character, Louis de Pointe du Lac, as “Cuddles the Vampire.” However, Jones reveals that they aimed to move away from that characterization, and in the Season 2 premiere, they decisively did so.

Interview with a vampire

The Anne Rice adaptation, a cornerstone of AMC’s expanding Immortal Universe, resumes with Louis and his fellow vampire Claudia (now played by Delainey Hayles, replacing Season 1’s Bailey Bass) embarking on a journey across post-World War II Europe in pursuit of ancient vampires. However, their relationship is strained. Claudia harbors deep resentment towards Louis for failing to eliminate Lestat (played by Sam Reid), their creator and Louis’s former lover, in the Season 1 finale before they fled New Orleans. As they wander, they seek to find their place in the world among other vampires.

Interview with a vampire

Welcomed as guests in a refugee camp in occupied Romania, Louis and Claudia spend just enough time there to gather information about local vampire lore. They observe doorways adorned with garlic and bodies with bullet wounds, intended to prevent undead resurrections. While Louis enjoys a rare moment of relaxation with a little vodka, Claudia, ever the hunter, prowls the night in search of other vampires. She discovers an emaciated, corpse-like figure feasting on soldiers in the woods. It becomes apparent that this vampire isn’t deriving sustenance from the meal, leading Louis and Claudia to believe that the despair of war is contaminating the blood. Interview with a vampire

Interview with a vampire

The following evening, Louis and Claudia are awakened by the uproar of a mob in the camp. Their gracious host has been bitten, and the crowd fears she will transform into a vampire. Despite her partner’s desperate pleas for mercy and Louis’ appeals for help, he simply watches, unusually lacking in compassion for the woman. Her head is ultimately severed while Louis turns away, leaving with Claudia.

Interview with a vampire

“In Episode 3 of Season 1, [Louis] says he is a vampire – but not really,” Jones explains. “Not until this moment. It was really cold. It was in the book, and it is really effective and stunning. And there was a round of notes with AMC about why that was important, and we stuck with it.” Interview with a vampire

 

Jones mentions that the network was cautious about departing from the cuddly image of Louis, but Anderson was prepared to let go of that aspect of the character.

“He definitely leaves behind another part of his humanity in that moment,” Anderson remarks. “It is probably because it is like a facsimile of humanity to him now anyway. Like the photographs he takes [in upcoming episodes]. He is becoming a parody of himself, and he won’t embrace it. I think Louis is at war with himself all season.” Interview with a vampire

Interview with a vampire

Louis and Claudia’s journey to find other vampires is a crucial element of Rice’s 1976 novel, but it was omitted from the 1994 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Across the 15 episodes of Seasons 1 and 2, the series takes the time to cover Rice’s entire book –– and then some.

“We always thought this would be a lovely little gift for fans, and it is exactly where it should be,” Jones explains. “But we also knew it was going to have to function as a pilot for the rest of Season 2. So we really focused on the relationship between Louis and Claudia, and the mending of ways and how we foreshadow an inevitable ending but do it with a moment of grace.”

Interview with a vampire

The moment he is referencing is the climactic exchange between the unconventional siblings, when Louis reaffirms his commitment to Claudia as they depart Romania and embark on a new journey to Paris. He is unwavering in his belief that it is the two of them against the world. “If you were the last vampire on Earth, it would be enough,” he tells her. However, just beyond Louis’s field of vision is the ghostly presence of Lestat, who has been haunting him as a manifestation of his guilty conscience since their separation. So, who is Louis truly addressing in that moment? He briefly glances at Lestat, but Anderson appears to believe that Louis is fully focused on Claudia when it matters.

 

“I think the ambiguity adds to the depth of the moment,” Hayles reflects. “But if you revisit Episode 1 after seeing the culmination of the season, it provides some clarity. In that instance, Louis’s words are undoubtedly directed at Claudia.” Interview with a vampire

She suggests that Claudia takes his declaration seriously, particularly because they were confronted with a stark reminder that their immortality has its constraints. Before departing for Paris, they encounter Daciana, an elderly vampire who is the mother of the ancient creature Claudia had previously seen. Daciana euthanizes her now-crippled offspring because he can no longer hunt. As she reflects on her life and the inevitable decay of her existence, Claudia attempts to persuade her to join them in America and seek healing. Daciana appears tempted by the proposition, only to ultimately end her own life by throwing herself into the flames.

Interview with a vampire

Hayles reflects on Claudia’s encounter with Daciana, acknowledging it as a pivotal moment that offers her a glimpse of the possibility of happiness and connection with others. However, she also senses a looming sense of apprehension, recognizing the inherent challenges of finding true contentment in their immortal existence. Witnessing Daciana’s tragic end serves as a stark reminder of the difficulties they face in pursuing happiness. Interview with a vampire

 

Anderson shares the emotional impact of filming that scene, recognizing the profound heartbreak evident in Claudia’s portrayal by Hayles. He acknowledges Louis’s desire for Claudia to find happiness, acknowledging his own selfish desires intertwined with that wish. Ultimately, Louis wants Claudia to fulfill a certain role in his life, reflecting his complex and often conflicting emotions towards her well-being.

Interview with a vampire

Reid delves into the intricacies of portraying Lestat as a haunting presence in Louis’s psyche. He emphasizes that the Lestat viewers encounter in the Season 2 premiere exists solely within Louis’s mind, serving as a manifestation of his internal conflicts and unresolved emotions. Reid suggests that this version of Lestat represents the aspects of him that Louis grapples with and perhaps wishes to forget or avoid confronting. As Louis engages in conversations with this phantom Lestat, he is essentially engaging in an internal dialogue, confronting his own guilt and self-loathing, intertwined with his deep love for Lestat. Interview with a vampire

 

Anderson humorously likens the phantom Lestat to his conscience, likening him to the moral guide Jiminy Cricket from “Pinocchio.” He describes the experience on set, where he would turn to observe Reid’s portrayal of Lestat, likening it to having a parrot perched on his shoulder. Interview with a vampire

Jones emphasizes the significance of the modern-day interview scenes in Season 2, particularly in the premiere. He suggests that the dynamics between Louis, Molloy, and Armand in these contemporary settings are just as crucial, if not more so, than the events unfolding in the past. This indicates that the narrative trajectory of the series is deeply intertwined with both historical and present-day contexts, hinting at layers of complexity and intrigue yet to be unveiled. Interview with a vampire

Interview with a vampire

In the Season 1 finale, Armand’s revelation of his true identity as a 512-year-old vampire and Louis’ romantic partner undoubtedly shifted the dynamics in the room. Now, with his identity exposed, Armand no longer needs to conceal his influence over Louis. In the premiere of Season 2, Armand actively participates in the interviews, interjecting with snide remarks and attempting to shape Louis’ narrative in real-time. However, Molloy staunchly disregards Armand’s contributions as off the record. Zaman, who portrays Armand, describes his character’s verbal sparring with Molloy as an unsuccessful attempt to assert dominance over him. Interview with a vampire

 

Zaman elaborates that by the end of the first episode, Armand realizes his tactics are ineffective. He had hoped that his mere presence as a powerful vampire at the table would intimidate Molloy or compel him to comply with Armand’s wishes. However, Molloy proves to be resilient in the face of Armand’s intimidation tactics. Interview with a vampire

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