What happens in New Orleans doesn’t stay in New Orleans Interview with the vampire is back for season 2.
Following the “death” of Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reed) in the Season 1 finale of AMC’s adaptation of Anne Rice’s iconic gothic romance, Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) and their adopted daughter Claudia (originally portrayed by Bailey Bass in season 1 but recast with Delaney Hales for season 2) were left to falter. Not only does the loss of the third member of their found family follow them from the Big Easy to their new home in France, but so does their shared guilt over Lestat’s betrayal and departure. (See EW’s exclusive first look from their arrival in Paris below.)
“The theme of Season 2 is that this idea of memory is a monster, and how memory and guilt can follow you everywhere,” Anderson tells EW over Zoom between breaks from filming the season’s final episodes. “When we meet Claudia and Louis in Season 2, they’re dealing with the psychological and literal consequences of what they did together. With Louis, you definitely get the sense that there was some hesitation on his part – he didn’t really go through with it, he backed out of the decision at the last minute because he was so in love with this other monster. It creates tension between the two of them, Louis and Claudia, that they weren’t exactly on the same page, so for those two to be together now in unfamiliar territory creates a lot of drama.”
While Anderson is careful to avoid talking about spoilers (even though book readers know what’s coming this season), he’s eager to reveal that what happens to Lewis this season has actually affected him in real life. “There are things that I can’t talk about this season that have been really challenging and really shocking for me, and I’ve learned a lot about Louis and myself,” he says. “Another big theme in the show is that of endurance and resilience, and because of what Louis is going through this season, I’ve definitely learned that my own mind is more resilient than I thought it was. It’s stronger. I can take more crazier than I thought I was capable of. It was really fulfilling, challenging and fun.”
The first season of the AMC adaptation stayed remarkably faithful to author Rice’s work — except for a final twist that deviated from the source material, where Louis delivers the final blow to Lestat instead of Claudia. And Anderson promises that the spirit remains the same in Season 2. “We’re definitely sticking with the second half of the book, and I would say it’s true to the spirit and actually to the literal plot,” he says. “I love the first book, but the second half isn’t as dense as the first, so the writers this season have definitely expanded on the ideas that were hinted at or suggested in the second book.”
A crucial part of the story that has expanded this season is the present-day storyline in Dubai. “Going to Dubai really opens everything up this season,” revealed Anderson. “Dubai is really explosive. Dubai really surprised me this season. There’s a lot going on there, and there’s stuff that’s part of the broader book series, but also stuff that’s the writers’ creations, which makes perfect sense for the characters we know and love. It’s a tough season for these guys right now.”
Anderson smiles as she adds, “But we’re also going to the theater, we’re in Paris, we’re in Eastern Europe, so it’s going to be very familiar in the same way that the first season was, but there’s also going to be surprises.”
With the introduction of the Théâtre des Vampires’ deadly troupe comes the flashback explaining exactly how Louis ended up with his new partner Armand (Assad Zaman), seen in Season 1 with him in Dubai (and below in EW’s exclusive photo). And Anderson describes their initial meeting as “fresh out of the frying pan into the fire”.
“Their relationship is really interesting, and that’s one of the things I’m most excited about for people to see this season,” he adds. “It really evolves and changes as they get to know each other. They definitely hit it off – they have real chemistry when they first meet. Armand seems very different from Lestat and I think he is more of a rebound, let’s put it that way. But there are definitely residual trust issues, and maybe the dynamic is repeating itself, but not necessarily in the way you think. They just kind of click and they’re not even really sure why they’re attracted to each other, but that’s always a changing relationship as the season goes on.”
Because the first season (and the entire series) revolved so much around Louis and Lestat’s complicated, toxic romance, Anderson knows it might be hard for fans to avoid comparing Louis and Armand’s relationship to hers. But he emphasizes the importance of seeing Louis’ relationship with Armand as something entirely new.
“It’s something that Asad and I thought about before we started shooting, but then we realized very quickly that the only way to make it work was to not make any comparisons,” says Anderson. “Part of the text is that there are comparisons made and definitely their relationship is a response to Louis and Lestat’s relationship, but Asad and I have a completely different relationship than mine and Sam’s relationship and obviously that’s acting, but we made a decision very early on to you don’t even try to reproduce any of it first [season]. Tangibly, it should feel like a different thing. Otherwise, you wouldn’t understand why Louis would choose this relationship again.”
Another new face to debut in Season 2 is that of an already familiar character, as Claudia was recast with Hales after Bass left the series. “Daleene is a really wonderful human being and she just dived in headfirst and I’m so excited for people to fall in love with her — they will instantly,” Anderson promises of her new co-star. “I want to be careful what I say about Claudia’s season, because for me, a lot of this season is about her. Claudia is in a very different space this season – now she has this drive to find others like her. There’s a different kind of maturity to the character, but you also get a sense of her chafing at being seen in this very different environment than the one she grew up in.”
Will Luis and Claudia find what they are looking for in the City of Love? Find out when Interview with the vampire returns in 2024 on AMC.
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