‘Interview With the Vampire’ Cast Unpacks Season 2 Ending, Teases Season 3

Note: There are spoilers through Season 2, Episode 8 of “Interview With the Vampire

“Interview With the Vampire’s” stunning second season came to a close with a fitting mix of violence, madness and heartwrenching tenderness. Daniel Molloy blew up Louis and Armand’s relationship with little help from the Talamasca, Armand made Daniel a vampire, Louis and Lestat reunited and wept, and we finally met the real Lestat. Oh, and Molloy published the book, which means vampires all around the world now want Louis dead for spilling their secrets — a fact he seems more than comfortable with.

Ahead of the season finale, TheWrap spoke with the cast and series creator, writer and showrunner Rolin Jones to unpack the biggest moments from that jam-packed Season 2 ending, and to get a little tease of what to expect from Season 3 in the process.

Lestat Plays the Hero

Sam Reid in “Interview with the Vampire.” (Larry Horricks/AMC)

As Daniel discovered with the help of the Talamasca, it was none other than Lestat who actually saved Louis’ life from the stage, using mind control to make the audience chose banishment.

But he was also a key participant in the trial, who appears to struggle with his own motivations throughout the finale episode. As Louis puts it when he confronts Lestat in the tower, why did he cross an ocean to rehearse a play that would burn his daughter alive? What satisfaction did he expect to get from the trial?

“I don’t think he expected to get any satisfaction with the trial. I don’t think the trial was Lestat’s idea. Lestat had no intention of that,” Sam Reid explained. “I think he was asked to come back. They told him this is what’s happening. This is what we’re doing. And there’s no world in which, if Louis and Claudia are on trial, and for his death, and they’re going to kill them, there’s no way in which Lestat would not be there. He cannot not be there. It’s like, not reality. So he’s going. There’s also no world in which he would ever let Louis die. It’s just not a reality. It’s not possible, just not. So as much as I think he would probably wish that he could let Louis die, it’s not possible. They are one, almost.”

Armand’s (Second) Big Betrayal

Assad Zaman as Armand in "Interview With the Vampire" Season 2
Assad Zaman as Armand in “Interview With the Vampire” Season 2 (Larry Horricks/AMC)

In addition to the knowledge that it was Lestat who truly saved Louis from being sentenced to death during the trial, Daniel dug up another harsh truth. Armand didn’t just sell out Louis, Claudia and Madeleine to his coven, and he didn’t just witness the “Theatre Des Vampires” performance that led to Claudia and Madeleine’s horrific deaths — he directed the play, leaving Louis to die along with them.

It’s a heartbreaking reveal, and yet another lie from the ever-slippery character of Armand, but both actor Assad Zaman and showrunner Rolin Jones still have a lot of sympathy for the character.

“I don’t think that Armand is that moustache-twirling, conniving manipulator,” Zaman said. “He is a manipulator for sure, absolutely. I’m not apologizing or excusing his actions. What he did is terrible, but he acted out of necessity and opportunity.”

“In our writers’ room, we ended up landing a very empathetic place for Armand,” Jones said, “and it came from actually reading that embankment speech that’s buried at the end of the book, when he just talks about how much he has thrown himself at Louis and Louis just couldn’t. We were kind of moved by that, so we landed on the idea that he had two cowardly moments in his life. And that any lies after that were all to cover up those two, but that there were actually really, really sincere efforts to try to make up for it, to be better than that, and that he had.”

Zaman highlighted that, after Louis got his vengeance on the coven and burned down the Théâtre des Vampires, leaving Armand with nothing, Armand went with Louis to visit Lestat. And he did so not knowing what would happen and what would be revealed.

“Louis and Armand after the fire, go to visit, go to see Lestat. And he knows Lestat knows what happened. Lestat was there. I don’t think Armand knew how this was all going to play out. I don’t think he saw that end game,” Zaman said. “It’s in that moment when Louis kisses him and Lestat chooses not to say that he was the one who saved Louis’ his life, Armand just goes with it. He’s lost everything. And the love of his life has, whether it’s true or not, has chosen him, whether it’s for love or not, has chosen him, and he chooses to preserve his own existence with him and goes along with it.”

Why did Armand betray Louis in the first place? Why chose the coven over the love of his life? Zaman says, about that, Armand was telling the truth. Louis’ decision to turn Madeleine was a step too far.

“He’d been urging Louis not to turn Madeline for so long. It was important for him,” Zaman explained. “He has a great disdain for the turning of a vampire. It’s a big, big no for him, which makes this act later on, him turning Daniel, it makes it more quite extreme.”

“One of his big great flaws is that he chooses ritual, the safety of ritual over what’s right, what is true. And he chose the ritual of the Coven, he chose that life,” he added.

For audiences who feel burned by Armand’s deceptions and perhaps less empathetic toward the character, Jones hopes to have time to take them on a real journey: “We have seven, eight years hopefully on this show, if it’s all lucky, for contrition and for forgiveness everywhere.”

Introducing the Real Lestat

Daniel’s revelation that it was Lestat who saved Louis’ life in Paris finally brings the show’s former lovers back together for a heartwrenching reunion. With the interview complete, the scene doesn’t take place through anyone’s subjective lens, meaning we finally met the real Lestat.

“That’s as objective as we’re ever gonna get in this show,” Reid said. “He’s a shell of himself, you know, he’s a broken creature and verging on insane, so he’s not really at his peak. But yeah, that’s him.”

In the present day, Lestat is bedraggled. Lonely and withdrawn, he feeds on rats that someone else catches for him, playing an imaginary piano, his once opulent robe weathered and worn. With the storm raging behind them, he and Louis bare their broken hearts and finally share their grief over losing Claudia, their daughter and sister, and Lestat’s fledgling.

“I think he loves Claudia and I think he always did. I think he wishes he probably didn’t because, you know, it’s so painful, and he will never recover from that” Reid said. He’ll never recover from the guilt of making her and then driving her to the point where she has to kill him — and he has to agree to it, because he agrees to it as well, he allows them to do that — and then for her to have subsequently died by going back to the world that he created.”

Jacob Anderson recalled filming the long-awaited reunion, saying that he and Reid like to surprise each other, so though both spoke about it with Jones in advance, they didn’t discuss it much with each other.

“We had like, two takes each for that scene, so we just went through it, and we did surprise each other, and it was very emotional. To talk about these things in a complete way felt really emotional,” Anderson said, citing costar Delainey Hayles, who played Claudia in Season 2, as a third scene partner in the scene, even though she wasn’t in the room. “Both of us, me and Sam, were like f–ked up thinking about the three of them,” he said, “and this family that just couldn’t work, and it resulted in the death of their adult child.”

The Vampire Daniel

Eric Bogosian in “Interview With the Vampire” (AMC)
Eric Bogosian in “Interview With the Vampire” (AMC)

In the episode’s final minutes, we learn that Armand made the “extreme” decision to turn Daniel, despite his centuries-long aversion to ever creating another vampire. And now, a vamped-up Daniel Molloy is doing a contentious press tour for his sensational hit novel “Interview With the Vampire.”

The rub? His transformation happened off-screen, so fans who have been waiting to see the “Devil’s Minion” storyline play out will have to wait a bit longer. The good news? It sounds like there’s plenty of story to unfold there in Season 3.

“I think, Season 2, that one of the biggest questions was, what happened in San Francisco? And I think going into Season 3, one of the questions will be what happened in Dubai?” Zaman explained. “What happened after Louis left that penthouse, between these two? Because I don’t think it was a snap moment that happens straightaway and now Daniel Malone is a vampire.”

“Just be patient with our show everybody,” said Jones, “The important stuff at the end is about Louis and we spent some time, we teased it out. And everybody knows the Devil’s Minion’s out there and all that, there’s there’s so much more. We set things forward. He will have scenes with Armand, do not worry.”

If you’re wondering why a powerful vampire like Armand didn’t read Daniel’s mind, suss out his Talamasca ploy and save himself an ugly break up, it sounds like there are a few factors there. Emotions were running high for one thing, But Zaman also teased that there might be more to that story

“I think for Armand, his love can make him blind to it” Zaman said. “He says it earlier in one of the episodes where I think I think Molloy asks him about reading someone’s mind. And he says, ‘I was in love.’ And the way the powers work, the way they’re sort of vampiric sort of powers work here, they’re very dictated by their emotions. I think they play a big part of it. So I think that’s, that’s a big reason. There may be other things at play that come into fruition later on in Season 3 that we realized about how it happened. But right now, I think that’s sort of the main explanation I can give.”

How does becoming a vampire change Daniel, aside from the obvious? “Isn’t there a saying like, absolute power corrupts absolutely? You just don’t know what’s going to happen with a person if they get there,” Eric Bogosian said.

“How he makes that step, that will be a question,” he continued. “How did this happen, exactly? What happened? I mean, I’m, I don’t know, did we end up splitting a fifth of Jack Daniels and then all of a sudden his teeth are in my neck? I don’t know. But once I’m there, it’s time to find out what that’s about. I think that’s something for Daniel all the time is he goes exploring, and he’s not afraid. So here we are. Let’s find out what this is about. But I think also his personality will change a little bit. I mean, there are people that he has resentments toward and who knows what kind of revenge… I don’t know, I don’t know where we’re going with this. And neither does the Anne Rice books, say where we’re going with this. There’s no roadmap for this.”

Louis Is His Own Man at Last in the Final Scene

Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac in “Interview With the Vampire” (AMC)
Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac in “Interview With the Vampire” (AMC)

Louis’ future is another aspect of the series going forward for which there is little roadmap in the books. Once Rice turned her attentions to Lestat, Louis largely moved into the background, popping up here and there, but rarely taking center stage again. But fear not, that’s not going to happen in the show, as the finale’s final scene made clear.

Back in his Dubai apartment, now alone for the first time in his vampire existence, Louis calls out to all the vampires he hears threatening and wishing him ill after he revealed vampire secrets in “Interview With the Vampire.” He basically tells them to come and get it if they want it, warning “I own the night.”

“I would say that he’s been built as his own man, Jones explained. “We call it sort of vampire grace at the end, and that there’s a second act, or whatever you want to consider it, that’s just beginning for him.”

“The violence has always been there and then the power has always been in there,” he continued. “It is more about him receiving it as a gift finally, right? And taking responsibility for the things that he might have pushed onto other people, and all that stuff, which is a moment that all of us have to kind of go through. I think we said, ‘Hey, that’s a that’s a Louis that’s not going to spend the next six years or six seasons whining about existence.'”

Jones said Louis still has “a lot of obstacles” to explore in going forward, and Anderson called the first two seasons Louis “origin story.”

“There’s a lot of there’s still a lot of problems with Louis, that are dramatically worth exploring,” Jones said. “But, you know, Jacob’s favorite line, I think he kept saying to me, it was just like, Malloy asks him, ‘I’m worried. I’m worried about you, Louis’ And Louis just sits there, and he’s staring off and goes, ‘I’m fine.’ And for for Jacob, that was the line out of all the lines, that was the line that he felt truly. I’m for the first time, I’m fine. I’m in the now, I’m here and I’m okay. He might have every vampire wants to kill him now. But like, he’s like, I’m fine. I can open the door, I’ll actually invite you in here. Take a crack at me, I’m fine. I can handle it.”

“He’s found a state of peace, which he’s never had,” Anderson said. “Louis has never, in any of his existences, has ever felt a sense of peace and calm. I think he’s always like, there is always an alarm going off somewhere in his head. And I think like he’s finally found this place of reconciliation, where he’s like, I am this. You know, I am this thing. I am the Vampire Louis, and if you have a problem with it, come get me. If you’re not going to, fine, but I’m here. I’m going to sit on my beautiful couch. I’m going to look at my beautiful paintings. I’m going to look at this skyline. I’m going to think about my brother, who I loved. I’m going to think about my sister and my daughter, who I loved. He’s found himself.”

“I think that’s what that final moment is, is like, he’s finally become what he was always supposed to be,” he continued, “and it’s kind of beautiful. Yeah, I’m really proud of him for getting there.”

Season 3 and The Vampire Lestat

Sam Reid as Lestat in “Interview With the Vampire” (AMC)
Sam Reid as Lestat in “Interview With the Vampire” (AMC)

So, as we head into Season 3 with the origins of the Vampire Louis behind us, audiences don’t need to worry that he’ll disappear from the show.

“Look at the last line!” Jones said. “Don’t worry about it. What they should worry about is, if those people expect to see the same show, that’s never gonna happen. We’re going to go just as aggressively Lestat front and center.”

He continued, “But that just means, you know, Sam did a really, really good job of supporting. I think Jacob will do the same thing going forward.”

Looking ahead, Jones says Season 3 will feel like “Lestat just hijacked the show,” and that adapting “The Vampire Lestat” comes with a unique challenge now that they’ve done the first book.

“What are the challenges about the books going forward? Not a lot of forward-looking story. It’s a lot of looking back. Origin, origin, origin origin. And so I don’t know how many times we can tell the origin of and how exciting that is,” Jones said. “I don’t think you know, you wouldn’t want to lean on O”h, point of view. Let’s look at this in another ‘Rashomon’ way.”

How to get around that? Jones suggest they might “lean in a bit more” to the framework of Lestat becoming a rock star and telling the world his tale.

“Lestat is, for the first time a forward guy, I mean, if you embrace those opening pages, and you say, the story is about a rock star, you know, maybe that’s where we’d be leaning a little bit more about what would be surprising,” he said “And then we have the same tasks that we had the first two seasons, which is making it exciting for people who have never read the book made exciting for people who have memorized every comma of the book.”

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