top of page

Sink Your Fangs Into Darkness with INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2

A man and a child look ahead while standing on a cobbled street
Image courtesy of AMC

By Sarah Musnicky

After such a successful first season, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2 has much to live up to. And, for better or worse, the odds were stacked against it. A pivotal re-casting, the changes to the story, and AMC's converging storylines to craft Anne Rice's Immortal Universe could all play a part in the follow-up doing poorly. Thankfully, I can say, after watching the first six episodes of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2, that there are no worries to be had here. It's just as captivating and enriching as the previous season.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2 picks up where we left off. Frankly, the two seasons can be watched easily back to back; the transition is so smooth. With the reveal of Rashid being the vampire Armand (Assad Zaman), Daniel Molloy's (Eric Bogosian) interview with Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) opens to include Armand's perspective. This muddies the waters in a series that has always spotlighted Louis's unreliable narration. From another perspective, we see how memories shape and change with influence.

The story of Louis's life picks up in 1940 after Lestat's murder at the hands of his protege. Claudia (Delainey Hayles) and Louis flee to a war-torn Europe. Their relationship is at its lowest. Claudia is searching for answers about vampirism and thinks visiting the Old World, where the legends began, will solve her unhappiness. Louis, meanwhile, is drowning in his remorse over the loss of his maker and lover. Despite their growing resentments, Claudia and Louis cannot let each other go.

With the war ending and cruel truths thrust in their face, the two eventually relocate to Paris. It is here that Louis is introduced to Armand. Over the course of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2, we learn of Armand's history, and the complicated love shared between Armand and Louis. Louis's defensiveness and Armand's microexpressions reflect the imperfections in their relationship. This is most evident in their sessions with Molloy. In these moments, however, the actors respectfully flesh out and further humanize their characters.

And therein lies the complicated perfection of Anne Rice's works. The vampires are wholly imperfect. They are, after all, former human beings. As frustrating as their behavior may be, particularly as they address their traumas and inner turmoil here in Season 2, it is in their complicated humanity that we grow to love them. It also makes INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2 tragic for those familiar with the books.

Their arrival in Paris also signals the introduction of Theatre Des Vampires and the would-be antagonist Santiago (Ben Daniels). It is here that we learn of the vampiric coven rules and taboos. Breaking these rules is to call upon a death sentence. Captivatingly catty and petty, Ben Daniels' Santiago is given teeth. While Armand is the reluctant master, Santiago is the one the others obey and respect. It is through his approval the others survive.

A man holds an artifice as he walks forwards
Image courtesy of AMC

In INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2, memories are rife for exploration, with Molloy's blunt, "And what?" question prompting the story forward. But it's not just the memories of the ancient that are up for grabs. Molloy struggles to understand his own memory from his first encounter with Louis. In Season 2, we go back to his past in the 1970s, painting a more complex picture of not just what it means to be a vampire but also how reliable our memory is.

In the midst of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2, there is also an emphasis on hope that was non-existent in the previous season. Vampirism is a curse thrust upon others. At least, that's what you take away from Season 1. In Season 2, however, each character learns how to regain the reins and find happiness. Starting the season with Claudia's question to Louis, "Who are you?" after spending years under Lestat's thumb, both are learning what it means to be themselves.

This is all brilliantly conveyed through the performances in this season. Jacob Anderson and Assad Zaman capture the various stages of relationships in all of their evolutions. Louis's and Armand's love is not perfect. It is haunted by the spector of Lestat (Sam Reid), who has individually touched and impacted the two. His toxicity permeates their relationship and highlights the frustrating uphill battle that comes with recovering from an abusive situation.

How the two react to each other and the decisions made and revealed throughout INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2 feels real. That is in large part again due to the performances but also the direction provided. Rage, jealousy, longing, and cruelty all play their part in the evolution of their relationship, and it is impossible to turn away as the interview peels back the layers of what they hope to keep hidden.

Sam Reid's Lestat, while reduced in this season, still looms large. He haunts Louis, taunting him and ridiculing him as the guilt further sinks him into despair. Even in death, Lestat takes centerstage.

But for Claudia, all she hopes to do is find a welcoming home. Finding a group of people to accept and nurture her wounds seems like a blessing. All she has known is cruelty and to be cruel, a byproduct of Lestat's touch. While Delainey Hayles had big shoes to fill after Bailey Bass's recasting, she imbues the role with a wizened energy. You can believe that her Claudia is older beyond her years. Her haunted expressions in certain scenes convey more than the spoken word ever could.

This is all to say, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2 continues the well-executed brilliance that its predecessor left. While it still changes the story slightly, it continues to do so in a way that not only adds depth but maximum impact to the themes present in the material. Highly recommend watching both seasons back to back.

Anne Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE SEASON 2 premieres May 12, 2024, on AMC and AMC+.


bottom of page