‘Interview with the Vampire’ sinks its teeth into the ‘Old World’ in its new season

‘Interview with the Vampire’ sinks its teeth into the ‘Old World’ in its new season
  • PublishedMay 16, 2024

After a dazzling first season, “Interview with the Vampire” moves in a lower-key mode through its second, a perhaps inevitable byproduct of Lestat’s diminished role. Yet this AMC adaptation of Anne Rice’s books remains a tasty trip through history and geography, having changed venues from New Orleans to Europe and the “Old World Vampires” on the prowl there.

Although the logistics of an ageless vampire child weren’t cited as the cause, the new season brings one major change, with Delainey Hayles sliding seamlessly into the role of Claudia (replacing Bailey Bass). Trapped forever in her youthful form, she accompanies Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) on his travels, and often drives the narrative with her desire for community.

As for Lestat (Sam Reid), the conclusion of Season 1 largely confines his appearances to what’s going on in Louis’ head and flashbacks, though the nature of the show makes that a more effortless process than most.

Indeed, despite the challenging task of turning Rice’s books into an open-ended series, the framing device – as Louis and Armand (Assad Zaman) walk their human interviewer, Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian), through their bloody past – provides an opportunity to take off in all sorts of interesting directions and digressions.

There’s also some new blood (heh heh), as Claudia falls in with the Theatre des Vampires, whose leading man Santiago (Ben Daniels) brings an additional sense of menace as well as theatricality to the proceedings.

A separate strand also beefs up Molloy’s thread and backstory, including details about his earlier life that inform the perilous line he’s walking in becoming Louis’ skeptical biographer, with good reason to question what details his immortal subjects might be conspicuously omitting.

Through the six episodes previewed, the story proceeds at a languid, almost dream-like pace, and while there’s perhaps a little too much vampire theater, its contours remain engrossing in ways the 1994 movie wasn’t, despite the starry pairing of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

Thirty years have passed since then, but the series has still managed the difficult feat of putting its own distinctive stamp on the source material and justifying the vote of confidence AMC gave it by ordering a second season ahead of the first’s debut.

While vampires might have seemed like a no-brainer next step after AMC’s long reliance on zombies, this version of “Interview with the Vampire” has found the right resting place, and the creative team has sunk its teeth into a concept that, against the odds, appears to be aging remarkably well.


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