One thing is clear from AMC’s Interview with the Vampire press conference, the depth of emotion will be enormous on this show. Everyone just kept talking about it. And they said it’s a testament to Annie Rice’s work and Creator and Showrunner Rolin Jones’ script. “There’s a depth of feeling in this book…A level of language and beauty that isn’t seen in other books,” Rolin said.
Executive Producer Mark Johnson said Anne Rice’s vampires are unique as they are more human than most portrayed vampires. “They want the same things we do. They want to be loved, they want to be understood, they feel loneliness, and they’re not just there to be sensational. They’re there to be human,” said Mark.
Jacob Anderson, who plays Louis, also spoke about the depth of emotions by saying it’s a massive depth of feeling. It’s very intimate. It’s a love story of a dysfunctional family. Sam Reid, who plays Lestat, said that vampires have a sense of loneliness because they lose everything unless they turn the people they care about too. He also said that it’s complicated to play these creatures because you can be enjoying someone’s conversation one minute and wanting to rip their throat out the next. People don’t operate like that, so it’s hard to get into that mindset. Bailey Bass, who plays Claudia, said they explore a lot about who these characters are in seven episodes. She comments on how beautifully complex her character is. Rolin loved what Kirsten Dunst did in the film but said this would be a different interpretation. That one already exists, so he didn’t want to recreate that. Most of the actors chose not to take anything from the film. Jacob said there was enough from the books for him to draw from. Bailey did watch the movie during the audition process because it was the quickest way for her to learn about the world. But she read the books also and took inspiration from those. Sam just happened to re-watch the film right before getting the audition but chose not to take note of it because he didn’t want to recreate that.
Mark said there are some differences from the book, but it’s really Rolin’s interpretation of the book series. So the changes he made were his interpretation of what happens in that world. As fans may know, the film took some liberties, but that could partly be because of time. With a series, Rolin can explore more of the books. He estimated that each episode is roughly 20 pages from the first book. So fans can either re-read the book along with the series or read it for the first time if they’ve only seen the movie. This also gives them time to show Louis as a human and see Lestat seduce him. They will also be exploring what Louis is like in 2022. Jacob took special care to think about how Louis would be and how he would change through the years. They knew Louis had to be “jarringly” different in the present.
Sam said Rolin took such care with the script. The words they are saying are coming straight from Anne Rice. The dialogue wasn’t the only thing this team took great care in creating. The sets were another part of telling the story. Jacob recalled being terrified to take on Louis, but Jacob went on a walk around the stage, which got him into character. Production Designer Mara LePere Schloop quickly realized they would have to build a set because everything was shot at night, and they wouldn’t be able to shut down the French Quarter. Also, Storyville was torn down in the 1930s, so they had to recreate it and show its evolution. The evolution was shown by lights. They were constantly updating as the story went along.
The incredible thing is they also filmed in some of the places Anne Rice wrote and researched at. New Orleans has an excellent preservation society, so they have all those records. As Anne did with her book, Rolin did a lot of research to give the story great detail. It shows in the trailer, and that’s just a glimpse of the universe he’s bringing alive from the page.
Eric Bogosian, who plays Daniel Molloy, said he was similar to his character in that they had a rough go of things and then at 40 really hit their stride, and now they’re in their 60s and their best days are behind them. He believes this may be his last chance for another big story when this one comes back to him. It’s not a safe situation. Daniel has a vampire right in front of him, but he’s ready to risk it all to get the story. He’s also got immortality staring him straight in the face, which means something different to him now than it did when he was younger. The show really explores many avenues of emotions.
Music also plays a big role in the series. Lestat is a musician, so it plays a role that way, but Jacob said Rolin is an encyclopedia of music, and the score is like nothing out there at the moment. He also believes there are no other vampires like this in the media at the moment. So, while vampire stories have been told before, this brings a unique take on it.