‘Interview With the Vampire’: Rolin Jones on Season 2’s finale; what’s next for Louis and Lestat

A man in an overcoat leaning against a brick wall with a cigarette in his hand.
Louis De Point Du Lac (Jacob Anderson) in the Season 2 finale of AMC’s “Interview With the Vampire.”
(Larry Horricks / AMC)
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This article contains spoilers for Season 2 finale of “Interview With the Vampire.”

Though he’s now the showrunner for AMC’s “Interview With the Vampire,” Rolin Jones was initially unfamiliar with the Anne Rice novels that the TV series pulls from.

He first met with AMC executives in 2020 to discuss shows he’d potentially develop as series for the network, and just as he was preparing to leave, one executive casually mentioned that the company had recently acquired the rights to Rice’s books — might he be interested?


“The truth is I was really interested in making a love story and doing something grand and big,” Jones said in a Zoom interview earlier this month. “I wanted to see if they let me make a David Lean kind of thing.”

Jones, whose television career includes credits on critically acclaimed shows like “Friday Night Lights,” “Boardwalk Empire” and the revamped “Perry Mason,” read Rice’s “Interview With the Vampire” — her debut novel — and watched the 1994 movie adaptation that starred Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. He quickly realized he would approach the series much differently from the film. He said AMC executives put him through a rigorous evaluation process to determine what the show could look like.

“They didn’t want just the pilot and they didn’t just want Season 1,” Jones said. “They really wanted to know what the hell is this thing and how long can we put it on the air for.”

With ‘Let the Right One In,’ ‘Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire’ and ‘Reginald the Vampire,’ the undead are having a TV moment.

Oct. 5, 2022

Fans now have two critically acclaimed seasons of the gothic horror story that stars Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid as vampires Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt, respectively. Season 2’s finale aired Sunday, ending Louis’ journey of recounting his human and vampire life to reporter Daniel Molloy, played by Eric Bogosian.

The story picks up with Louis and child vampire Claudia, played by Delainey Hayles this season, grappling with the consequences of their failed murder attempt on Lestat and the moral implications of their vampiric existence. They travel through Europe and eventually end up in Paris where they meet a coven, founded by Lestat, of theater-performing vampires. Louis finds a new love in the coven’s 500-year-old leader Armand, played by Assad Zaman.

After concealing their ties to Lestat, Louis and Claudia are eventually discovered and put on trial for breaking multiple “great laws,” the rules all vampires must abide by, and are punished. Sunday’s finale titled “And That’s the End of It. There’s Nothing Else,” follows the aftermath of Claudia’s death. Louis burns down the theater, killing most of the coven’s members, and learns that it was Lestat who saved him during the trial, leading him to reconnect with his toxic former lover.

A man with long hair and dark clothing sitting on an orange velvet chair.
Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt in Season 2 of AMC’s “Interview With the Vampire.”
(Larry Horricks / AMC)

The series was renewed for a third season Wednesday, and it will primarily focus on the events in Rice’s “The Vampire Lestat,” which finds Lestat reclaiming his narrative as a rock star (During the interview, Jones proudly showed off his notes in the margins of his copy of the book.) The renewal comes after Jones signed a new multiyear overall deal with AMC Studios.

Jones spoke to The Times about Delainey Hayles, who replaced Bailey Bass as Claudia for Season 2; the complex bond between Louie, Armand and Lestat; and the stories the show will explore in Season 3 and beyond. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

How are you feeling after wrapping up Season 2?

Go look at the first shot of Jacob Anderson in Season 1 and the last shot of Season 2 and look at the difference between those faces. You’ll see how much work has been put into the 3 1/2 years. It was an exhaustive but satisfying ending to it all. And it was rigged not to work. We had a lot of obstacles. It wasn’t just the [writers’ and actors’] strikes. There were a lot of snake-bitten things that happened along the way and you’re not sure if it’s going to hold together.

You reshot some scenes for Season 2 because the whole point is that Louis is battling his memory. Whose version of events should we believe?


He basically tells Molloy, “I think you should listen to Lestat’s version.” [Louis] is just coming up to it and going, “Maybe I was still telling you this thing where I was still trying to preserve either the hero, or me, or some stuff had broken down.”

I would listen to Louie. The show is about Louie coming to terms with all those things. He had a tortured way to get there. But by the end, he’s the one who gets on a plane, heads back to New Orleans, and seeks Lestat out. There isn’t any confusion there. There’s just a little ramp for a little bit of contrition, some forgiveness, and the beginnings of rebuilding it all. That’s what’s cool about the show — that murkiness can be there.

How did you know Delainey Hayles was right for Claudia? [Hayles replaced Bass, who left the series last year after “unforeseen circumstances.”]

We have this incredible casting director and she brought in four actors, and they were all terrific. The idea was let’s see all these four actors. Then, we’re gonna go to this restaurant and we would sit down and discuss all the actors that we saw. We get there and we look at each other, and we all go “Delainey” immediately, and there wasn’t much discussion. None of the other actors were giving bad performances, there was just some sort of magic you just felt. This is an actor you’re gonna see for the next four years; we got the first crack at her.

A man in a suit sits next to a girl with a pink hair scarf.
Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Delainey Hayles as Claudia, who joined the series for Season 2.
(Larry Horricks / AMC)

We all know Claudia is dead now. Was there ever a version where she lived?


No. Anne wrote that book out of the mourning of losing a child. The changes that we made for the plot were really thought out and battled out, and then aggressively pursued once we did it. We’re always trying to first and foremost, honor the spirit of what was going on in the novel. So, no, Claudia was never gonna live. It was mostly a battle about how to most beautifully, or most hauntingly, or most painfully — however you want to say — give a death worthy of the character. Claudia will probably be haunting the show for a little bit.

Would you agree that she was defiant in her last moments?

Defiant is right. She is arguably the most aggressive, the most vampiric out of all the vampires that we’ve shown so far. I think she is a real predator and a real tough, fierce individual.

There was also a big love triangle this season between the vampires. How do you feel about people’s reactions to the throuple-esque energy?

I think the strange, wonderful thing about the show’s reception is that it seems to be equally thrilling and maddening for everyone. Everyone gets to ride on the shoulders of the vampire they most identify with and get angry with the ones they don’t. We weren’t a judgmental writers room. We just tasked ourselves with manifesting Anne’s truly messed up characters and making them messy.

It’s been hard for people to reconcile with the fact that Louis forgave Armand after he betrayed him in these last episodes. Can you break that down?


In the writers room, when we started Season 2, we read Part 2 and Part 3 out loud as writers. One of the things that we were moved by was this embankment speech that Armand makes to Louis just talking about how much he has thrown at Louis over these years and given to him and Louis has just been cold. The task was to make him not a cartoon villain, but make him as empathetic as possible.

We’ve landed on the idea that Armand has two real moments of weakness. At the end of Episode 6, he could have arguably said, “Hey, me and you let’s get out of here. Let’s run away and be together.” And he says it in Episode 8. He’s like, “The choice was my coven who had been with me for 200 years or you.” If you go back and look at the kiss they had in the scene and Louie just walks away. Armand’s like, “This guy can live without me. What am I doing?” This idea that we all want to judge everybody is not how our writers room works. We’re trying to create very complex, super-flawed people.

A man standing with his arms crossed in front of him.
Rolin Jones on Armand’s (Assad Zaman) feelings toward Louie: “This guy can live without me. What am I doing?”
(Larry Horricks / AMC)

Are you happy with Lestat’s journey this season? We last see him being a recluse in New Orleans all these years after saving Louis.

I think what this season does is set the desire for the audience to hear Lestat’s version of things. When you look back on this season, Louis is slowly remembering there’s another side of Lestat he hasn’t been selling the audience aggressively on. I’m satisfied with where we placed them. There’s a lot of work to do. They’re not together at the end and there’s a place to go dramatically. They want 10 seasons of this show. They’re not slamming together at the end. That isn’t happening.

Does Louis find peace at the end?


For Jacob Anderson, there’s a very innocuous little line that was most important to him that he balanced this whole season on. It was a moment when he’s having that telepathic conversation with Molloy at the end, and he’s like, “I’m worried about you, Louis.” Jacob looks right past the cameras and says, “I’m fine.” For Jacob, it was the first time that he portrayed that character where he felt like the thing that he was saying was the way he felt.

[At the end of Episode 8] the camera goes straight to his face before he says, “I own the night,” and that’s the idea that there’s a whole new set of stories to write about that character now. There’s a swagger and a strength there. Most of his baggage has been shipped. Louis is not leaving this show, that’s all I’m saying!

What will Season 3 look like?

Lestat becomes a rock star. Let’s start there. We’re going to do a lot with that and are excited about potentially working with Daniel Hart who’s done the music for the first two seasons. We’re going to try to beat “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Rocky Horror.” We’re about to try to make a little pop masterpiece.

Anything else you would like to mention?

The deeper I get into [Anne Rice’s] books, I’m slowly catching up to the love that the people who really love the show have for these books and clutch them to their hearts. So many of the artists who worked on our show talked about how the tone of the book allowed them to think about coming out. These books are important to people. I feel very privileged and very lucky to be this person who’s shepherding that to a new generation at this point.