Interview with the Vampire Q&A — Delainey Hayles on Claudia’s Pain & Delight in Season 2

Based on Anne Rice's iconic novel, Interview with The Vampire follows Louis de Pointe du Lac's (Jacob Anderson) epic tale of love, blood, and the perils of immortality. By the time we’ve reached Episode 4, Claudia is enmeshed with the coven at the Théâtre des Vampires and is under the spotlight in the lead role of Baby Lulu in the theater’s latest show. We spoke to Hayles about bonding with Jacob on location in Prague, why Claudia and Madeleine are so drawn to each other, and her explosive fight with Louis and the end of Episode 4.  
Q: Claudia is honest about her need to find community, and that’s what keeps her and Louis on the road in search of other vampires for so long. The relationship between Claudia and Louis feels strained, but also really authentic. What was it like crafting that relationship with Jacob? Did you and Jacob work on building a friendship off set before actually diving in on screen? 
A: Jacob came to my in-person audition. [Creator] Rolin [Jones] was there and so was [director] Levan Akin. We did a scene, and it was amazing. Everybody in the room kind of disappeared when we were doing it, so that was the cue that I needed to be like, "This might have gone very well." Obviously, you never know. And then I found out that what I felt was right. Jacob was in Prague before me, and the second I joined him there we went for lots of walks together around the city. It all kind of came naturally. It wasn't very hard because he’s such a lovely man that it was never going to be hard.
He was very supportive as well when filming. I could text him with any queries. Of course, I didn't want to bombard him because he's filming too, but I could go to him with anything, so I'm very thankful for the help that him and Assad [Zaman; aka Armand] gave me.
Q: When Claudia is introduced to the coven, Paris becomes a much more exciting and livable place for her. The look of pure joy that comes across your face at the Théâtre des Vampires and then when they go on their first hunt together is both exhilarating and terrifying to see! She really doesn’t seem to have any reservations about diving in headfirst, unlike Louis. Ben Daniels is so utterly devastating as Santiago — that voice — that I can see her getting carried away by the razzle and dazzle of it all!
A: When Claudia watches the first performance at the Théâtre des Vampires, she's in awe and she's absolutely enamored by Santiago. She thinks it's the greatest thing to ever bless her eyeballs. I think for her watching Santiago's performance, is kind of a wake-up call like, "Oh my God. Okay, so this is Paris." And she wants in.
I grew up watching Ben on stage. My school would go to a lot of his productions, so I was very familiar with his work. Just before I got cast, I watched him in Madea, at the Soho Theatre [in London]. It was like a full circle moment because I watched his play, I got the casting call, got cast as Miss Claudia, and then when I was in Prague, Rolin came to me and said, "Oh, Ben Daniels is playing Santiago."
Did you absolutely freak?
Yes! Because I grew up watching him. I told him that and he was like, "Well, okayyy." I was like, "Yeah, this is crazy for me! I’m very blessed to be here."
Q: In Episode 4 La Petite Puce gets her moment to shine as Baby Lulu in “My Baby Loves Windows,” but her excitement over the role doesn’t last long. The infantilization is a lot to handle for sure, and she doesn’t like how the role makes her feel. Queue Madeleine the dress maker back into her life two years after their initial encounter. What was it like working with Roxane Duran, bringing together these two lonely characters?  
A: Ah, Roxane. Acting with Roxane was so easy because it was so much fun, and she's so beautiful as Madeleine. I think her and Claudia's relationship is one that is based on a kind of purity in pain in a way. They both see that they've been through something and that's what draws them to each other. It's a very pure and beautiful relationship.
Q: At the end of Episode 4, Claudia finds out that Armand knows about Lestat and has known the whole time, and she really gives Louis a piece of her mind. When she screams at him that he “picked another one over me!” that really hit hard because I can only imagine how she must be feeling in that moment. That Louis’s promise of “you and me, me and you” was hollow after all. It’s so heartbreaking!
A: Yeah! It really is because all she's ever wanted is to be put first, and she believes that Louis is doing that, and then it turns out that he isn't… again. And I wouldn't say it's a massive shock to her. I think it's something in the back of her head that she expected because she's very self-aware. Who would put her first? It's a complicated thing to deal with, but she thought it would be Louis and it's not. Her circumstances are holding her back.
Q: What can you tease out about the latter half of this season and where we’ll see Claudia’s relationships with Madeleine and Louis evolve? 
A: Madeleine and Claudia's relationship blossoms. It’s very pure and it's Claudia's grasp on happiness. With Louis, their relationship kind of struggles and I would say it's more down to Louis than Claudia.  
Interview with the Vampire airs on Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Episodes are available to stream on amc.com (with a cable provider login), and the AMC apps for mobile and devices. You can also watch episodes via AMC+ at amcplus.com or through the new AMC+ app available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku plus Samsung and Vizio smart TVs. AMC+ can also be streamed through a variety of providers, including AppleTV, Prime Video Channels, DirectTV, Dish, Roku Channel, Sling, and Xfinity. Sign up for AMC+ now.