Interview with the Vampire Q&A — Jacob Anderson on Louis’ Gut Reaction to The Théâtre des Vampires

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. As Season 2 unfolds we find Louis and Claudia (Delainey Hayles) in unfamiliar territory, first in war-torn Eastern Europe and later in Paris, where they cross paths with a vampire coven. We spoke to Jacob Anderson about Episodes 1 & 2, delving into everything from Louis’ relationship to "Dreamstat," his gut reaction to the Théâtre des Vampires, and what got under his skin about Louis’ feelings about Claudia.
When we get back to the interview in Episode 1, Louis is recounting the experience of being in war-torn Europe and being on what feels like an unending, obsessive 4-year long search for their origins spurred on by Claudia. He speaks of the blood being full of misery and the impact that blood is having on them... and that’s when his visions of Lestat begin. What a way for you and Sam to go tête-à-tête this season! Can you talk a bit about working on these “conversations” with Sam?  
We didn't work on it too much ahead of time. Sam and I really trust each other. So, we’d show up and just be like, “we'll be fine. We'll just figure it out as we go.” We really listen to each other. What I think is interesting about this season that’s different from the first time that you see them seeing each other, is that I think this moment isn’t the first time Louis is seeing “Dreamstat.” I think maybe he's seen him before, and it’s not combative really. They're kind of friends. They're like buddies.
I think Lestat becomes like Louis' conscience or another one of Louis' voices in his head. So yeah, their dynamic this season is very different. They're not fighting. They're not shouting at each other. That kind of intensity has gone a bit, which was fun! That was a new thing for me and Sam to play, this kind of like companionship thing. It was fun and I was just glad that Sam was there, and I was going to get to work with him.  
I like what you said about the softness of their relationship this season. It almost feels like through his memory of Lestat all the crappy stuff has sort of fallen away, and what's haunting him is the memory of the good stuff.
Yeah! The memory of the person that he chose to be with, aside from the vampire bond and the sensuality of their relationship — there was always something else there. They could make each other laugh. It's a real relationship that has layers to it, and it's nice that you kind of get a glimpse of that at least.
Totally. Without all the violence and gore.
[Laughs] Yes, exactly. Sam and I have talked about how nice it would've been to have had a little mini-series where you just see Lestat and Louis just hanging out in New Orleans.
Being happy?
Yeah. And not even necessarily hunting, just like walking, sitting on a bench, chatting, really like the norm.
Yeah. Those quiet moments in relationships. In Season 2 we’re starting to scratch at the surface of some really cool Anne Rice Universe elements like the origin of vampires, and in Europe we encounter some Old World Vampires like Daciana in Romania. I also love how Paris is positioned as the mother of New Orleans, so that’s another instance of the characters getting to their roots and reaching out to their ancestors in different ways in Season 2. What was it like shooting in Paris in particular, and did you feel that connection after having spent so much time in New Orleans for Season 1?    
It was quite disorienting for me to be honest because New Orleans just felt like home. I felt really at home there, even before we started shooting. It feels so tied into these characters. It feels like it's a part of Louis' body, the earth of New Orleans, so it was really disorienting being somewhere else and being in this strange land. But I also think that’s the point, you know? And I think it’s something that Louis is fighting quite a lot. He really does try, I think early on, particularly in Episode 2. He's really trying to love Paris.
He wants to, and he's trying to find where he's going to find that love. Is he going to find it in the art? In the night life? What’s the thing that makes it feel like home? And he finds it, but it's complicated. I think that it's complicated because of his need to make it up to Claudia, but I think in a way he resents that. I think he really resents having to make anything up to her.
One thing that really got under my skin was this idea that Claudia belongs to him. In his mind, he's like, she's my Claudia. She doesn't have her own life. She shouldn't have her own agency. She was supposed to be like me, but she was more like him. He has a sort of entitlement about her and then has to let that go a certain point. I think that's what makes Paris a bit harder, it's that separation from her.
That closing scene in Episode 1 of Claudia and Louis in the back of the truck — “you and me, me and you” — with the strings composed by Daniel Hart is an absolute tearjerker so get ready to read about audience reactions on social!   
It's a banger. Delainey's face and the look in her eyes… that scene breaks my heart. And it did then as well when we were shooting it… it was devastating.
In Episode 2 Claudia and Louis have their first experience at the Théâtre des Vampires after Armand’s invitation. While Claudia is absolutely beaming by the end of the show, the look on Louis’ face is definitely harder to decipher! He seems to be pretty horrified by what’s he’s witnessed — what do you think is going through his mind during the curtain call? 
I think at that stage, he's not even thinking about her. I don't think he thinks she's going to join, so I think he's just horrified by the idea of it all. He's like, “this is so gauche.” It's so grotesque and it’s kind of the opposite of how Louis presents his vampiric behavior.
It’s not reticent that's for sure!
[Laughs] It's not reticent. It's a vampire pride that he feels really uncomfortable with. So, I think he's just horrified. I think seeing Claudia's excitement, that’s actually something that makes him, if not warm to it, at least go like, “okay, this is the first time I've seen you smile in however many years.” Let's just see what this is about. But he hates it. He hates the theater. And I don't think he ever changes his mind about it. He doesn't like those vampires. He doesn't like the theatricality of it. He just thinks it's really grim.
Episode 2 is all about the romance between Louis and Armand in both timelines. In the modern timeline we see them cozy up to each other as Armand has decided to go on the record and all in for the interview with Molloy. In the 40s timeline we see them really flirt and connect with each other against a grisly backdrop while they’re on the hunt with the coven. But again, as we focus on Louis’ face as the coven drives away from the estate on fire, you can see in his face that he’s feeling conflicted about the state of things. You're lit up by the fire and something's going on behind your eyes.
Oh yeah, the external image is telling you exactly what's happening inside him. It’s like he's on fire.  
And with those words, you’ve whet everyone’s appetite for Episode 3.   

Interview with the Vampire airs on Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Episodes are available to stream on (with a cable provider login), and the AMC apps for mobile and devices. You can also watch episodes via AMC+ at 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.