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Rolin Jones on Season 2 Finale and What's Next for Louis and Lestat

Rolin Jones on Season 2 Finale and What’s Next for Louis and Lestat

This article contains spoilers for the Season 2 finale of “Interview With the Vampire.”

Rolin Jones is now the showrunner for AMC’s “Interview With the Vampire,” but initially, he wasn’t familiar with the Anne Rice novels that the TV series adapts. Jones first met with AMC executives in 2020 to discuss potential shows. Just as he was about to leave, one executive casually mentioned AMC had recently acquired the rights to Rice’s books, inquiring if he might be interested in developing them.

Jones expressed his interest in creating a grand love story, akin to a David Lean epic, during a Zoom interview earlier this month. While known for his work on critically acclaimed shows like “Friday Night Lights,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and the revamped “Perry Mason,” he read Rice’s debut novel “Interview With the Vampire” and watched the 1994 movie adaptation starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. He quickly realized his series would take a different approach from the film. AMC executives put him through a rigorous process to ensure the show’s longevity.

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

The story resumes with Louis and child vampire Claudia, portrayed by Delainey Hayles in this season, dealing with the ramifications of their failed murder attempt on Lestat and the moral implications of their vampiric existence. They venture through Europe, eventually landing in Paris, where they encounter a vampire coven founded by Lestat. Louis finds new love in the coven’s 500-year-old leader Armand, played by Assad Zaman.

After concealing their connections to Lestat, Louis and Claudia are eventually discovered and put on trial for breaking multiple “great laws,” leading to harsh punishment. The finale, titled “And That’s the End of It. There’s Nothing Else,” follows Claudia’s death and its aftermath. Louis burns down the theater, killing most of the coven, and learns that Lestat saved him during the trial, which leads him to reconnect with his toxic former lover.

The series was renewed for a third season, focusing primarily on events from Rice’s “The Vampire Lestat,” which depicts Lestat reclaiming his narrative as a rock star. Jones signed a new multiyear overall deal with AMC Studios, ensuring his continued involvement with the show.

Jones spoke to The Times about casting Delainey Hayles, the complex relationship dynamics between Louis, Armand, and Lestat, and what future seasons might hold. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Reflecting on wrapping up Season 2, Jones highlighted the growth and transformation seen in Jacob Anderson’s character, Louis, over the 3 1/2 years of production. Despite numerous challenges, including strikes and other obstacles, the ending was satisfying.

Regarding the reshot scenes for Season 2, Jones mentioned that the intention was to showcase Louis battling his memory, suggesting listeners should pay attention to Lestat’s version of events. By the end, Louis, having processed his journey, seeks out Lestat again, signaling the murky and complex nature of their relationship.

Discussing Hayles’ casting as Claudia, Jones praised the casting director and mentioned the immediate consensus among the team that Hayles was perfect for the role. He noted a unique connection felt during her audition, confirming her as a standout talent.

Jones emphasized that Claudia was always intended to die, honoring the spirit of Rice’s novel, which was written as a mourning process for Rice after losing a child. The show’s adaptation aimed to give Claudia’s death the depth and impact it deserved, suggesting her character might continue to haunt the series.

Addressing the love triangle among the vampires, Jones noted the mixed reactions from the audience but highlighted the complex and messy nature of Rice’s characters. The writers focused on portraying these complexities without judgment.

Jones explained the rationale behind Louis forgiving Armand after his betrayal, aiming to depict Armand as an empathetic character rather than a cartoon villain. He mentioned Armand’s moments of vulnerability and the deep connection he shares with Louis, despite his misdeeds.

Jones expressed satisfaction with Lestat’s journey in Season 2, setting the stage for the audience to hear Lestat’s side in future seasons. The concluding scenes left room for dramatic development, promising more exploration of Lestat and Louis’ relationship.

Jones revealed that Season 3 would portray Lestat as a rock star, aiming to create a musical experience that rivals iconic productions like “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Rocky Horror.” He expressed excitement about working with Daniel Hart, who composed for the first two seasons.

Finally, Jones shared his growing appreciation for Rice’s books and the impact they have on fans, particularly in helping some think about their own identities. He feels privileged to bring these beloved stories to a new generation.

Source: Los Angeles Times