Interview with the Vampire Season 2 Wastes Its Killer Potential

The best vampire show of the decade is back — but its second season lacks real bite.

Jacob Anderson and Delainey Hayles in Interview with the Vampire
Inverse Reviews

Interview with the Vampire is a show that pulls few punches, at least in its first season. AMC’s adaptation of Anne Rice’s gothic horror burst onto the scene with a bombastic new vision, recasting its eponymous vampire — formerly a white Southern plantation owner — in the role of a Black gay man. Even when Louis de Pointe du Lac (Game of Thrones’ Jacob Anderson) is turned into a bloodsucker, he can’t shake the specter of racism that plagued his mortal life in the Jim Crow South. It was just one of the many issues that doomed his tenuous bond with the vampire Lestat (Sam Reid), his sadistic, flamboyant elder, and helped Interview carve out a niche within a hyper-saturated genre.

That dynamic takes something of a backseat as Interview carries on. Since Louis conspired with his quasi-daughter Claudia (Avatar alum Bailey Bass) to murder Lestat at the end of Season 1, their ideological friction makes way for other conflicts. Notably, Louis couldn’t fully commit to killing Lestat: it’s partly why he and Claudia (now played by Delainey Hayles) aren’t exactly on speaking terms at the top of Season 2. Whether Lestat actually survived their betrayal remains a tantalizing mystery, one of many dragged out across Interview’s second act.

It helps that so much of the series is rooted in Louis’ unique, ever-shifting point of view. He’s been sharing the intimate details of his life to jaded reporter Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). Their interview, conducted in present-day Dubai, provides the frame for Louis’ memoir: part-suicide note, part-therapy session, part-portrait of an endlessly-tortured soul. Interview Season 1 dealt in the first half of their rendezvous — and of Rice’s novel — leaving Season 2 to bring the story home.

Showrunner Rolin Jones certainly has his work cut out for him, and he mostly succeeds in matching the ambitious tone that fans have come to expect. Interview Season 2 brings its characters into another world, diving deep into a slippery search for truth. But something is missing this time around, leaving a once-compelling tragedy stuck in storytelling purgatory.

As the Vampire Lestat, Reid remains a true high point of Interview with the Vampire.


If there’s one thing Interview wants us to understand, it’s that even vampires are caught in cyclical loops. And when you’re immortal, those habits can be just as dangerous... and equally devastating. We got a taste of this with the introduction of the vampire Armand (Assad Zaman), the apparent love of Louis’ life. During the first half of Louis and Daniel’s interview sessions, he was masquerading as human; in reality, he’s 400 years Louis’ senior, and his influence on the latter smacks of Lestat’s own toxicity.

Armand’s role in the interview is difficult to parse out, or even invest in outright: his reveal at the end of Season 1 was framed as a game-changing cliffhanger, but Season 2 doesn’t seem at all interested in exploring why. Instead, Interview is intently focused on the past, tracing the early days of Louis and Armand’s relationship. As Louis and Claudia make a new home for themselves in post-war Paris, falling in with a group of vampires, it’s clear that Louis has traded one impossible relationship for another.

Notably, Armand and his coven share close ties to Lestat himself, a complication that pushes Interview right back into its sweet spot. Yes, the series is about the supernatural, and is somewhat invested in building out an interconnected cinematic universe — but at the end of the day, Interview is a relationship drama of the messiest variety. It’s at its best when unpacking the fraught dynamics between its cast of characters, and exploring the grudges and secrets that have festered for decades.

Zaman makes a fantastic addition to the core cast, bridging the gap between past and present.


It’s here that the cast gets the meatiest material to sink their teeth into. Anderson remains a high point as Louis, juggling multiple versions of the character across a century and change. Season 2 only expands his role as an unreliable narrator: it’s not that he’s willfully withholding details about his life, but he’s earnestly working to recover memories he’s buried. It’d be enough to watch Anderson work through waves of fury, grief, and denial, with or without the added pressure of bloodlust and immortality.

Reid also reprises his role as Lestat, bringing his hot-and-cold charisma to flashbacks and dream sequences alike. He and Anderson have never been more tapped in to their dynamic, and it’s only enriched by Zaman’s expanded role as Armand. In a way, he’s the most important part of Interview’s second act: as the eldest vampire we’ve encountered thus far, Armand has to bridge the divide between Louis and Lestat. He pulls it off flawlessly, injecting a callous character with a much-needed dose of grace.

If Interview was merely a study of this love triangle from Hell, it’d have easily matched the brilliance of its predecessor. But too often does plot get in the way of the series’ true heart. For a story that spans a century, the plot of Interview is spread too thin in Season 2. The series is far too interested in the minutiae and monotony of immortal life, and in attempting to illustrate its characters cyclical habits, their journey feels equally trapped in a never-ending loop.

Interview Season 2 retreads the tenuous dynamic of its core trio, switching out Lestat for the equally chilly Armand.


Part of that has to do with the introduction of the Theatre des Vampires, the campy playhouse in which Claudia spends the bulk of her time. Though the character arguably gets more room to spread her wings in Season 2 (and Hayles takes every opportunity to imbue her with ferocity and compassion), a fulfilling arc still feels just out of reach... at least in the six episodes provided to critics for review.

Interview is doggedly determined to leave its most compelling mysteries unanswered. From Claudia’s present-day fate (does she manage to reconcile growing old in a juvenile body?) to Daniel’s first interview with Louis and Armand (which took place in the ‘70s, and didn’t end well at all), we’re still no closer to understanding the world of the series.

It’s frustrating to see such a promising story damned by pacing issues, especially given the strong start of Interview’s first season. The series has always been a slow burn, but Season 2 feels like it’s run out of steam — or worse: real bite.

Interview with the Vampire premieres on AMC and AMC+ on May 12.

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