Inside 'Interview With the Vampire's Most Tragic Hour: The Trial Explained (2024)

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[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers forInterview With the VampireSeason 2 Episode 7, “I Could Not Prevent It.” It also contains discussion of domestic violence.]

Devastation is the only word to describeInterview With the Vampire Season 2’s penultimate episode. Season 2 Episode 7, an episode book fans have long dreaded and one that any viewer won’t soon forget, saw the Théâtre des Vampires’ horrific show trial play out to its deadly conclusion. The verdict was always rigged, that much was clear, but the very much alive Lestat (Sam Reid) — who was supposedly there to get “justice for the attempted murder of [his] being” — went off script several times to make sure that his and Louis’ “story of love, not butchery” was told.

As Louis (Jacob Anderson) and Armand (Assad Zaman) recalled to Daniel (Eric Bogosian) in Dubai, new master Santiago (Ben Daniels) and the coven summoned Lestat to Paris to participate in the show that was clearly rehearsed in advance, although those rehearsals were not seen in the episode. The play retold major events from Season 1 — including Louis and Lestat’s courtship, the nights Louis and Claudia (Delainey Hayles) became vampires, and Louis and Lestat’s brutally violent fight that led to their several-year split — from Lestat’s point of view and featuring details Louis kept from Daniel. But this wasn’t a real trial. As Claudia said to her lover, Madeleine (Roxane Duran), on stage, “It’s not a trial. It’s a stoning.” The coven would kill them no matter what verdict the audience dealt; this show was their way of carrying out specially curated torture for each of them before they dealt the final blows .

Madeleine was given the chance to choose life with the coven or death with Claudia. She chose the latter, bravely declaring, “My coven is Claudia” even after Claudia urged her to save herself. They were sentenced to death, meanwhile Armand saved only Louis when using his powers of mind control to make the audience sentence him with banishment. He “could not prevent” what happened next. Louis was buried alive and left to starve to death in the tombs of the theater’s walls. Claudia and Madeleine were turned to dust with sunlight, defiant and in love to the very end.

TV Insider connected with Hayles, Anderson, Reid, and Duran to break down the key moments of the series’ most tragic episode to date.

Filming Claudia’s Final Scene

Inside 'Interview With the Vampire's Most Tragic Hour: The Trial Explained (2)

Larry Horricks / AMC

Hayles, of course, knew what would happen to Claudia when she booked the role. That didn’t make filming her death any easier.

“It washeavy. It was a really good day though, because when the day was done, I could sit down and I’d be like, OK, she’s got her full story now. Her full story has been told,” Hayles tells TV Insider. “When I was filming it I was anxious, but speaking with [director Emma Freeman], she tied up all the loose ends. And then I had a conversation with [writer Hannah Moscovitch] and Sam about the last look.”


'Interview With the Vampire' Stars Play Photographer in Our Studio (VIDEO)

Hayles could barely see anything out of her vampiric lenses, but what she could see of Reid in that final look was poetic in and of itself. “It was weird because in the lenses, the stage lights, when they hit you, all you see is static,” she explains. “When I turned to look at Lestat, I saw Sam’s outline and I could just see his eyes, and so that was enough. It was a lot.”

Naturally, filming this scene “was very upsetting” for Hayles. “When we did the final take, I got very overwhelmed and started crying, and Emma was like, ‘It’s done.'” It was a powerful catharsis, but a sad one because “it was this thing that I’ve been doing for however long, it’s this character that I love. Her story’s been told. I was very thankful that I had Roxane there as well. I think if I was by myself, I’d just combust.”

“That was an interesting choice of words there, Delainey,” Anderson chimes in with a pained laugh. Anderson wasn’t on set for Claudia’s final scene. “I was probably shooting something else somewhere else,” he tells us. “In a way, I’m kind of glad. I wish that I could have been there for Delainey, but selfishly I didn’t want to see that.”

Louis and Claudia’s Final Moment

Inside 'Interview With the Vampire's Most Tragic Hour: The Trial Explained (4)

Larry Horricks / AMC

Louis and Claudia screamed for each other when the coven took Louis from the stage. Hayles and Anderson say the father and daughter had no time to reconcile and express their deep love for each other.

“She loves, she loves, sheloves Louis,” Hayles says, “but her frustration is at its peak” not only because of the trial, but because of what she learned about the night she was created. “She’s angry, but you do see moments where she’s defending Louis in the trial and that’s just out of her love for him. But then things come up and the truth starts coming out and yes, it boils over for her.”

“That final moment when Louis’s pulled away, it wasn’t even necessarily written this way, but the way me and Delainey played it was actually grabbing onto each other like this can’t be it,” Anderson shares. “Louis feels a huge amount of remorse about the way that he’s treated Claudia, and it haunts him for the rest of his life.” Despite how he acted before Claudia and Madeleine left Paris, Anderson says there’s been “no loss of love for Louis. The minute they get kidnapped, he’s like, ‘F**k. And I’ve been so cruel to her.'”

“I just cry so much [watching] Episode 7,” Duran tells us. “Filming it feels very different because we’re actors. We know what we’re doing. Some moments felt way more real than they should have. When Jacob was torn away from us on the bench and was sent down, I remember the screams that I heard coming from Delainey and Jacob, and it was so visceral. You feel like they know what it is to lose someone, or to be scared to lose someone, and you just feel it in your body.Just talking about it gives me the shivers because I really didn’t have to act. You take it in, and it explodes inside of you.”

Claudia and Madeleine’s Time Outside of Paris

Exactly how much time Claudia and Madeleine had together after leaving Paris and before their deaths wasn’t scripted, Duran says, but it was “enough time for both of the girls to figure out that they want this to be forever and they want to be together and what they want to make out of their lives.”

They live happily together, learning the small details about each other like who’s a “morning” person and how they like to spend their nights. And it goes “until the point where you’ve settled in, you’ve made your home, and all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Oh, maybe we want to travel, maybe we want to discover more about this world.'” If only they had that time. And yes, Madeleine made Claudia’s yellow dress, Duran confirms.

Why Claudia Looked at Lestat Before She Died

Inside 'Interview With the Vampire's Most Tragic Hour: The Trial Explained (5)


Hayles explains that final look, and it wasn’t to punish Lestat. It was “for help,” Hayles says. “She trusts him the most out of everyone in the room even though she hates him. They’re familiar with each other, so she’s turning to her parent to help her.”

Anderson covers his face with his hands as he says, “Delainey! That’s so sad.”

Louis and Lestat’s First Look at Each Other

Lestat avoided locking eyes with Louis for a long time on stage. When he finally does, Reid tells TV Insider that it “changes” him.

“Look, I don’t think Lestat’s ever going to be in a situation where looking at Louis is not going to change him,” Reid says, but this first look in the trial is particularly disruptive “because they haven’t looked at each other for however long it’s been, and Louis’s on trial for his death.”

Lestat went into the trial with a plan, and just one look at Louis raised the stakes. (Reid previously told TV Insider that “Lestat loves Louis,” so he never is acting “maliciously.” Keep that in mind when thinking about Lestat’s plan moving forward.)

“What you think Lestat is going to do is probably what he thinks he’s going to do” when walking on stage, Reid notes, “but then he realizes as soon as he looks at Louis that it’s too much. It’s too overwhelming, and his whole world crumbles around him. This is not what he wants to be happening at all, and he carries a huge amount of guilt.”

Inside 'Interview With the Vampire's Most Tragic Hour: The Trial Explained (6)


Lestat attempts to atone in the trial by apologizing to Louis for the harm caused in their relationship, marking another moment when Lestat is changed by looking right at his immortal love. “When he apologizes to Louis and he realizes that Louis’s never going to forgive him, he realizes in that moment, ‘I’m never going to get him back. I have to leave him now,'” Reid says. “It is very destabilizing for him. He’s not in control. He’s at his most messy probably.”

Louis gives Lestat a slight smile when they first lock eyes. Anderson says Louis is also overwhelmed with guilt in this moment, but it’s layered.

“There’s a lot going on there,” Anderson explains. “There’s a perverse sense of ‘there he is.’ He hates him. He’s frightened of him. He loves him. He wants to touch him. He wants to run away from him. All of those things are true, and actually that level of fear probably does draw those things out of you as well. You’re just completely bare. Maybe a smile creeps out.” Anderson says Louis is thinking, “Please don’t hurt me, but also I’m so glad to see you alive and don’t you look good. F**k, I shouldn’t think that.”

With his talk of offering Louis his companionship and the dark gift on the altar of a church, it seems Lestat saw Louis’ transformation as their wedding night. Is that how they both remember it? For Louis, “it’s the night he died and the night he was born,” Anderson says. “But yeah, I think Lestat does see it as their wedding.”

Why Was Lestat Acting Weird in the Trial?

If you noticed Lestat was acting a bit off during certain moments of the play, you were right to think something was going on. There are things in the second book inThe Vampire Chronicles series,The Vampire Lestat, that better contextualize Lestat’s behavior in this moment. We won’t reveal that book plot here, but Reid says “seeds are placed” in the trial and in next week’s finale. At the time of publication, the series has not yet been renewed for a third season. If it is renewed, showrunner Rolin Jones previously told TV Insider that it will be an adaptation of The Vampire Lestat.


“The answer is yes,” Reid says. He was intentionally acting weird in specific moments to lay a foundation for what could come in a possible third season. “I was worried about the trial. Hopefully it’s one of those episodes that you can watch a couple of times and see there’s a few different layers to it.”

He continues: “There’s a performance layer, there’s a memory layer, and then there’s bits where whoever’s remembering it, you’re like, well, why was he wobbling? Why couldn’t he stand up straight? He is injured, but is the injury physical or is it psychological? I think it’s more interesting, and Rolin probably thinks it’s more interesting too, that all of the major injury is psychological because when they’re so powerful, does it really take you 20 years to recover from a slit throat? So, it is more psychological damage, but [I was] always wanting to make sure there is a level that he is weak.”

Lestat Will “Never Get Over Claudia”

Louis and Lestat are forever marked by Claudia’s death.

“He’ll never get over Claudia, ever,” Reid says of Lestat. “That was a big thing because we were always trying to work this out with Rolin. I was like, ‘But we’ve got to be putting more in. They were closer.’ And he was like, ‘I think we have to lay in the foundation that Lestat will never recover from the death of Claudia.’ He will always carry that with him as the biggest guilt in his life.”

Interview With the Vampire, Season 2 Finale, Sunday, June 30, 9/8c, AMC, Streaming on AMC+

Inside 'Interview With the Vampire's Most Tragic Hour: The Trial Explained (2024)


Why was the girl killed in Interview with a vampire? ›

Claudia's treachery toward Lestat was discovered by the vampires there and she was killed for it when they exposed her to sunlight; vampires consider it a crime to kill each other. In truth, Lestat was not dead, but weakened severely enough it took him years to recover.

What is the message of Interview with the Vampire? ›

Through Louis's narrative, “Interview with the Vampire” explores the nuances of loss, loneliness, morality, and the quest for meaning in an immortal life. The story leaves readers with a profound sense of the complexities of existence, whether mortal or eternal.

Will there be a part 3 interview with a vampire? ›

A few days ahead of the season finale, AMC renewed Interview With the Vampire for a third season, which will be adapted from the second book in Rice's Vampire Chronicles: The Vampire Lestat.

Will Lestat be in season 3? ›

But in Season 3, Lestat's dissatisfaction with Molloy's portrayal of him in his book will lead him on a path of rediscovery and a new life as a rock star, a story inspired by Rice's second novel, “The Vampire Lestat.”

What did Armand do to Claudia? ›

Armand sees Louis as a new possibility of integrating into the modern world. When he cannot persuade Louis to leave Claudia, he kills her by burning her to death in the sun, and then lets Louis burn the theater with the vampires in it so they can leave together.

Was Louis in love with Claudia? ›

Lestat knows Louis's vulnerability, and creates Claudia, a five-year-old girl. Louis falls in love with Claudia and the three live together in New Orleans for 65 years. Claudia, upset with Lestat for creating her when she was only five, plots to kill Lestat and leave for Europe with Louis.

Was Johnny Depp supposed to be in Interview With a vampire? ›

Daniel Day-Lewis was originally given the part of Lestat, but dropped out weeks before filming. Tom Cruise eventually got the role after Johnny Depp turned it down. Christian Slater was given the role of Daniel Malloy upon the death of River Phoenix, the original choice for the role.

Who was the vampire at the end of Interview with the Vampire? ›

As Daniel warns Louis to get out of Dubai, it comes out the journalist changed his diet. He is now a vampire, and his maker is Armand (Assad Zaman). Louis, who just balked at Interview with the Vampire merchandising, frames the transformation as a “burden out of spite.” This is a perceptive conclusion.

What is Claudia's gift in Interview with a vampire? ›

Claudia's Dark Gift was especially dark. She was cursed to live an immortal life in the body of a child.

Do Lestat and Louis get back together? ›

Louis and Lestat are reunited at the end of the novel The Vampire Lestat in 1985 when Lestat is a rock superstar. In the events of The Queen Of The Damned, Louis and other vampires come together at Maharet's house in the Sonoma Compound to fight against Akasha.

Who is the female vampire in interview with a vampire? ›

It focuses on Lestat (Cruise) and Louis (Pitt), beginning with Louis's transformation into a vampire by Lestat in 1791. The film chronicles their time together, and their turning of young Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) into a vampire.

Will Claudia be in interview with a vampire? ›

Interview With the Vampire Season 2 has replaced Season 1's Claudia, Bailey Bass, with new Claudia, Delainey Hayles. The recasting is handled with a title card up top that reads, “THE ROLE OF CLAUDIA WILL NOW BE PLAYED BY DELAINEY HAYLES.”

Who kills Lestat? ›

Claudia fights Antoinette and stabs her through the heart and Lestat starts choking. Claudia reveals that she knew Antoinette was listening and that Lestat had already taken in her poison, after drinking Anderson's blood. We see Louis slit Lestat's throat, cradling him in his arms.

Who does Lestat really love? ›

Louis and Lestat reunite in the 1980s with a new understanding, only to be caught up and briefly separated again in the events that are detailed in The Queen of the Damned, though in later books Lestat refers to Louis as his lover.

Does Lestat meet Armand? ›

Although Lestat is equally intrigued by Armand as he is with him, he ultimately rejects him. Lestat leaves France, leaving the theater he owns to Armand and his coven. He instructs them to use it as their new lair. It was Lestat's notion that the coven pose as human actors who pretend to be vampires.

Why is Claudia killed in an interview with a vampire? ›

“I'm a chronic overthinker, so that was always on my mind,” Hayles says of Claudia's immolation death sentence, enacted by the coven for breaking a number of the vampiric Great Laws, including her attempt to kill her maker Lestat.

What was Claudia's dark gift? ›

Claudia's Dark Gift was especially dark. She was cursed to live an immortal life in the body of a child.

What did Armand do to Louis? ›

The show's Armand twist also introduces a new element that might be a bit of a shock to book fans — Armand didn't just betray Louis in a way that led to Claudia's death, he chose his coven over the love of his life and was willing to let Louis die along with her. And he didn't save him after all; that was Lestat.

Why did Claudia hate Lestat? ›

Over time, Claudia grew increasingly resentful at her maker Lestat for giving her the Dark Gift, trapping her in the body of a little girl, never to be a woman, and for his refusal to tell her and Louis what he knows of the history of their kind.

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