Why That Major ‘Interview With the Vampire’ Character Was Left Out of Episode 3

TV Shows

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Interview With the Vampire Season 2 Episode 3, “No Pain.”]

No one can stop talking about the vampire Lestat. The portrayal of Sam Reid‘s French vampire has been entirely controlled by Louis’ (Jacob Anderson) answers in his interview with Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) and Claudia’s (Delainey Hayles) journals in Seasons 1 and 2. But a new narrator gives their take on him in Interview With the Vampire Season 2 Episode 3, “No Pain,” and Armand’s (Assad Zaman) memory of Lestat is notably different.

“No Pain” is the brief first adaptation of Anne Rice‘s The Vampire Lestat, the sequel novel to 1976’s Interview With the Vampire that provide’s Lestat’s backstory and his version of the events of the first book. That origin story is told in short form in “No Pain,” but should the series be renewed for Season 3, showrunner Rolin Jones assures more of this story will be explored.

Armand tells Daniel the story of how he came to know Lestat, and the origins of the Théâtres des Vampires as a result of that meeting, in the episode. Every snippet he shares, including the people involved in them, are carefully selected and serve his ulterior motives. The first flag on Armand’s unreliable narration is the fact that he tells this story when Louis is asleep and can’t contribute. You have to ask yourself why, and that question is undoubtedly running through Daniel’s mind, but Louis does eventually join back in.

We meet Lestat in Episode 3 when he’s already a vampire living in Paris with his human lover, Nicolas de Lenfent (Joseph Potter). Lestat and Nicki go way back in the book. They were best friends in their hometown and moved to Paris together where their relationship progressed. It’s when Lestat is working as an actor and Nicki as a violinist that Lestat is transformed against his will by the vampire Magnus, a member of Armand’s coven. We don’t see Magnus or the horror show that was Lestat’s transformation in the episode, but that could be shown in a potential third season.

The most important part of the Lestat flashbacks are his first meetings with Armand and the Children of Darkness, Armand’s Parisian coven that lives in the shadows and worships Satan through their leader, their “maître.” After Armand takes Nicki, Lestat waltzes into their church to save his lover and “destroy” the coven’s way of life. We find out later in the episode that Lestat turned Nicki into a vampire and he’s not taking well to the dark gift. This aligns with Nicki’s book plot (which gets much darker because of the vampire Armand).

Assad Zaman as Armand in 'Interview with the Vampire' - Season 2, Episode 2

Larry Horricks / AMC

The Vampire Lestat tells this story through Lestat’s point of view, but it’s told entirely through Armand’s in this episode. “Told by Armand” was the approach for “No Pain,” Jones tells TV Insider. That was the “easy way to go ahead and approach the big thing” that was adapting Lestat’s origin story from the novel for the first time ever onscreen.

Book fans know there is one glaring hole in the adaptation: Gabrielle de Lioncourt, Lestat’s mother, is absent. In the episode, Lestat comes face-to-face with Armand for the first time only with Nicki by his side. In the book, his mother — whom he had already turned into a vampire at that point — was with him upon the first encounter with this coven. Jones tells TV Insider that “there are characters that are in it, and there are characters that are removed” because of Armand, but he doesn’t want fans to think Gabrielle won’t be part of the show.

“Gabrielle — not particularly somebody I think Armand wants [mentioned]. But don’t worry, it’s coming,” Jones assures, adding, “If there’s a Season 3, Lestat will get to tell his version of the story that will be wildly different about what happened there.” He doesn’t stop there: “In my head, other than Lestat, [Gabrielle is] the central character of Season 3. The most important character.” Whomever they cast in the role in the potential third season, it will have to be “someone who can do dubious battle with Sam. Sam is absolutely the biggest instrument,” Jones notes.

The Lestat backstory is both rushed and “overstuffed,” as Jones calls it, because it served the episode’s ending. As Claudia is welcomed into the coven, Armand walks Louis through the sewers, convincing him he’s about to die. They come out from under the street at Louis’ apartment building, where Armand reveals he once loved Lestat and was also hurt by him (from what we’ve seen, Armand’s short time with Lestat pales in comparison to Louis’). It’s then that Louis and Armand share their first kiss.

The creators knew the episode would end this way before they decided what bits of backstory would be included. “We needed Armand’s side of this weird triangle, and so all those decisions were made. The point of view is really important there,” says Jones, adding that “Armand has an agenda” in his conversation with Daniel. “Our journalist mistrusts him,” and Armand wants that to change.

Sam Reid as Lestat de Lioncourt and Joseph Potter as Nicholas in 'Interview With the Vampire' Season 2 Episode 3 - 'No Pain'

Larry Horricks / AMC

Reid tells TV Insider that Louis and Armand absolutely have different perceptions of Lestat and those differences inform his performance in these flashbacks “100 percent.”

“That was the most fun because people who have read the books will know when you hear Armand’s point of view or how he met Lestat, there’s one specific, very big character that is missing from how he’s choosing to tell this story,” Reid says, referencing Gabrielle. “I was like, OK, so wait, this is free rein then. I definitely thought, ‘Let’s play.’”

“How does Armand see Lestat? I think Armand’s version of Lestat is a bit more swashbuckling. He’s a bit more heroic. He’s a bit more idolized,” Reid explains. “Armand idolized Lestat a bit. The relationship between Armand and Lestat is very different to the relationship between Louis and Lestat [laughs]. And I think there’s a level of manipulation between the two of them, between Louis and Armand when they talk about who had the more intense relationship.”

Reid pokes fun at Armand and Louis bonding over their shared ex. “‘You were broken. I was also broken. Don’t worry, we’re connected like that,’” Reid says, imitating Zaman’s character. “Where actually Lestat’s being used as a pawn as the guy who came in and ripped up all their lives. It’s kind of interesting. It’s fun for me to play that.”

“It’s fun to go, well, here is Dream-stat. Here’s Lestat in New Orleans who came in and was love bombing and just destroyed his life and was some abusive monster. And then here’s the swashbuckling theater bravado that Armand sees who came in and destroyed his vampire existence only because he let him, only because Armand let him,” Reid adds with a laugh. “And then as the story progresses, we get to continue to do that, and then we get to a point where we don’t.”

This feels like a wink of a reference to the episode, when Louis brings Dream-stat on his date with Armand. When Armand says Louis needs to better guard his thoughts, Louis argues that maybe he let Armand in. Lestat basically says, “Oh, good one!” in response, and Reid gives the same read.

Interview With the Vampire, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC, Streaming on AMC+

Articles You May Like

Avatar: The Last Airbender Season 2: Everything We Know So Far
Dark Matter – Jupiter – Review: You Are Your Own Greatest Enemy
Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review – Final Exam (208)
Ashley Iaconetti says Jared Haibon feels “no attachment” to their babies before birth
Sex Lives Of College Girls Adds Four New Faces To Recurring Cast