Bustle Exclusive

Jacob Anderson Isn’t Playing On Interview With The Vampire

The star teases a “completely different” show in Season 2.

A portrait of 'Interview with the Vampire' star Jacob Anderson.
Larry Horricks/AMC

Before filming began on Season 2 of Interview with a Vampire, star Jacob Anderson was wary of retreading familiar ground — after all, many fans have read the Anne Rice book the AMC series is based on, or watched the 1994 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.

In Season 1, the show introduces Louis as a century-old vampire living in Dubai in 2022. He tells his life story to a journalist with the help of his longtime partner, Armand (Assad Zaman); as Louis revisits his personal history, viewers return with him to the past, starting with his first years living as a vampire alongside his hedonistic paramour, Lestat (Sam Reid), and his child-vampire charge Claudia (Delainey Hayles). In Season 2, Louis picks up his tale at the end of World War II, as he and Claudia are searching for others of their kind in Europe. With Lestat disposed of (for now), the new installment sees Louis step into the spotlight.

“Obviously, I know where this story goes. But particularly in Dubai, I had no idea where that story was going, and actually found that it was completely different [from the first season],” Anderson, who played Grey Worm on Game of Thrones, tells Bustle. “It was like making a different show.”

Adding to this season’s distinct feel is Anderson’s new co-star. In a last-minute casting change-up, Bailey Bass left the series, and Hayles took over the role of Claudia. “[Hayles] had this confidence, and can-do spirit,” he says of the actor, who joined the show after playing Lucy in London’s West End production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. “People will see as they watch the season that she's the hero of Season 2.” Two episodes in, and Hayles has already proved herself a standout amongst the show’s growing ensemble, deftly portraying Claudia’s enchantment with a Parisian coven. She’s enticed by the crew’s openness and bloodthirsty flamboyance — even if Louis is wary of joining in on the fun.

Louis and Claudia in Interview with the Vampire Season 2.Larry Horricks/AMC

Anderson admits he enjoyed the show from the sidelines, too. As eager as he was to mix it up in Season 2, his focus was on his work. “The theater coven [actors] went out quite a lot, and had dinners and stuff and a good time. [But] I wasn't involved,” he admits with a laugh. “It's kind of impossible for me to be anything but boring, plain Louis.”

Below, Anderson discusses Louis’ relationship with Lestat, settling for Armand, and if he’d return to Game of Thrones.

Larry Horricks/AMC

How did it feel to put the fangs back on for Season 2?

Putting the fangs back on was exciting. I was a bit nervous at first, and then it just became a completely new experience. We started with [Episode 5, which] is very different from the others. So it was like a trial by fire.

In an interview during the first season, you said that you related to being a human in the same way that Louis related to being a vampire. After filming Season 2, do you still feel the same way?

No, Louis and I are as similar as we are different. Something that's cool about Louis is that he's in denial about his worst instincts, which is quite a common thing that we do as people. We're constantly fighting our instincts. There are instincts that are really important to fight against, particularly self-destructive ones. But also it can be crippling. It can hold you back from not accepting yourself or liking yourself. That's something that I certainly felt a lot as a child and a teenager. I didn't like myself very much. In that sense, I felt very connected to him.

That connects to the fact that Louis can’t get older, so it might feel like he can’t mature.

Yeah, he's arrested in a lot of ways. But he definitely changes gradually over time because [of] the people he's in relationships with, whether it's the seemingly transactional relationship between him and Daniel, the romantic relationship with Lestat, or the parental-sibling relationship with Claudia. He changes for those people.

Lestat and Louis in Interview with the Vampire Season 2.Larry Horricks/AMC

Do you think Louis has any power? He was controlled by Lestat, and then he also seems to be under Armand’s control.

He holds a lot of power. He is aware of the hold that he has on those two vampires in those relationships. The dynamic that he has with Armand is very interesting. After they've been together for a little while, Louis starts to find out where he fits into that relationship, and Armand’s very complicated.

It's important to remember that we're meeting a lot of these characters through Louis' recollection of them, and this season is very much about reframing some of those relationships.

How does Season 2 change Louis' relationship with Lestat?

Lestat represents a side of Louis that he hides. They’re like shadow versions of each other. Lestat is this shadow through the season — like Louis’ imaginary friend. He carries him around with him, and Lestat tells him about himself, like how he really feels about people and certain things.

How does his relationship with Armand compare?

They're not comparable. His relationship with Lestat is almost primal. It's this very passionate, fired-up, intense thing. Because Lestat is Louis’ maker, it's in the fabric of their being. That's a big part of why it was almost impossible for Louis to kill him.

But with Armand, Louis needs a very different energy. He needs to be around somebody who is calm and [lets him feel] a bit more in control. And he finds that in Armand. He settles a little bit. That's something that’s explored later in the season — how Armand feels about Louis carrying his ex around with him all the time.

Armand and Louis in Interview with the Vampire Season 2.Larry Horricks/AMC

The Anne Rice universe and Game of Thrones are very different. After working on both, is there anything about them that felt similar?

Game of Thrones was like a continent spread out into different countries: We had these stories that were being told in different places, so it felt small and intimate. I remember feeling that quite a lot with this show, too. There's heightened emotion, and we're shooting these crazy things. We've got fangs in and these incredible costumes. But it still feels like this intense family drama.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, would you ever consider returning for a spin-off?

No. [laughs] I’m trying to think of a sort of delicate way to put it, but I wouldn't be interested in that. I was happy with how Grey Worm’s story concluded. I don't really know what you do with him beyond that. I generally have to understand why something's happening to do it. I have a lot of love for Grey Worm, but yeah, no.

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.