AMC is quickly becoming the home of popular fantasy authors Anne Riceis one of the many celebrated works. After the success of Interview with the vampire Season 1 with Jacob Anderson as Louis du Pointe du Lac and Sam Reid as Lestat de Lioncourt, Alexandra Daddario then led Mayfair Witchesboth of which were renewed for season 2. While all the characters are there Interview with the vampire are very interesting and contribute to the story in their own way, Claudia (played by Bailey Bass) is the best in many ways. It’s one thing to achieve immortality in the body of an adult, but it’s quite another to be trapped forever in the body of a child. Unlike her counterpart in Anne Rice’s novel or the 1994 film adaptation, the new AMC series matured Claudia from a small child into a teenager in a somewhat controversial move – but that decision ultimately led to Claudia becoming one of the The most complex and compelling characters have become characters on the show.
Claudia enters Interview with the Vampire at a sensitive time for Lestat and Louis
Claudia enters Lestat and Louis’ lives at a difficult time. She almost dies in the fire that destroys many buildings in Storyville, but Louis saves her in an act of selfish desperation. He begs Lestat to save her and turn her into one of them, and Lestat grants his request to appease Louis. Claudia is initially happy in her new life. She lives luxuriously with her new vampire family, enjoying the decadence of her afterlife – and for a short time they are happy. Lestat has further chained Louis to him and Louis has the family he longed for. But the happiness doesn’t last long. Claudia is merely a bandage for an already tumultuous relationship, and as she begins to see the cracks in her life, she also sees the cracks in her own.
Claudia is tormented by loneliness as soon as she becomes aware of it. Lestat and Louis have each other, both romance and family. But she is trapped in eternal youth, viewed as a child by both Louis and Lestat and the outside world. She feels like a third wheel to the only people who really know her. Claudia falls in love with a boy and learns how deep her loneliness runs. When she is finally able to be with him, she accidentally drains his blood and the grief of this act consumes her. No longer caring about the consequences of her actions, she continues to go on killing sprees and desperately tries to turn others into vampires so that she is no longer alone. It’s a more childlike version of the desperation that both Lestat and Louis harbor, but she responds to it without thinking about the consequences, still naive and too confident in her own power.
The fact that Claudia leaves her home in “Interview with the Vampire” makes her grow
Only after she runs away and travels between colleges for a while in Episode 5 does Claudia manage to shed some of the resentment and existential dread that clouded her spirit in New Orleans. Then she meets her first vampire outside of her family and learns the cruelty of these creatures who feel like they are entitled to anything they want. But as she goes through it all, Claudia learns what she truly values and finds new reasons for her existence. Claudia wants to see and learn more about the world, about vampires, and about herself, and she wants Louis to be there with her.
Her early development from naive girl to jaded vampire is fascinating in itself, but it’s after her return in Episode 6 of that Claudia really comes into her own Interview with the vampire. Her appearance sparks a violent conflict between Louis and Lestat, which results in Louis almost being killed by the other vampire. He’s out of action for quite a while as Claudia steps in to look after him. Her return alone shows great growth, but after witnessing Louis separate from his sister once and for all, she takes on that mantle herself. Claudia is not a surrogate daughter, but rather cares for Louis like a sister.
Whenever Lestat shows up with a corny gift to win her back, she coldly rejects him and steps in to protect Louis, despite knowing how difficult it is for him to deal with Lestat himself. Although her body is still that of a child, her mind has grown tremendously. Both Claudia’s emotional and empirical intelligence have reached levels equal to (or even exceeding) those of her creators. Having seen more of the world and other vampires than Louis, she has become extremely protective of him. She tries to convince him to elope with her, and when her own attempt is thwarted by Lestat, she does not condemn herself to a life with him like Louis did, but instead begins a conspiracy like Lestat might.
Claudia is the vampire that Lestat could have been
Claudia is like Lestat has learned to grow as a person. She starts out as a naive and voracious new vampire. Over time, she grows resentful of the cage that eternal life has given her and sets off for a while. But over time, she matures and returns to Louis because she has learned to see and understand his pain as well as her own. And she’s like Louis in many ways, with her thirst for knowledge and the intense empathy she has for those she cares about (though for her, that’s mostly just Louis himself). Claudia can see through Lestat. When she returns, she knows she can never trust him, and even after he drags her off the train, she doesn’t let him deter her. If anything, his betrayal of her decision and his insistence on keeping her locked up to Louis’ satisfaction make her even more determined to thwart him.
It is Claudia who reveals that Lestat lied to her about killing his lover, it is Claudia who carefully plans the murder, and it is Claudia who, without Louis’ knowledge, smuggled in a second decoy to ensure their success . She has become a mastermind herself. Her development takes place in just a few episodes and yet it feels completely natural. She was born from the selfish desires of others, and yet she learns to look beyond them and find meaning in her own second chance at life, something none of her creators were capable of.
Bailey Bass manages Claudia’s development flawlessly. Over the course of a few episodes, we see Claudia transform from a naive girl into a calculating vampire. She’s a nice middle ground between Louis and Lestat. She is still a caring person but not to her own detriment, she doesn’t want to hurt others but she understands the need for survival and freedom. Through them, we too are able to see past the glitz and glamor and see Lestat for the selfish man he is, and through them we too feel the urge to push Louis away from this life and move on to something better.
Claudia exists to break out of the cycles that created her. The cycles of abuse that spawned both Louis and Lestat are almost emulated by her in her early desperation for companionship, but as she grows up she learns to long for freedom rather than companionship in her cage. And she’s almost there. She is able to outsmart Lestat, beat him, and get Louis out of New Orleans, but she can’t completely change Louis’ mind. While Claudia saw Lestat the monster, Louis still saw Lestat the man, and that discrepancy is what makes her conclusion to the season so powerful, but also so sad. She did everything she could to save Louis and it’s still not enough, but she was able to save herself from becoming one of them and that alone is a victory because she is able to Growing even when your life itself is stagnant is a great achievement. And Claudia, as badass as she is, shows both viewers and those around her that things are not unchanging. She will compete with the devil and win.
The big picture
- The decision to let Claudia grow older on AMC’s Interview with the vampire makes her a more complex and engaging character, constantly caught between childhood and adulthood.
- Claudia’s experience of loneliness and the accidental killing of a boy drive her desperate attempts to find companionship as a vampire, showing her naivety and overconfidence in her own power.
- Claudia’s growth and transformation over the course of the season allows her to break free from the cycle of abuse and become a highly protective and calculating figure, leading her to confront and outwit Lestat.