Sam Reid on how playing Interview with the Vampire's Lestat 'has become a lifestyle'

Sam Reid as Lestat in Interview with the Vampire season 2
Sam Reid in Interview with the Vampire (Image credit: Larry Horricks/AMC)

The final two episodes of Interview with the Vampire season 2 were an utter delight. They were gutting, true, but they were a spectacle to behold. Sam Reid, the actor who brings the vampire Lestat to life, talked to What to Watch about Lestat's journey in the last two episodes of the season and how portraying Lestat has been "incredibly satisfying." (FYI, SPOILERS ahead.)

WTW asked about Lestat's theatrical journey in season 2, beginning with playing the harlequin early on in the season and then seeing him give the performance of a lifetime at the trial in episode 7. "He's a good actor and he's very charismatic on stage when we see him playing the harlequin," Reid said, but he noted the first time we saw Lestat on stage it was also very traumatic. "You're seeing the reality underneath it. Everyone's like, 'Lestat's the performer.' He's kind of a flashy clown, but actually in reality it's very traumatizing for him to be in this space. It's very exposing and the worst things happen on stage."

Regarding the trial where Lestat's fledglings, Louis (Jacob Anderson) and Claudia (Delainey Hayles), are being tried for their crimes, Reid noted Lestat "just doesn't want to be there in that trial. There's no part of him that wants to be there, but he's doing it because he has no choice from himself as well. He can't not be there. If he was given a choice, he would come regardless of the outcome."

Discussing the mortal audience and the difference it made having humans watching the trial instead of other vampires, Reid said, "I think it's actually to [Lestat's] benefit because for all Louis' attempts to say that Lestat hates mortals, Lestat really loves mortals. You hear Armand say that, and Lestat says it as well. So he has the opportunity to step out of the vampire world, the rules, the coven. He has an opportunity now. There are mortals there, [he can] get out into the crowd as much as possible. He has to have them all eating out of his hand so that when he does get into their minds to get them to say 'banishment' as opposed to 'death,' they’re compliant and they're easy to manipulate."

Reid also talked about the "absolute joy" he feels bringing such a dynamic character like Lestat to life. "A big part of [showrunner] Rolin's [Jones] adaptation is that he made sure each character carries enough agency to be in control of their own life. No one person, one vampire, is dominating or controlling another. It's not one goody or one baddie. All of them have their own agency and are responsible for their own actions. So Lestat, when he becomes a vampire, he is coming out of a world of repression. He kind of gets this whole kingdom and burns his way through it. It's too exciting, it's too much."

Sam Reid as Lestat in Interview with the Vampire season 2

Sam Reid in Interview with the Vampire (Image credit: AMC)

That excitement carries over to Lestat's relationship with Louis. "By the time you get to him and Louis, I think their love is very genuine, but [Lestat] is probably at his peak chaotic level and by the time we get to the end of season 1, he's really dealing with the repercussions of his behavior. I think it's s**t for him, but he probably deserves a lot of what comes at him. And I think he knows that, too."

Reid noted that when they arrive at the tower scene, Lestat tells Louis that death can only come if Lestat wills it. "In season 1 he knows he deserves to die, and now he continues to know he deserves to be punished. But he's got to learn."

One of the most poignant scenes in the season finale is Louis and Lestat embracing in the house as the hurricane unleashes its fury. The house is literally crumbling around them, but back in season 1 they brought the house down when they fought. This event came under the microscope in season 2 as Louis started to question his memory of what really happened in that first brawl. What to Watch asked about the symbolism of the houses collapsing for very different reasons, and how it's a beautiful place to end and, perhaps, begin again.

"It's definitely a clean slate between the two of them," Reid said. "What they really should have done [after Claudia's death] is go to each other and process that death together. And they didn't do that. And that home they built, that attempt at creating a domestic life with Claudia that they both destroyed and pulled apart a crumbling shell. It's a great analogy."

Lastly, Reid talked about becoming Lestat. "It has become like a lifestyle," he said. "It's all encompassing, I suppose. I didn't realize it was going to be as encompassing as it is, but it's incredibly satisfying, really. It's a wonderful thing to be a part of because it ticks a lot of boxes. It has a lot of these supernatural elements and you have the opportunity to go through all of these crazy highs and lows."

Reid, who read some of Anne Rice’s novels when he was younger, went back and read the books again ahead of playing the role. "I definitely went back and I was like, 'let me look at this again.' And I fell in love with the story again."   

Both seasons of Interview with the Vampire are available to stream on AMC Plus. 

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.