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Interview with the Vampire: …The Ruthless Pursuit of Blood with All a Child's Demanding

“The first man I killed called me the devil, and the last boy I killed, the last boy I’ll ever love in this world, called me an angel.”

A simple shift in narration leads to a very interesting and powerful episode.

Claudia certainly makes a big difference to their dysfunctional little family. In Claudia's first hunt she kills a cop and then a neighbor, causing even Lestat to wince. She is a bit bratty at first, reveling in her superior nature. Staying up all day just to write in her journal, smearing cookies on the wall because she doesn’t care for the taste anymore and even playing with the sunlight. All testing who she has become.

I absolutely loved them going coffin shopping, with Louis making up an excuse of a tragic young death looming and Claudia almost giddy with her pink frilly satin-covered coffin. Although it does end in bloodshed, a moment of silliness and joy is overshadowed by the reality of their kind. Claudia is very much like Lestat and doesn’t think about who or why she kills, and with a young teenager’s metabolism, she is constantly hungry.

Which brings me to the elephant in the room, which is Claudia’s starting age. In both the book and original movie, Claudia is much younger, like, a lot younger. In the book she is but five years old; in the movie, she was maybe ten at most. While this is mostly an aesthetic change because those first years of her as a child are moved through quickly, it does fundamentally alter the nature of her existence. Here as a young woman of fourteen, she can occasionally pass for an adult, which means much of her struggle has been altered for this adaptation.

It is also a fundamental dynamic change. While Claudia was fully capable of independent movement in the book and movie, her hunts would often have to resort to tricks to catch prey. Here, she is clearly strong enough to fight even a full grown man without much trouble. That need for adult companionship was an important aspect of her character, and I wonder if aging her up will work out in the long run. It also changes her relationship with Louis and Lestat to a degree, although the family dynamic is fascinating to watch unfold.

However, I must say that Bailey Bass is wonderful in the role. She takes over narration for most of the episode and she is extremely well spoken and easy to follow. Her story is appropriately tragic as she tries and fails to find love while trapped in the body of someone who had barely started puberty. She ages five years in this episode and we can already hear subtle changes to her cadence and tone of voice. It is a subtle and engaging performance, which isn’t surprising given the level of production on display here.

It was 1921 when Claudia got her own room, and I loved the hidden wall that flips from bed to coffin. She describes the family as happy, but mentions that Louis can be smothering and Lestat crotchety, a hint at the struggles to come with the relationship. In a lot of ways, Lestat made Claudia for Louis, but it is hard to say how Lestat feels about her. Claudia can sense this a little, but as their child she is able to settle disagreements between her parents to an extent. Of course that cannot last. The only real time Lestat shows her affection is when they hunt together, which is very much like the books because they have similar tastes and habits.

The wake is a really fascinating glimpse of who Louis is and how inhuman all three of them have become. Claudia is not hostile, but distinctly out of place and somewhat alien. Their complaints about the smell, and Lestat’s off-handed comment about how the wake was a tradition invented in colder climates lacked compassion and humanity. Even Louis was confrontational with his sister about the house, even though he just gave it to her in the end.

What followed was a similar plot thread from both the book and original movie, when Claudia is exposed to sexuality in one form or another, and longs to grow into adulthood. Of course she cannot grow, and in the books sexuality is basically not a thing. Here, we have what is essentially an eighteen-year-old desperately wanting to experience love for the first time. She finds a boy that likes her and gets involved with him. Then they almost have sex for the first time and she goes too far, learning the hard way that humans and vampires do not mix.

At the beginning of the episode Rashid mentioned an interior designer who may be significant. There is only a mention of gender and a hint at an affection for Louis. He described that beautiful cherry blossom tree as an attempt to extend to Louis a bit of the natural world. Most of the furnishings seem classical or perhaps from a previous decade. Maybe what we are seeing is a house decorated by Claudia. The only date we know for sure is 1945 listed in one of her diaries. What happened to Claudia? Why isn’t she in the present?

Then in the final moments we learn the truth about Claudia's past before Louis found her and it suddenly makes sense. This is a traumatized woman, trapped in the body of a child as her mind grows older and older. Her final speech, that gutwrenching speech about her first kill calling her a demon and her last calling her an angel, was everything. Claudia isn’t just Louis’ daughter she isn’t just Lestat’s protege, she is her own monster, singular and vivid and beautiful. The parallel of her putting her arm in sunlight playfully at the beginning and intentionally at the end is all the symbolism you need to describe this character.


The first entry from Claudia’s final diary:

Paris, November 14, 1945

“We’ve arrived in Paris, what a relief! My whole dead self feels revitalized head to toe. We might be outsiders to both humans and Parisien life, but I do appreciate both now with fervor! Granted, I’ve never hated my body more...”


Claudia: “A girl vampire needs her own space, if she’s gonna find herself in this no-day world. And, Diary you can already tell, the words come easier when you’re locked in tight, wrapped in pink satin and Daddy Lou’s feet ain’t in your face.”

Claudia: “It’s just me, my pen, my brain, my heart, and the blood of the street car conductor I drained after he got off work. Thank you, street car driver. I hope they got more of you at your company to fill in for you. It’s never great waiting for the car, especially when the weather gets hot.”

Louis: “Vivid writer, isn’t she? A singular style.”
Daniel: “Anne Frank meets Stephen King.”

Daniel: “You had a daughter.”
Louis: “I had a daughter.”
Daniel: “I’ve got two. The love is kind of...” (Daniel makes an expression that is meant to convey how he feels to Louis)
Louis: “And if you were to come across their diaries and learn, in detail, how and when you failed them, would you share those failures with a brash young reporter you met at Polynesian Mary’s?”

Louis: “Claudia was…”
Daniel: “A bandaid for a shitty marriage?”

Claudia: “It’s funnier when they fight in French. And Diary, you think a girl whose mama died in childbirth, whose daddy gave her away to a mean old auntie who beat her ‘cause no one said she couldn’t, who died in a fire but came back by the blood magic of two demons, well, you’d think that girl wouldn’t know what funny was. But you’d be wrong, Diary.”

Claudia: “...I told you, dumb Diary, that that same girl was being raise to kill like her demon parents did, to take two souls a day so she could stay in the same flat-chested hairless-crotched 14-year-old baby doll body as her mind and spirit turn 19, 20, 25, 63, 358, you dumb, dumb Diary.”

Tragic and wonderful, this Claudia may not be a direct adapation of the source material, but the spirit of the character is there and vital.

4 out of 4 Ruthless kills with a child's demanding

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.


  1. I'm not someone that insists on an adaptation not deviating from the source material. And I think Bailey Bass is amazing and I totally understand why they cast her.

    But I am having a real problem with relating to a Claudia who looks this adult. What made the character so compelling in the book and the movie is the situation she found herself in -- growing up in mind but not in body, the conflict of a powerful creature in a small and powerless body.

  2. Claudia!!!

    Interesting that she calls them Daddy Lou and Uncle Les, considering that Lestat technically has a stronger claim on "fatherhood" as her maker. But it also sets up the dynamic between the three very well. Louis and Claudia do feel like they have a more familial bond. Their scene on the row boat was very sweet. A sharp contrast to her scene with Lestat where he not only takes her hunting, but specifically takes her to a lover's lane. That's definitely one way to give the birds and the bees talk.

    Of course, if a random stranger was to look at them, they would probably assume that she was Louis' daughter as opposed to Lestat, which is maybe an interesting wrinkle in there. They're not just going to see her as a young woman, but as a young, black woman.

    Undecided about how I feel about them aging her up as well. I can understand logistically why they did so (and why they aged her up in the 90s movie - I can't imagine a 5 year old in that role) but this is a bigger jump. It completely straddles that line between childhood and adulthood while not belonging to either. Do I wish that she was a little younger? Maybe. Mostly because everyone kept insisting that she looked like a little girl playing dress up when she was in her flapper clothes, but I didn't get that impression. I thought that she easily looked 19 or 20.

    Also, something I noticed was her handwriting. It got much nicer in the later diaries than in the earlier ones. (Love that Daniel immediately did the opposite of the suggested reading order. Also loved the small detail of his hands shaking a little as he went through them.)

    I can't imagine Bailey Bass not in the role next season (even if early reviews say that Delainey Hayles does fabulously.)


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