Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire Changed Claudia


The following contains spoilers for Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire Season 1 Episode 4, “…The Ruthless Quest for Blood With All the Demands of a Child,” which premiered Sunday, October 23 on AMC.

The latest adaptation of Anne Rice’s iconic novel interview with a vampire I just got to Claudia’s part of the story. Or where Really gets underway The AMC series has taken some liberties with the source material, but the reality of making a TV show demanded it. The real question is whether it helps or hurts the story.

In the novel, a starving Louis feeds on a five-year-old girl, and she becomes an immortal child. The inspiration for this character was Rice’s own personal loss. Her daughter, the same age as the character, died in 1972 of leukemia. Claudia is always five years old, unable to grow or change. As long as that theme persists, the adaptations age the child. The 1994 film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt cast 11-year-old Kirsten Dunst to play a 10-year-old version of Claudia. The AMC series, which probably wants to tell real-world stories for many years, further aged her character at 14 years old. She is played by Bailey Bass, who is 19 years old. She captures the innocence and casual violence portrayed in the novel, but her older age allows for greater narrative potential in the series. The series changed quite a bit from the books, but this may be the best change yet.

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Claudia’s age change makes practical and narrative sense for a television series

Unless you seek to enter She-Hulk: Lawyer VFX level, there is no way a five year old could play the part. Twilight Breaking down part 2 taught everyone a hard lesson about full CGI vampire babies. Dunst’s age and ability to play younger allowed for the inclusion of a story that developed the vampire world. Turning children that young was forbidden, because vampires are weaker, hungrier, and more reckless. That kind of taboo or outrage at the spectacle: Claudia’s 14-year-old age would test credulity just as much as the obviously older bass she plays her. Still, it’s worth suspending disbelief because of how Bass can play Claudia equally innocent and wild, and even funny at times.

Being a teenager, it allowed the narrators to inject more agency into Claudia’s story because she is old enough to want be an adult. She falls in love with a boy, but he rejects her because she looks too young. This arc allowed for elements of a child’s story to be kept forever, while grounding Claudia’s eventual mania in her lived experience. From her religious upbringing to being forced to watch her surrogate father burn the body of her first love, she has experiences to draw from unlike the younger versions. Even fans of the books aren’t sure where Claudia’s story is headed. That’s what makes it so exciting.

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All the ways poor Claudia became one of Anne Rice’s legendary vampires

One thing interview with a vampire on AMC keeps the same is the way someone becomes a vampire. Also, Lestat is the only one who knows how to do it, at first. In the book and film, a hungry Louis feasts on the girl and Lestat makes her a “gift” from her to entice him to stay together. This element remains in the series, however the circumstances are less direct. In the AMC series, Claudia was nearly burned alive in a fire. The fire started due to the riots that resulted from Louis killing a racist councilman, who is not a typical victim because he is the kind of human that others would “miss”. Louis saves her from the fire and brings her to Lestat, begging him to turn her. This choice greatly lessens Louis’s guilt in creating Claudia and removes her fatal contribution to her creation. However, if done right, this could give Claudia even more agency.

In each iteration of this story, Louis and Claudia form an incredibly strong bond. In the AMC series, if he turns against Lestat like he does in other versions of the story, Louis’s exclusion makes more sense. In the books and the movie, Claudia needs at least one of them. In the series, all Louis did was save her from being burned to death. The AMC version of Interview with the Vampire It changes Claudia a lot from the original Anne Rice character. However, she does it for all the right reasons.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice premieres new episodes Sundays at 10 pm on AMC.

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