Interview With the Vampire: Delainey Hayles Talks Claudia's "Toxic" Relationship With Louis

We spoke with Delainey Hayles about Claudia's relationship with Louis.

In Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire, things have never been exactly easy for Louis and Claudia. Even after the pair teamed up to kill their maker, Lestat, their relationship remained strained while they journeyed through Europe in search of Old World vampires. While things started to settle after they arrived in Paris and discovered the coven there, this week's episode, "I Want You More Than Anything in The World" saw things grow more complicated between the pair than ever before — all while Claudia started to develop a relationship outside of Louis all her own. Now, Delainey Hayles is breaking down Claudia's "toxic" relationship with Louis as well as why that new relationship has such interesting potential.

Warning: spoilers for this week's episode of Interview With the Vampire, "I Want You More Than Anything In The World", beyond this point.

In the episode, Claudia finds out that Armand knows what they did to Lestat and comes to realize that Louis has chosen someone else over her once again. It leads to an emotional confrontation in their apartment where she calls him out for having once again chosen anyone but her despite having previously told her that it was the two of them, always. While it might seem like Louis was lying to Claudia in some respect when he gave her that "you and me" pep talk in Episode 1 — especially given the hallucination Lestat of it all — Hayles says she doesn't think Louis was lying then, but he was certainly confused and that the pair of them are both toxic on their own as well as toxic together.

"I don't think Louis was lying to her in the beginning," she said. "I think Louis is confused. I think he doesn't know exactly what he wants. He just wants somebody to be with him and I think Claudia has given him the benefit of the doubt for a long time, like he's her Louis, he is all she has. She relies on him. He relies on her to an extent and when he picks Armand over her, it's a bit like, 'oh, okay he's gone and done it again. Now you've really sealed it. This is it. How f-cking dare you.'"

"They're both toxic," she said of Claudia and Louis. "I hate talking about Claudia in that light, but she is toxic. She does what she needs to do to get by and whether that involves manipulation, we'll see. But she has to keep herself alive and keep herself safe, but their relationship is very toxic. Their toxic relationship is toxic."

But while her relationship with Louis is falling apart, Claudia is also forging a new relationship of her own with the dressmaker, Madeline. It's the first time viewers have seen Claudia connect with a woman, but also the first time that they've seen her take a genuine interest in someone. For Hayles, it's because they balance one another out.

"I think it's when they meet each other, they have this mutual understanding that they've both been through something," she said. "And in the beginning, they're not entirely sure what that is. But they're kind of talking to each other because they're both being ostracized by their communities. And the eyes are like windows to the soul so they're seeing something in each other and it's like a weighing scale; they're both on either end, balancing it out."

She also said that while this take on Claudia and Madeline is different than the book, she thinks the writers did a great job of keeping the heart of the relationship authentic while keeping it relevant to this version of Claudia's story.

"When I was filming it, I was reading the book at the same time I was watching the series, so I kept watching the series over and then I had the book with me and I was familiar with it," she said. "And it's kind of interesting to see how the series was going to portray that relationship and I think the writers did an excellent job at maintaining their characters kind of faculties and what they stand for and their relationship but making it relevant to Claudia's story today."

What Is Interview with the Vampire Season 2 About?

You can read AMC's official description of the second season of Interview With the Vampire here: "The interview continues in season two. In the year 2022, the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (Anderson) recounts his life story to journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). Picking up from the bloody events in New Orleans in 1940 when Louis and teen fledgling Claudia (Hayles) conspired to kill the Vampire Lestat de Lioncourt (Reid), Louis tells of his adventures in Europe, a quest to discover Old World Vampires and the Theatre Des Vampires in Paris, with Claudia. It is in Paris that Louis first meets the Vampire Armand (Assad Zaman). Their courtship and love affair will prove to have devastating consequences both in the past and in the future, and Molloy will probe to get to the truths buried within the memories.

Interview With the Vampire airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.