Interview With the Vampire: Roxane Duran Breaks Down Madeline's Tragic Fate

We spoke with Roxane Duran about Madeline's fate in "I Could Not Prevent It".

Season 2 of Interview With the Vampire saw Louis (Jacob Anderson) and Claudia (Delainey Hayles) travel to Europe and, in doing so, saw their world expand as they met new vampires — and new people — who would have major impact on their lives. Among those people were Madeleine Eparvier (Roxane Duran), a dressmaker who quickly becomes an important figure for Claudia and, in last week's episode, her companion when Louis gives her the Dark Gift. This week's episode, however, sees Madeline's journey take a sudden and tragic turn alongside Claudia when they, along with Louis, are put on "trial" for Lestat's (Sam Anderson) murder.

ComicBook recently sat down with Duran to break down the role of Madeline, the connection between Madeline and Claudia, how Madeleine had only one choice in this week's fateful episode, as well as where the idea for that novel way of eating an apple in episode six originated from. Warning: spoilers for this week's episode of Interview With the Vampire, "I Could Not Prevent It", beyond this point.

Nicole Drum, ComicBook: How did you come to play Madeleine? What was your audition like and how much did you know about this character, both in terms of the book and in terms of this interpretation of her?

Roxane Duran: Well, to be honest with you, the procedure is quite simple every time, you get a very short time to record yourself, and I did so not having read any books, I'd never seen the movie, and I also had to translate a part of the scene that was sent in French. So, there was one French version and one English version, and you just send it off and hope that someone's going to appreciate it. And it did. And then I met Rolin [Jones, showrunner] for a first meeting, and then I watched, I'd actually binged through the past season that I found really, really interesting, and the quality of the story and everything around it. And to be honest with you, I was in awe of Jacob and Sam because they're just so exquisite and so full of life, and so I'd say sensitive on screen that it is quite impressive.

And then I went through another edition with producers and then when I had the green light, I was like, "Okay, good, let's start from the start." I read the book, I came until the second book, and it was really interesting how Anne Rice had written the part. I saw the movie as well, and I saw how much space that character had, a beautiful costume, astonishing costume. And what I found really, really interesting is that Rolin took this idea and changed it slightly, changed the details, so it's no longer a doll shop, it's, she's making clothes.

And it's quite telling as well because when both ladies meet, there's a sort of roughness about Madeleine that I find very interesting because it's not the first romantic comedy approach that you would imagine two women that are going to be more than friends and more than just acquaintances. And it's really, really interesting how Claudia is like, "I want this dress and I want it in this and that way," and for Madeleine it's like for the first time, maybe, in a long time, someone said, "I need your gift and you are special, because I need you to do this," and there's a sort of new dimension opening up to her.

Madeleine is such a complicated character in some respects that her story is so deeply tragic, because she's endured so much loss. And then there are the choices that she makes … then there's her fate and it makes it all so much more heartbreaking. And episode seven is very, very heavy in that regard. For you, what was it like filming this episode? And were there any moments that really stuck out as being particularly difficult or particularly powerful for you as an actor?

To be honest with you, being [hypnotized] was quite enjoyable because I could watch Ben and Sam act, and that was a real pure joy, and also interact with everyone because the only interaction that I had was with Delainey, which was amazing, but it's just really interesting to have all of their touches of color. And oh God, I remember shooting that and we were sat on that bench and Louis was torn away from us. And I remember the screams that I heard from Delainey, it still really is quite visceral and physical, but it was just the screams and it was so purely instinctive and animalistic that I didn't have to act anything.

And also, the ending, I think we tortured our dear colleagues quite a bit because the screaming of the fire burning us was quite intense. And at some point, I stopped yelling because I realized that one of my colleagues at the back was having a bit of a rough time, and so we just recorded everything vocally. But what was amazing is that every actor and everyone on set was so involved in this and no one was questioning how much emotion we were putting into this. And yeah, you meet extremely dedicated and talented people on that, that makes the show run. You don't really have to do anything. You don't really pretend anymore.

I'm somebody who's been a longtime fan of the novel, and the relationship between Madeleine and Claudia has always been something that has stuck with me, from even the book and then the movie and then now this, and this is even more of a haunting take on it because there's all this other additional layers that are sort of on the page, but now they come to life in a completely different way. For you, how did you approach playing Madeleine, and especially the bond she has with Claudia here?

To be honest with you, I had Delainey, I didn't have to do much. You just bounced off on each other. And it was great that we started off with a lot of banter and back and forth and it's kind of game of knowing, "Can I go that far? Is that okay for you? Do you respond to me? Are you scared of me? Do you still have your own values?" Because I think that's also very important between them. They're both very independent women. They're trying to figure themselves out. And they haven't really thought about happiness or love, in the most pure ways, and all of a sudden it kind of falls upon them and they're like, "Oh, this is my person."

And I love how Rolin also wrote for them to open up their diaries and to breach any sensible way of connecting in the sense that, okay, Claudia offers the diaries and you sink into someone's psyche. I don't know if I would be willing to open my diaries up to anyone. And there's this sort of notion that Claudia knows that she will not be hurt. And also, Madeleine offering her wrist, it's going to be physical hurt, but it's the connection. It's how close they can get.

What do you think makes that bond between Claudia and Madeleine so special? Because I keep coming back to the moment when, in the trial, Claudia gets up and is speaking to Lestat, and obviously things don't go well with that. She's controlled, it's painful. And Madeleine comes out of that hypnosis for just a moment and tries to get to go to her. And that clearly it takes such a huge feat of strength, but I think that really speaks multitudes to their bond. What do you think makes it so special between the two of those women?

They're outcasts, they're women that never found their place, that have been used, and you see it also so clearly when Claudia addresses both of her dads and is like, "It was never about me," and that is so utterly painful that she was made to fill a void and she became that void. And I think it's the same with Madeleine. She stumbled upon life, she lost a sister, she went through World War II, who knows what happened to her? We see bits and pieces. It's a very, very harsh life. There's nothing else to say. And when two swords meet and all that raw and that willing to open up, it's because it's the right time and the right moment. And this, I think it's fate somehow. There's this sort of beauty about it of finding your other one.

There's this moment that when Madeleine chooses Claudia and says, "My coven is Claudia." Do you think there was ever any other choice for Madeleine? Because we clearly see Claudia kind of being like, "Don't die," but she chooses her anyway.

Because you don't really have a choice in the end. When you meet us all, and it kind of fits, and it feels good, and you've been hurt and misled all your life, all of a sudden when you find something that is so rock steady, why would you avoid it? And I think that's also the reason why she wants to become a vampire, because this is a person, she doesn't want it to flow away, she wants to hold onto it and it to last eternity. And all of a sudden someone tells her, "Oh, would you rather live all your life with the lights on, but you'll die in a second, or you can live your entire life, but with the lights off?" There's no choice in between those two ultimatums. It's like, for her, I think it's Claudia, it's nothing. Screw that. She doesn't want to go back to anything that's less intense or less real or less pure or less full of love than that.

What was your favorite thing about playing Madeleine and what do you hope viewers see in this character and take with them?

I love the fearlessness that she has. I love them, the guts that she has of sticking to herself, even though every single person that she's known have told her that she's not worth it, and that's something extremely empowering. And it's also, I was remembering a moment when, in episode six I think, when she gets harassed and she just decides, that's it, that's over guys. She knows it's coming, but there's a sort of fearlessness that happens where she unplugs her iron and she throws it at them as though it would save her. And it's like, whatever, come for me because I am ready. I've seen worse. And that's something beautiful, and I think that's what I'm carrying with me leaving the role. It's this standing up for yourself, and at some point, someone's going to see you, really see you, and then you can open up.

Going back to episode six, and this has just been sticking in my head since I saw it, whose idea was it to eat the apple with the spoon? Because now I want to try that with an apple. I loved that.

Rolin. Rolin finds everything that is special. He really does. He stumbled upon this at some point and he was like, "How about you eat the apple like that?" And I was like, "How do I?" He was like, "Try it out." And I encourage everyone to try out eating an apple with a spoon, because I think what's interesting is that you find your own way of eating the apple.

New episodes of Interview With the Vampire air Sundays on AMC.