Interview With the Vampire Stars on How Anne Rice's Books Influenced Their Work With the AMC Series

Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire debuted last week on AMC and AMC+, bringing to life on the small screen a fresh adaptation of the late writer's beloved and iconic novel of the same name. With the series story — specifically Louis de Pointe du Lac's memories — starting in turn of the 20th century New Orleans, the series marks a bit of a departure from Rice's novel, but for the stars of the series, even with the story inhabiting a new place in time among other shifts in details, it was Rice's books that informed their character development and work on the series.

"All of us did a lot of research," Bailey Bass, who plays child vampire Claudia, told "We worked really, really hard. We read the books, and I remember looking back at the books while we were filming as well. I would bring the book, the fully notated one I would bring to set. I would bring my binder with all the sides and all my notes to set. And because we were so dedicated to these characters, we genuinely loved playing them. We felt like it was such an honor to be in this world. It was effortless because we did all the work ahead of time that when we stepped onto set, we just lived in this world and in these characters. And it was so real."

For Sam Reid, who plays Lestat de Lioncourt, he returned to the books anytime he needed to decide how to approach a particular scene.

"A big thing of it for me was every time I was sort of confused about how I'd approach a scene, I would just go back to the books and look for similar scenes or look for references or something that you can draw on," Reid told "But yeah, I guess I've been reading for a long time as well, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to be able to fulfill my idea of what he was like, which can be a bit stressful at times because you really want to do him justice."

It's an approach that seems to have worked. Bass explained that there were even times when Reid got so into character, he was genuinely scary.

"There was a moment where I was doing a scene with Sam and he scared the crap out of me, so much so that the director, he comes to me and he's like, 'Bailey, you need to be strong. You need to be strong. You are not scared of him,'" Bass said. "And then in my head I'm like, 'Bailey was terrified, but I'm going to go back in and I'm going to be strong Claudia,' because it gets so real."

Interview With the Vampire airs Sundays at 10/9c on AMC and AMC+.