Mayfair Witches: Madison Wolfe Explains Tessa's Motivations (Exclusive)

While AMC's Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches is very much the story of Rowan (Alexandra Daddario), she's not the only important witch in the very complicated family. In last week's episode, "Transference", Rowan's young cousin, Tessa Mayfair becomes a major player when she becomes the designee after Rowan decides she wants to be free of Lasher (Jack Huston). For Tessa, taking up that role is less about the power and wealth that comes with the role and more about standing up for the family — and getting back Deirdre Mayfair's heart, which had been taken by a group of witch hunters. That episode ended with Tessa in danger for her efforts and now, actor Madison Wolfe explains to what motivated Tessa to go after the witch hunters and take on something so risky in the first place. For Wolfe, it all comes down to doing what's right.

"I think ultimately, Tessa wants to stand up for what she thinks is right and wants to protect her family at all costs," Wolfe said. "So, when she becomes the designee, she just takes that as kind of affirmation that she is powerful enough to do this, to go after what she wants and protect her family. And I think that she feels a real responsibility to do that because no one really listens to her at first."

She continued, "She asks for help. She tells people. She always brings it up in conversation, whether it be to her mom in front of the whole Mayfair clan, or she even goes so far as to go to Cip's apartment to find Rowan and have that sort of intimate heart to heart with her. And yeah, I think she just feels a real responsibility and knows that no one else will do it, so she has to be it."

As Tessa's story is unfolding in the present, in the past, Suzanne's story is also unfolding. "Transference" saw Ciprien (Tongayi Chirisa) witnessing Suzanne's origin story as well as that of the Mayfair family's connection to Lasher. Suzanne being persecuted by the witchfinder of her time is a story that runs parallel, in a sense, to Tessa's story in the present with the anti-witch group abducting her at the end of the episode. Wolfe said it's a deliberate parallel — even things don't appear to be going as well for Tessa as they did for Suzanne as Lasher doesn't immediately answer her call for help.

"I think that's obviously a super conscious parallel. It's a very prevalent theme of just women empowerment throughout the entire show and I think that Tessa is a huge part of this, right. Being such an activist for her family and being so outspoken and so brave and all of these things, it ultimately is really intimidating for the bad guys, for all the men that are after her," Wolfe said.

"And I think that it's really admirable of Tessa to be that activist for her family. And I think she has a really big place in it because she is so boisterous, and she is so opinionated, and she knows her stuff. She comes with her research prepped and ready to go, and unfortunately, it doesn't end too well for her. But there is a parallel there. And I think even looking at Rowan, it's a theme that we can see in her as well. Like finding her voice and finding that empowerment of her own power that she didn't even know she has, right. So yeah, it's a super, super prevalent theme and a super conscious parallel."

Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC and AMC+.