Interview with the Vampire’s Eric Bogosian on How His Role “Follows His Own Life Arc”
“There’s a kind of a risk in putting it all out there when you work as an actor. And I think older actors start to learn, maybe don’t go all the way. These guys went all the way and it was inspirational to be around.” – Eric Bogosian
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice’s iconic novel, has premiered on AMC and it’s done so well, that the network has already renewed it for another season. Like the book, the story follows the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) as he tells journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) about his relationship to the vampire Lestat du Lioncourt (Sam Reid) and teenage vampire Claudia (Bailey Bass).
Bogosian and the cast, including showrunner and series creator Rolin Jones, were at this summer’s Comic-Con in San Diego where they held interviews to talk about the new series. Here, Bogosian talks about being part of the ensemble and how the role follows his own “life arc.”
You’ve been part of a lot of ensembles. With that, how was the feel working together and how do you think that translated on screen?
Eric Bogosian: Well, I mean most of my scenes, all of my scenes are with Jacob. I’m the interviewer and he’s the vampire that I’m interviewing. And that was awesome. One of the reasons why I did this show was because of Jacob. I was a big admirer of his work and I felt like he’s gonna bring it and he did. And then when we were doing scenes together, it was really copacetic.
But there was that overall thing going on… everybody on this, I’m talking crew and everything, that I really loved. Everybody on the show was excellent at what they did and really nice to work with. And you don’t always get that, but it makes life really nice.
Now, as a witness to what was going on, watching the way [the cast]interact was amazing. They had a chemistry that I’ve never seen before. And it continues even as we’ve been here for Comic-Con. It’s wonderful to watch. And I won’t get into it too much, I don’t want to characterize what goes on between them, but there was a great feeling on our set.
The whole Anne Rice universe we live in is a universe of tremendous emotion. And these guys brought it. There’s a kind of a risk in putting it all out there when you work as an actor. And I think older actors start to learn, maybe don’t go all the way. These guys went all the way and it was inspirational to be around. It’s great.
What sort of conversations went into embodying Daniel Molloy from being the guy in the book to where we are now? Why does he want to revisit this vampire, to revisit these tapes and interview him forty years later in his career.
Eric Bogosian: The first step for me in becoming Daniel Molloy was looking in the mirror because I’m… My life arc is very similar to this character’s. I had a fairly rough and tumble time when I was in my late 20s, 30s, and then ended up in a very nice place by the time I was in my 40s. And it was pretty cool. And now I’m in my 60s and it’s like, “Oh, the glory days were back there. It’s not happening anymore.” You take that and you transpose that onto Daniel Molloy, and he’s the boy in the book who’s very ambitious, and in our version, a little… He’s got some habits that are not the best habits, but at any rate he’s searching, and he finds this vampire thing and it becomes this huge event in his life.
Now, flash forward, he’s actually been a very successful writer. He’s a really good journalist. He gets the story and he’s actually won a couple of Pulitzer’s. So, he’s a badass journalist. And this is something where I’m really not like this character. And where we prep this guy, this guy is willing to risk it all to get the story. And when this story lands on his doorstep again to interview the vampire, he’s like, “This is dangerous, but this might be it. This might be my last chance at glory and getting it.”
So, it’s kinda scary for him because actually getting in a room with a vampire is not the healthiest thing in the world. And yet, he’s not gonna let this one go. This is his White Whale. He’s gonna go get it and it’s dangerous and he’s good at what he does, he’s really good at what he does.
So that creates a whole dramatic line through which you’ll end up seeing when you see it, of a kind of a wrestling match between Daniel and Louis as far as where’s the truth and what’s the real story and what really happened and how did we get to where we are right now? For me as an actor, there’s a lot going on.
There’s danger, there’s passion, there’s fear, and ultimately… I mean, I gotta say that when you’re in your 60s, you start thinking about that dirt bath that’s in your future. And here, you’ve got vampirism right in front of you, which is immortality. And it’s just dangling there all the time. It means something different in your 60s. What if I didn’t have to die someday? And what if I can just… Be here forever? Which is really, it’s… Nobody gets out of here alive, and these guys live forever.