Interview with the Vampire Claudia Recast Explained: Why Did They Replace Bailey Bass?

By Jennifer McDonough Posted:
Interview With The Vampire Claudia Recast

Fans of AMC’s Interview with the Vampire might have found themselves wondering why the key role of Claudia (played by Bailey Bass) was recast with another actor.

Interview with the Vampire on AMC is considered by many to be a very faithful adaptation of Anne Rice’s classic 1976 novel The Vampire Chronicles. And unlike the Interview with the Vampire movie from 1994, the series leans further into the queer themes that were present in the source material.

Why Was Claudia’s Actress Replaced on Interview with the Vampire?

Claudia in Interview with the Vampire Season 2
Interview with the Vampire

When Interview with the Vampire debuted on AMC back in 2022, the role of teenage vampire Claudia was portrayed by Bailey Bass. However, in the recently premiered second season, Claudia’s actor has been changed to Delainey Hayles.

AMC released an official statement on the matter, which indicated that the recast occurred for "a variety of reasons:"

"Bailey Bass is a talented actor who did a remarkable job bringing the character of Claudia to life in Anne Rice’s ‘Interview With the Vampire.’ For a variety of reasons, Delainey Hayles will appear as Claudia in season two. We are grateful for Bailey’s unforgettable performance in season one and wish her nothing but the best.:

Bass also gave a statement, similarly citing "a variety of unforeseen circumstances" surrounding why she had to relinquish the part: 

"Due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances I’m unable to return to Anne Rice’s ‘Interview with the Vampire’ for the second season. Playing Claudia has been a dream role and an incredible ride. I wish Delainey the best of luck in taking over. I cannot wait to watch. I’m extremely appreciative of AMC, the producers, Jacob, Sam, the crew and, of course, the wonderful fans."

But why did the swap-out happen? What was the real reason behind those unforeseen circumstances? No concrete explanation has been offered but it most likely came down to scheduling conflicts.

Bailey Bass played Tsireya In 2022’s Avatar: The Way of Water, a role she is expected to reprise in its forthcoming sequel. Production on Avatar 3 likely coincided with the time that Bass would also need to be on set for Interview with a Vampire. Thus, Claudia was recast.

Delainey Hayles Is the New Claudia

For Interview with the Vampire Season 2, as well as any potential future seasons, Claudia’s character will be inhabited by Delainey Hayles.

Hayles spoke to TVLine about stepping into the shoes of Bailey Bass’ former role:

"I was so excited [to join the show], but I was also nervous, because I know that recasts are very hard."

The actress explained that the change-over was, in fact, "super easy," with the help of her co-stars. Hayles added that she constantly referenced Anne Rice’s books for details and inspiration on the character:

"They became like my Bible in a way. I kept going back to them so it was clear where I was picking up from."

At the Television Critics Association’s Winter 2024 press tour (via ScreenRant), Delainey Hayles reassured that Claudia would still be the same character going forward and perhaps "evolve" as well:  

"Claudia is still Claudia. She still has all the attributes that we know and love. She’s still bloodthirsty, and I think this season we see her evolve into an older version of herself. So I’m looking forward to people seeing that."

Interview with the Vampire executive producer Mark Johnson added that Hayle’s take on Claudia was "extraordinary:"

"For a variety of reasons, Bailey was not able to be with us… Yes, of course she’s the same Claudia, but she has matured and Delainey’s performance is just extraordinary, so our bad luck was our good luck."

The actress also spoke to The Wrap on how she rewatched Season 1 of the series "multiple, multiple millions of times," but drew the most reference from Rice’s books: 

"I pulled my Claudia from Anne Rice’s writing. I think the way she writes is incredible and extremely descriptive. I was able to get a clear vision of Claudia, and how I was going to play her."

She also went into detail regarding what Claudia will be like in Season 2, remarking on the newfound similarities between her and Jacob Anderson’s Louis:

"I understood that Claudia is older this season so I kind of wanted to bring that element to it…She’s got more life experience now. It’s been her and Louis for so long that you kind of absorb your surroundings, in a way. So I think she has a bit more Louis to her this season."

But according to Hayles, she was initially "starstruck" when she first began to share scenes with Jacobson.

"I first met Jacob in my audition. I was acting with him and everyone in the room kind of disappeared. And then I realized that’s what it should feel like. So yeah, I was kind of starstruck meeting Jacob, and then acting with him."

Interview with the Vampire‘s next episode will air on AMC on Sunday, May 19.

- About The Author: Jennifer McDonough
Jennifer McDonough has been a writer at The Direct since its 2020 launch. She is responsible for the creation of news articles and features. She also has a particular affinity for action figures and merchandise, which she revels in discussing in the articles she writes, when the situation calls for it.