“Interview With the Vampire”'s Sam Reid breaks down that 'brutal, heartbreaking' death (exclusive)

"It's all messy and chaotic," Reid says of season 2, episode 7's fatal trial.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Interview With the Vampire season 2, episode 7, "I Could Not Prevent It."

The moment Interview With the Vampire fans have been dreading for two seasons finally arrived. And just as it happens in Anne Rice's book and the 1994 film adaptation, poor, cursed Claudia (Delainey Hayles) met her tragic end.

Sunday's episode, "I Could Not Prevent It," followed in painstaking detail all the ways in which Claudia, her companion Madeleine (Roxane Duran), and Louis (Jacob Anderson) were tortured and punished by Armand's (Assad Zaman) coven for breaking their ancient vampire code of conduct.

With Lestat's (Sam Reid) incriminating — and extremely biased — testimony during their trial disguised as a play, they were all found guilty. Louis remembered Armand using his powers to save him from death and be "banished" instead, so the coven trapped Louis in a coffin to starve for the rest of eternity. But Armand claimed he could not prevent Claudia's death, as she and Madeleine were exposed to the sun. Claudia sang as she burned to death, holding Madeleine in her arms, while Lestat watched her die with tears in his eyes.

<p>Larry Horricks/AMC</p> "Interview with the Vampire" stars Ben Daniels and Sam Reid

Larry Horricks/AMC

"Interview with the Vampire" stars Ben Daniels and Sam Reid

Related: Interview With the Vampire stars dissect episode 6's tragic betrayal (exclusive)

When Reid first read the script for episode 7, he had "a lot of questions."

"There's a lot of layers in it, and there's a lot of things that I needed to understand," Reid tells Entertainment Weekly. "I usually have a lot of questions, but that episode, particularly, I had a lot of questions. How is this happening? How did we get ourselves into this situation? The trial is a very complex bit of writing because it's written as a play, directed, rehearsed, and then there are certain points when Lestat starts going off book."

Lestat begins the trial recounting all the events of season 1, except it's very different from how Louis told the story. But halfway through, Lestat stops following Santiago's (Ben Daniels) script and, overcome with guilt, tearfully apologizes to Louis for hurting him.

"He's coming out for revenge and then he changes his mind," Reid says. "That's the framework of the way that the story is told by Louis and Armand. But they also don't know that he changes his mind. So there's a lot of layers. This is complex. And then there's some points which really feel like it's a dream, when it's in reverse and you see the scene silhouetted, then there's a big sweeping, dramatic kind of camera moves that go into his face, which I think is very clearly not true, where it's a very clear dream-like hyper-, hyper-, hyper-simplification of what happened at that trial."

He laughs before adding, "There's a lot of complexity in our vampire show."

Playing multiple different versions of Lestat depending on who is telling the story made season 2 even more of a challenge for Reid, who explains that there's more going on behind-the-scenes to influence his portrayal in every single scene, especially during the trial.

<p>Larry Horricks/AMC</p> "Interview with the Vampire" season 2, episode 7's trial

Larry Horricks/AMC

"Interview with the Vampire" season 2, episode 7's trial

Related: Interview With the Vampire stars break down the truth of what happened in San Francisco (exclusive)

"It's one thing to say, 'I'm always going to play this character's point of view,'" Reid says. "But that can be confusing for an audience. So sometimes I've got to show some part of how it really went, so that when you see that, you think, 'Why did he do it like that?' Or, 'Why is he speaking in that way?' So that it does feel justified when you fully understand what happened. Why might he be looking like he's going to fall over, or why does he look like he's struggling here when he shouldn't be?"

Reid continues, "He's trying to get the audience eating out of his hand so he can manipulate them. He needs to be constantly going out, touching them, being near them, getting them to laugh, getting them to be totally eating out of his hand. But it's very hard to do that when you've got Louis there, you've got Claudia there. It is very hard to control because he's just like a ball of emotion. He's a tempest of his feelings. He's not very good at controlling himself. He's also not a planner; he just kind of feels it out and wings it. So it's all messy and chaotic. And this is the last place he wants to be. It's a lot of bad feelings, a lot of bad history, a lot bad blood there."

Revisiting every major moment from season 1 through Lestat's testimony meant filming different versions of a lot of season 1 scenes again.

"It was really fun for Jacob and I to come back to these old sets that we hadn't been in for a while," Reid says. "And it was really fun, but extreme and intense to revisit these things where you're like, 'Oh my God, this is how it went?' It's shocking. I remember when we were shooting the episode 5 fight rehash, there was a point where Jacob and I looked at each other and we're like, 'What is going on? This show is crazy.' And I don't really know how people are going to react to that."

But whether Lestat's testimony is closer to the actual truth of events than Louis' recounting of them is still the question, and Reid loves how every scene and moment can be interpreted in many different ways.

"It does feel like that when you're in it," Reid says. "I know what it is, and I know the truth of the whole arc, and I do know the timeline or as much as has been plotted out, which is quite extensive. But you can't always play that and you can't show it; otherwise, it'd be confusing. It's very fun though."

When it was time to film Lestat's emotional breakdown where he goes off-script and apologizes to Louis, Reid felt a lot of pressure to get that scene right because of what it means on a deeper level for his character.

<p>Larry Horricks/AMC</p> Jordan Unachukwu, Jacob Anderson, and Jake Cecil in "Interview with the Vampire"

Larry Horricks/AMC

Jordan Unachukwu, Jacob Anderson, and Jake Cecil in "Interview with the Vampire"

Related: Interview With the Vampire stars break down episode 4's 'tipping point' of the season (exclusive)

"I think it's important to acknowledge that Lestat probably did something that he'll never fully get over," Reid says. "It was important for me to know, to learn something that I thought was the truth, and it was good to see it, that this act of violence towards Louis wasn't necessarily something that was commonplace to him. It was incredibly upsetting and he hates himself for it, but also that he feels like he deserved everything that happened to him and continues to deserve everything that happens to him. In that moment when he apologizes to Louis, it's so shocking because I don't think he thinks it's going to be over after that apology. He realizes Louis is never going to forgive him."

But it all leads to one of the most pivotal moments of the entire show: the final verdict and fate of Claudia. Reid reveals it took three days to film Claudia's death by sun, and it was a painstaking shoot for Hayles because it was mostly practical.

"It was a progression of makeup on Delainey," Reid says. "It was extraordinary makeup by Tami Lane, who's the head of special effects makeup on the show. But it was pretty brutal, I've got to say. It's heartbreaking because Lestat and Claudia, they had so much potential to be just the most beautiful kind of pairing. They're so similar, and I think it's so heartbreaking that it just never happened. He's never going to get over it."

Reid does have an idea for how Hayles can continue to appear on the show for future seasons if they get renewed: "Dream-dia" — a hallucination Lestat sees in the same vein of Louis seeing "Dream-stat" this season.

"I really hope, should we continue, that she haunts him, because I just love Delainey so much," Reid says.

The season 2 finale of Interview With the Vampire airs Sunday, June 29 on AMC.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.