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Assad Zaman Breaks Down that Shocking Twist in “The Thing Lay Still” (Exclusive)

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Heading into Sunday night’s season finale of AMC’s Interview With the Vampire, fans had some major questions. First, the penultimate episode of the series’ first season saw Claudia (Bailey Bass) determined to kill her maker, Lestat (Sam Reid) so that she and Louis (Jacob Anderson) could finally be free of his tyranny but exactly how she planned to carry out her murder had not been revealed. Second, the episode took viewers into Daniel’s (Eric Bogosian) memory of his first meeting with Louis in the 1970s and revealed that Rashid (Assad Zaman) had been present, calling into question exactly what Rashid actually is and what he has to do with, well, everything. Tonight’s finale, “The Thing Lay Still” revealed the answers to both those burning questions — and now Zaman is breaking down the shocking twist that may upend everything fans thought they knew.

Warning: spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Interview With the Vampire, “The Thing Lay Still” beyond this point.

After realizing, thanks to his dream, that Rashid was present the night that he met Louis back in the 1970s, Daniel is already on edge as he enters into the next session of interviews with Louis. Up to this point, Daniel had assumed that Rashid was human but it’s obvious that he’s questioning this. As the interview progresses and we get a very sanitized and tidy account of Lestat’s murder — complete with Claudia’s journal mysteriously missing several pages — Daniel finally has enough and pushes things. He challenges Louis’ honesty, and it prompts Rashid to reveal himself as not Rashid, but Armand, a 500-year-old vampire that Louis says is the “love of his life”.

It’s a reveal that some fans had guessed heading into the episode, and it’s been clear for a while that Rashid/Armand hasn’t been thrilled with Daniel, but Zaman said this moment was the right one for Armand to reveal himself because he was, ultimately, fed up.

“I think there’s only so much kind of negative or animosity that Rashid can endure from the wayside, watching Daniel kind of scrutinize his story and undermine him in lots of different ways,” Zaman told ComicBook.com. “However Armand feels about the story, feels about Louis’s relationship with Lestat, we know that he deeply loves Louis and he’s not going to stand for anyone putting Louis in any sort of pain in any sort of… Yeah. And that kind of leads him to step in and finally say, ‘Look, this isn’t going to work, and I have to stop this.'”

As for how the reveal impacted him as an actor, Zaman explained that he wasn’t initially aware that he was playing Armand, a character that is so beloved by the Anne Rice fandom — and once he realized, he was terrified.

“I was very terrified. I was very scared. I didn’t know. I didn’t know in my first couple of auditions who I was actually auditioning for, and I found out halfway through the process,” Zaman said. “So, I kind of understood where the audience might be when that reveal came up, because it was like, I was singing a zoom like this with Rolin when halfway through the audition process, going into the next bit of audition, but he was like, ‘Look, I want to have a little chat with you about Rashid.’ And in my head, I’m thinking, ‘Why does he want to… He’s got bigger characters to worry about. Why does he want to have a chat with me about Rashid?’ And then he sits, and he tells me about who Rashid is, and I’m sitting here clenching my seat going, ‘Just don’t lose your cool. Don’t lose your cool.’ So yeah. I’m under no illusion that this is a big undertaking and it’s going to be tough.”

Episodes of Interview With the Vampire are now streaming on AMC+. The series has already been renewed for a second season.

What did you think about the Armand reveal? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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