Who Is the Muslim Vampire Rashid in “Interview With the Vampire” Season 2?

One of the show’s most significant changes also serves as a cliffhanger for Season 2 — the introduction of the enigmatic Rashid, a character who is seemingly new to the show but has unexpectedly deep ties to the novel.

Who Is the Muslim Vampire Rashid in “Interview With the Vampire” Season 2?
British Muslim actor Assad Zaman plays the enigmatic Rashid, a devout Muslim who appears human but is revealed to be 500 years older than expected in a twist late in the show's first season.

After a two year hiatus, AMC's adaptation of Anne Rice's “Interview with the Vampire” (2022–) is finally gearing up to launch its second season in early 2024. The newest reimagining of Rice’s iconic novel follows journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) and his travels to Dubai to interview vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson), who recounts to Daniel his life story and tumultuous relationship with his maker and lover, Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid).

Previously, the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes of 2023 halted production on the show’s second season. Filming resumed in October 2023 following the conclusion of the WGA strike.

The series has gained widespread acclaim for its rich storytelling and exploration of the queer elements of Rice's work, which are reduced to subtext in the novel’s 1994 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.

Like many adaptations, “Interview with the Vampire” isn’t a one-for-one adaptation of the first novel. For example, Louis in the novel is the son of a plantation owner in the 18th century; in the 2022 series, he becomes a Black man born in the 20th century who runs a brothel. The series has also updated its modern day frame story from 1990s New Orleans to present day Dubai.

One of the show’s most major changes also serves as a cliffhanger for Season 2 — the introduction of the enigmatic Rashid, a character who is seemingly new to the show but turns out to have unexpected ties to the novel.

Rashid, portrayed by Muslim actor Assad Zaman, initially appears as a side character and a dutiful servant to Louis. Rashid is presumed to be human and has an admiration for Louis that borders on fanatical. It's not until the climactic final episode Rashid's true identity is revealed as none other than the formidable vampire Armand, a popular established character in Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles series.

In Rice's original novels, Armand is depicted as a young adolescent boy and one of the eldest vampires in the novels, bitten centuries before any of the other characters and holding power over them accordingly. Armand is significant to the plot as the coven leader of the Theatres des Vampires and the way he plays a role in the death of Claudia (Bailey Bass), a 14-year-old vampire who is a sort of surrogate daughter to Louis and Lestat. Long after Louis and Armand part ways, he eventually turns Daniel into a vampire in the third book of Rice's series, “Queen of the Damned.”

However, AMC's 2022 adaptation introduces a bold reinterpretation of Armand, both in terms of his characterization and backstory. First and foremost, Armand as Rashid is now a devout Muslim who prays on-screen. Armand also serves as a companion to Louis in ways that challenge traditional vampire archetypes, as he is able to go out in the sun and allows Louis to feed on his blood. Notably, Daniel is a human in the show (at least for now), with Armand saving his life during the show’s first interview, suggesting a change from the book’s plot line.

The decision to reimagine Armand's character reflects the creative liberties taken by the show's creators, who aim to breathe new life into Rice's beloved saga while staying true to its thematic core. As audiences eagerly await the arrival of Season 2, questions abound regarding Armand's origins, his connections to other key characters and the implications of his newfound presence in the narrative. Whatever happens, one thing seems clear — Armand is certain to take a stronger role in the upcoming season.

The second season of “Interview with the Vampire” is set to premiere on AMC on May 12, 2024.

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