Viewers Speculate the Real Reason Bailey Bass Was Replaced as Claudia in 'Interview with the Vampire'

‘Interview with the Vampire’ Season 2 starts with a major twist: Claudia has been recast! Why did Bailey leave the show?

Jamie Lerner - Author

May 14 2024, Published 11:05 a.m. ET

Delainey Hayles / Bailey Bass in 'Interview with the Vampire'
Source: AMC

Delainey Hayles as Claudia (L) Bailey Bass as Claudia (R)

It’s not common for actors to be replaced on network series. While Broadway shows and soap operas often replace actors throughout their runs due to demanding schedules and years-long commitments, network television would sooner kill off a character than replace the actor who portrays them. But in AMC’s Interview with the Vampire, they had no choice but to replace Bailey Bass’s Claudia.

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Because Interview with the Vampire is based on Anne Rice’s 1976 novel of the same name, the writers and producers have less freedom to kill off characters at their discretion. So when Bailey had to leave, she was replaced with another young actor, Delainey Hayles. “The role of Claudia will now be played by Delainey Hayles,” stated the title card for the Season 2 premiere. So what happened to Bailey and why did they change Claudia?

Delainey Hayles as Claudia in 'Interview with the Vampire' Season 2, Episode 4
Source: AMC
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They changed Claudia in ‘Interview with the Vampire’ for a “variety of reasons” and “unforeseen circumstances.”

Unfortunately, AMC and Bailey haven't given details on why she left. In the initial Deadline recasting announcement in March 2023, the network explained in a statement: “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 2. We are grateful for Bailey’s unforgettable performance in Season 1 and wish her nothing but the best.”

In her own separate statement on Instagram, Bailey added, “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.”

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Many have suspected that a last-minute schedule change came up with the Avatar films, which are set for third and fourth sequels in 2025 and 2029, respectively. Bailey originated the role of Tsireya in Avatar: The Way of Water and has continued her contract with the James Cameron franchise. Naturally, the blockbuster film income and prestige must take priority over the small AMC series, no matter how much we all may love Interview with the Vampire.

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‘Interview with the Vampire’ fans have suspicions about the real reason Claudia was recast.

Redditors, on the other hand, have some suspicions of behind-the-scenes drama since a reason for Bailey’s exit was never confirmed. One person who follows Bailey’s Instagram recognized that she was attending fashion shows and going on road trips with her mother while the Interview with the Vampire cast was filming Season 2 in Prague, so her exit may not have been related to her role in Avatar at all.

Delainey Hayles as Claudia in 'Interview with the Vampire' Season 2, Episode 6
Source: AMC
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“I personally think it was either Bailey demanding more money (look at the ridiculous prices on her jewelry line) or her mother didn’t want her filming the dark gruesome stuff coming for Claudia this season,” they suggested. Another added, “I did hear a rumor that she was not as pleasant as she seems behind the scenes onset. It’s possible, but I find this incredibly hard to believe, judging from the interaction between the actors in interviews.”

However, it’s best not to speculate, as one user noted “you’re just stirring s--t up and inventing gossip” by doing so. And Delainey is keen to take on the role but also very respectful regarding the situation at hand. “I was so excited [to join the show], but I was also nervous because I know that recasts are very hard,” she told TV Line.

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Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Delainey Hayles as Claudia - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 1
Source: AMC

"I thought Bailey was amazing," she added in an interview with EW. "She was one of my favorite characters in it, and I felt very privileged to play Claudia, but also I understood the job that I had to do, and the coven family that I've joined." After a four-year time jump and other changes within the series, we’re eager to see Delainey’s interpretation of the character.

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