Mayfair Witches Showrunners discuss the “tough choices” they made adapting Anne Rice’s book

It’s never been a secret that AMC’s The Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice would be a bit different from the late author’s iconic novel, The ghost hour. After all, the novel is nearly 1,000 pages long and spans centuries as it charts the lives of the women of the Mayfair family. But now that the series is halfway through its first season — a second season of the series was announced last week — some of those changes have come into sharper focus, and series showrunners Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford explain some of the more difficult changes they’ve made. . and why.

“We got eight episodes for a 1,000-page book,” Spalding said Weekly entertainment. “It’s an absolute plethora of deliciousness and we had to make tough choices.”

One of the major changes that fans of the book knew about when they moved into the series was the introduction of Ciprien Grieve, the character played by Tongayi Chirisa. The character is sort of a combination of two characters from the novel, Talamasca agent Aaron Lightner and Rowan’s love interest Michael Curry. For the showrunners, the pairing was about making sure Rowan had agency as her own character.

“In a story there are eight [episodes] where you need to streamline, we really wanted Rowan to have freedom of choice,” Spalding said. “And we debated long and hard whether we should call the character Michael because the character had so many Michael Curry attributes.”

“And of course we didn’t want to call him Aaron,” Ashford added. “So it seemed in a weird way that the most respectful way to proceed was to combine them and make him his own original character.”

The series also sees some other changes, some of which include the physical appearance of Rowan, played by Alexandra Daddario in the series, who is blonde in the book. But one of the bigger ones is a shift in terms of the family relationship between Cortland Mayfair (Harry Hamlin) and Carlotta Mayfair (Beth Grant). In the book, the two characters are a generation apart, but in the series, the pair are siblings — and for Ashford and Spalding, that kind of dynamic made the most sense.

“You say sibling and immediately the audience has a visceral response, like oh, I know what that’s like,” Ashford said. “The idea that Anne created this family that was so complicated and so far-reaching, reaching, twisted and a little bit incestuous in so many ways, it’s our job to make sure the thing has as much dramatic weight as possible.”

“And the primary relationship that exists between siblings, the rivalry, jealousy, and so on. We’re trying to find ways to make these connections between characters,” Spalding said.

What’s The Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice about?

The series is based on the trilogy of novels by Anne Rice, Lives of the Mayfair Witches. The series synopsis is as follows: “Based on Anne Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches, Mayfair Witches is an exploration of female power and the deadly implications of our decisions. Mayfair Witches focuses on an intuitive young neurosurgeon (Alexandra Daddario) who discovers she is the unlikely heiress of a family of witches. As she struggles with her newfound powers, she must confront a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations.”

The Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice airs Sundays at 9:00 PM ET on AMC and AMC+.

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