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SYFY WIRE The Lives of the Mayfair Witches

'Mayfair Witches': Alexandra Daddario talks real-life witch consultants, adapting Anne Rice at NYCC 2022

The other Anne Rice series coming to AMC got the spotlight at NYCC 2022.

Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches S1

By Tyler McCarthy

The executive producers and cast of the upcoming AMC+ series Mayfair Witches were on hand at New York Comic Con this week to discuss the process of adapting Anne Rice’s famous books as well as the surprising movie that influenced their process. 
The show, which officially hits AMC+ on January 5, 2023, is an adaptation of the Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy, which first came out in 1990. The TV series stars Alexandra Daddario as protagonist Rowan Fielding, who learns not only that she has supernatural powers, but that she’s inherited quite the family legacy as well. Joining her are Jack Huston as Lasher, Tongayi Chirisa as Ciprien and Harry Hamlin as Cortland Mayfair, all of whom appeared on the main stage of New York Comic Con Thursday to debut the first trailer for the show and discuss their characters. 

Check out the trailer below:

The trailer reveals Daddario’s character will have to interact with a lot of supernatural beings, specifically Huston’s Lasher, whose dark magic is helped through the regular magic of CGI. When asked if that posed a difficulty for her, the actress noted that she booked the Percy Jackson movie very early in her career. So, acting against something that’s not there is something she previously had a “crash course” in. 
 “I’m able to handle it without getting in my head,” she explained. 

That’s when her co-star, Hamlin, chimed in to note she’s not the only one who got a crash course in acting against monsters that aren't there in Greek mythological storytelling. He slyly said Percy Jackson is based on Perseus, a character he famously played in the 1981 film Clash of the Titans.
“We didn’t have CGI, we had stop-motion animation,” he joked. “So, I have some experience in that area.” 
All joking aside, the cast unanimously agreed that the best way to prepare themselves for Mayfair Witches was simply to familiarize themselves with Anne Rice’s work. For Daddario, that meant carrying around a copy of at least one of the books at all times: “1,000 pages, you’ve got to get through it!” she said. 

However, the preparation didn’t end there. When asked about the influence that adapting a Rice story had on everyone’s process, the actress explained she did a deep dive into not just the work of Rice, but her life story as well. She said knowing the characters as well as what inspired them manifested itself on set in many unforeseen ways.  
“You can always bring that in when you least expect it,” she said. 
It also helped to have had real-life practicing Wiccans consulting on the set, she revealed. The actress explained she learned quite a bit about the religion, which she described as being “rooted in goodness and love,” but stopped short of saying too much more for fear she didn’t learn quite enough to be speaking so publicly about it. 
As for the end result of all this hard work, Daddario and the rest of the cast explained that adapting a work by Rice is a unique challenge for any star. However, they all found that the characters and stories, despite being about witches, vampires and other supernatural beings, are deeply rooted in relatable themes of humanity. 

Fortunately for fans of Rice’s work, executive producer Mark Johnson teased that other characters from the author’s work may pop up here and there as the network pushes forward with Mayfair Witches and Interview with a Vampire adaptations.

Looking for more vampire and witchy action? Check out SYFY's Reginald the Vampire, which airs Wednesday nights on SYFY alongside new episodes of Chucky.