Mayfair Witches is just getting started. A whole new world is opening up for Dr. Rowan Fielding, and both Cortland Mayfair and Ciprien Grieve are in her orbit. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Harry Hamlin and Tongayi Chirisa about joining Anne Rice’s universe.
“In the case of Cortland Mayfair, who is kind of the crazy uncle in this whole picture, when I first read it I saw something on the page that I thought if they’ll let me expand on this, if they’ll let me out of my cage, this could be a really interesting character to play,” Harry told HollywoodLife at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “And sure enough, I started doing some stuff and they said, ‘Oh, go for it.’ I’m getting to play probably the most fun character I’ve played since my very first film, which was called Movie Movie in 1977.”
For Tongayi, he’s always found the fantasy genre “compelling” and one where he gets to play with other genres within it. “I remember watching Interview with the Vampire with Tom Cruise. I didn’t know who she was, but that movie was forever entrenched in my mind. Just to be a part of that in the new cycle of books and this new world that they created it’s a dream come true.”
The first episode of Mayfair Witches made history as the #1 new series premiere in the history of AMC+. The show is only ramping up the volume in terms of drama. “After episode 5, things begin to explode,” Harry teased. “You begin to find out who all these people really are, what their underlying agenda is, and then who knows what will happen in a second season but I’m sure you’re aware that what Esta Spalding has done here is open up these stories and to amalgamate some of the characters and to create new situations that are not necessarily in the book, but using the same characters, the same ethos, the same music if you will… it gives us a lot of opportunity to do a lot more stuff over the years, God willing.”
Rowan has started to realize that she is more powerful than she ever thought possible. She’s not just a witch, she’s the thirteenth witch. Her appearance in the lives of the Mayfair witches will cause quite a stir. “Cortland is tasked with herding these casts, keeping all these Mayfair witches in line. I’ll do whatever I have to do to make sure things work out right no matter what it is. You’ll find that out after episode 5,” Harry revealed.
As for Tongayi, things get a little personal for Cip. “In the books, every time a Talamascan agent falls for one of these Mayfair women, something happens to them. Something may or may not happen to Cip because of his involvement with Rowan,” Tongayi teased. “He’s tasked with protecting her and helping her navigate this newfound power because this is our profession, this is what we’re good at.”
He continued, “She’s stepping into a world where she’s coming from the science, and now she’s having to reconcile magic and the spiritual world and what that looks like and how it impacts her. I’m there to gently navigate her through this, but through that, we found some common ground of emotional, romantic experiences and how much that conflates the work that I’m tasked to do. You find that it’s a little bit of conflict for him where he knows what he needs to do but morally he’s feeling something else. That journey within himself and how that plays out with Rowan is something I’m excited for people to see.”
When it comes to Lasher, the powerful entity looming around the Mayfair witches, he’s having a bit of an identity crisis. “He’s always seen as the one that really cares. He’s also trying to figure out who he is in this world and interacting, but I think he does a great job of portraying this sinister being,” Tongayi said. “At the same time, he’s charming and endearing.”
Harry added, “I think he’s trying to find out who he is, too. I think he doesn’t know who he is, and he needs Rowan’s help to figure out how he fits into the whole picture.” New episodes of Mayfair Witches air on AMC at 9 p.m. each Sunday and are available three days early on AMC+.