‘Mayfair Witches’: Jack Huston Talks Show vs. Book Lasher in Season 1 Finale

Jack Huston and Alexandra Daddario in 'Mayfair Witches'
Spoiler Alert
Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for the Mayfair Witches Season 1 Episode 8 finale, “What Rough Beast.”]

The Mayfair Witches finale brought one of The Witching Hour‘s most famous moments to the screen when Alexandra Daddario‘s Dr. Rowan Fielding gave birth to baby Lasher. Confused? So are we. But that’s the intention. The questions about baby Lasher’s parentage/general existence — is he Jack Huston‘s character “reborn?” Is he Lasher’s son? Ciprien’s (Tongayi Chirisa) son? — won’t be answered until Season 2. But TV Insider chatted with Huston to get his behind-the-scenes knowledge of the Mayfair Witches Season 1 finale on AMC.

The finale clarified that Lasher, Cortland Mayfair (Harry Hamlin), the Talamasca, and generations of New Orleanian conspirators knew the Mayfair family’s prophecy and, in people like Cortland’s case, were pulling the strings to make the prophecy come to pass as soon as possible. The prophecy stated that the 13th Mayfair witch (Rowan) would be the doorway into bringing Lasher out of his demonic, spiritual realm and into the human one. Once the baby was born, Rowan could choose whether she wanted all the power being offered as a reward.

Ultimately, Rowan accepted the power, taking the baby (growing by the minute) under her wing. This was Lasher’s main goal all season long, but Huston says the spirit’s feelings for each Mayfair witch existed outside his plans for breaking into the human realm.

“He loved every witch he was attached to,” Huston told TV Insider in an Episode 5 interview. “And yes, he has an ultimate goal, but as much as he manipulates them, they need him, and he needs them. So it’s this co-dependent relationship.”

For the finale, Huston says everything that happened had to be Rowan’s choice — his and Daddario’s acting choices were propelled by this framing.

“She’s the one who kisses me. She’s the one who takes my hand. She’s the one who undos my shirt. We didn’t want it to be something from Lasher,” he explains. “We wanted it to be entirely from [Rowan]. It is her choice. It was her decision. Obviously, it’s a scene of seduction, but we never wanted to go through that usual rigmarole of the man being the guy who sort of pounces on the woman, especially because of what happens after it as well. I think it was very important for us that it didn’t look in any way pushy or aggressive or anything like that.”

“That’s sort of a narrative that runs through the entire season,” Huston continues, “which is I’m saying to her, ‘It’s always your choice. It will always be your choice. It’s just how you choose to use me,’ in essence. Yeah, it’s manipulative. Yeah, there’s obviously undertones in what he’s trying to accomplish [that’s] something very different, but I think we were always very conscious of that. We didn’t want it to be a male-oriented show, pushy, sort of horrific thing that we’ve seen a million times before.”

Alexandra Daddario and Tongayi Chirisa in 'Mayfair Witches'

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Rowan had to choose Lasher before she could learn all of the information he withheld because (as showrunner Esta Spalding described to us above) the choice wasn’t between Lasher and Sip, but rather what kind of power Rowan wanted to wield.

“She had to accept and own [the power] in essence for her to really understand it,” Huston explains. “So I don’t think he would proffer it up to her too willingly without seeing her completely relent and relinquish all of” her preconceived notions. “They had to go on that journey. She had to fully accept and choose Lasher and say,’OK, right. I want to know. I want the knowledge.”

To that end, Huston says Season 1 was “a show of discovery,” even for the actors.

“We got the last episode, Episode 8, pretty close to when we shot it — I’d say about week before we shot it. So we were all guessing a little bit, too, about what was happening. But I thought that was kind of [a great thing] about it, how it unfolded. It was a show of discovery … So it gave the finale that wonderful moment of answering everything that we’ve been asking ourselves.”

The big question: is Huston’s Lasher now a baby? Will he be in Season 2 as we saw him in Season 1? Huston says, “I’ll have to wait and see. Your guess is as good as mine!” But he’s “really excited about the prospect of playing [him] in the future.”

Jack Huston and Alexandra Daddario in 'Mayfair Witches'

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Taking Lasher from the Anne Rice page to the screen was another discovery experience for the actor, one the showrunner was always game to join him on.

“Esta was always very collaborative and wanting to talk about Lasher and discover how we put him on screen,” he shares, “because how he reads in the book is very different. We have to take certain artistic licenses to turn him into a person. And when I say a person, I don’t mean flesh and blood, I mean like a character that we actually see on screen.”

“We always tried to make him, rather than this rather hard, heavy, sort of scary [being], we wanted — I don’t want to say sexy, but we wanted to keep him soft, a bit more intimate,” the star says. “You wanted [his appeal] to be shown to them rather than forced upon them, if that makes sense.”

“You don’t seem [to] be the aggressor, really,” he continues. “That was the whole point. Suddenly then, it becomes a very different show. I keep saying it always had to be Alex’s choice, always had to be Rowan’s choice. She’s the one who lets him in. She’s the one who then says, ‘Kill them, kill him, get him,’ or she’s the one who touches me. She’s the one who kisses me. It had to be from her. It couldn’t be him as the aggressor ever.”

That choice was made to starkly contrast men like Cortland, who went to detestable lengths to get what he wanted out of the Mayfair women. But as the finale revealed, Lasher promised Cortland immortality in exchange for helping fulfill this prophecy. What Rowan does with this information is Season 2’s task.

Mayfair Witches, Season 1 Streaming Now, AMC+