Blood Lust

Article by Claire Sutherland
Published in the Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia)
This article is courtesy of Debs QOTD Cast Site, Thank you!!

He might have come to know St Albans and Werribee more intimately than your average film star, but Stuart Townsend also is a fan of some of Melbourne's more obvious hot spots.

The Star of IWTV sequel Queen of the Damned lived in Melbourne for four months during the shoot, which took place largely at a converted biscuit factory in St Albans as well as a disused quarry outside Werribee.

Along the way Townsend became a fixture at Revolver, and the scourge of his neighbors. "I lived in St Kilda, that was my 'hood," the Irish native says, "I managed to end up in Revolver quite a bit, I love that bar.

"We worked a lot, but my house became quite a bit of a party house. There were a few crazy parties. We had this rooftop and one night we had a party and it was one of those still nights in Melbourne where there was hardly any wind - Which is rare - and we got complaints from four blocks away."

flaunt Stuart Townsend

Townsend is back in Melbourne to promote QOTD, a visit that was meant to have included his costar, R&B singer Aaliyah. But last August Aaliyah died in a plane crash in the Bahamas, where she was shooting a video. One would imagine there were grim talks at the studio about what to do with its bloody vampire tale after the death of its leading lady. Townsend says they didn't involve him.

"I met the director afterwards and really we just talked about how tragic it was, not about the marketing," Townsend says. "I don't care about that stuff. My job's done. I do the acting bit, they can take care of the rest, but it would have been really impossible to do this without the family's support. they're just so dignified. They're great about the whole thing. I knew they wanted people to see her work. "(Promoting the film has) been still equally strange but at least it's not impossible. I don't feel like I'm going against anybody's wishes.

Aaliyah's death came after a swirl of Internet rumors had the film dying its own death. Word was, it was going straight to video. Townsend, amiable with a ready laugh, says he's mystified about where that rumor came from. "Geez, those rumors. It appeared on Ain't It Cool news literally as we finished the film. We hadn't even done any postproduction or editing or anything so it was a nasty rumor. "It's been hard. We do our work and you finish a project and months later someone's sending these rumors around and you think 'where did that come from?' But it's interesting how bad news really gets around so fast."

There hasn't been much bad news on Townsend's horizon of late. His role as the Vampire Lestat comes hot on the heels of the romantic comedy About Adam, with Kate Hudson and Australia's Fransces O'Connor, the British conman comedy Shooting Fish and the touching family drama Wonderland.

It comes along with a romance guaranteed to occupy many columns of breathless newsprint, with the ravishing actor Charlize Theron. Predictably, the pair met on a film set, (the upcoming 24 hours), but the Holly wood cliché stops there. "We haven't been in the press much, purposely stayed away from it, Privacy is much better than exposing yourself to inevitable badness. The job is high profile enough without having to push that," Townsend says.

And to prove his point, the pair and their tent left Melbourne for Coober Pedy, where they were planning to hire a car and drive north, camping along the way.

Townsend shrugs when asked if two high profile Hollywood types can take such a trip unharassed: "Yeah, I've done it in America as well, My brother and sister came to LA last summer and we got the tent and went to all the deserts, Arizona, Utah, it was great," he says. "It's interesting how you can lead a normal life. A lot of journalists when they ask me a question like that I think they think that it's a huge glamorous lifestyle and constant public attention. But my everyday life hasn't changed at all. If I wanted to be treated that way, I'd just get myself a bodyguard and there would be bound to be some heads turning, 'Who's that guy?' first of all, " he laughs uproariously.

Perhaps not for much longer. QOTD went to No.1 on its release in the US (although its stay there was brief). Townsend says his decision to do the film was based on his curiosity about the character of Lestat. "It wasn't the director and it wasn't event he script," he says.

Townsend admits his heart lies less with special effects-driven mass entertainment than with intelligent character-driven pieces such as Wonderland. "I wish there were more films like that. Stories about people are my favorite. They're always the best. Even though it doesn't look exciting on the page, you know it's going to be dramatic and you know at the end of the day that's what people are going to respond to."

"it's depressing, it's a strange job. You don't have much control as an actor. You want to work, you want to earn a living so sometimes you have to make choices that aren't necessarily what you want to do, it's hard."

But then he brightens.

"Of course, I'm not going 'poor me' because it's such a great Job"