Menu Petite

Stuart's Interview with WMagazine

This was in WMagazine's March 2002 Issue. Thanks to Laura Wright for the pic and the interview!!
If you have some material regarding Stuart, please mail us here.


INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE


Playing Lestat and dating a screen goddess, Stuart Townsend is on a supernatural winning streak.


Stuart Townsend is a firm believer in magic - and not just because he's going out with Charlize Theron and is about to hit thearters as Lestat, Anne Rice's best-selling vampire, in the screen adaptation of Rice's The Queen of the Damned. "I do believe that there are people and places in the world that have supernatural powers," says Townsend, leaning back in his chair in the sunny garden of West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont. With his hooded, velvety-brown eyes and tousled hair, it is no great stretch to imagine the 29-year-old Irishman as a Prince of Darkness - albeit one with a fondness for hipsterish corduroy suits. "Take Anne Rice for example," Townsend says, smiling. "Now she is a witch, man!"


During a visit to the author at her house in New Orleans, Townsend says that Rice gave him a copy of The Witching Hour and told him to turn to page 486. "So I did, and there it read 'The Life of Stuart Townsend'!" he says. "And I was like, 'Oh, Anne, that's so sweet that you put me in one of your books,' and she said, 'Stuart, I wrote that book 11 years ago.'" Townsend grins and raises his eyebrows. "Kind of made me feel like I was on the right track, you know?"


There can be little doubt these days that Townsend is on the right track. He has appeared in several indie films, starring in last summer's About Adam alongside Kate Hudson, and although he has yet to have a U.S. box-office success, he struck gold on the London stage last year while starring with Helen Mirren in a West End production of Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending. Michael Rhymer, director of The Queen of the Damned, saw the play and knew immediately that he'd found his Lestat. "Stuart is great, because he has the sexy, predatory quality that you need for Lestat," he says.


Rhymer says that his film, based on the third installment of Rice's "Vampire Chronicles," is very different from the 1994 flop Interview with the Vampire and offers "a much campier, more irreverent take on Lestat." In The Queen of the Damned, Lestat becomes a rock star whose anthems awaken the very first vampire - the titular Queen - from her age-old sleep. "It's a fantastically ridiculous premise," says Townsend, who was required to perform a live concert for 3,000 extras on a set outside Melbourne, Australia. In addition to mastering a complex set of music and lyrics (composed by Korn's Jonathan Davis), Townsend had to swoop down onto the stage from nine stories up and then, as he puts it, "prance around in tight pants." Rhymer says, "There are very few actors who could play both an 18th-century nobleman and a rock star, but Stuart pulled it off beautifully." The Queen is played by the singer Aaliyah, who was killed last August in a plane crash. Townsend says, "She was just an incredibly lovely person in every way - really one of those people who makes you feel like God takes back the best ones for Himself."


Townsend followed up his turn as a vampire with Luis Mandoki's 24 Hours. In the film - which is due out in August and costars Theron, Kevin Bacon and Courtney Love - the actor plays a father who turns the tables on his daughter's kidnappers. Townsend and Theron first met on the film's Vancouver set and have been inseparable ever since. "I was meant to return to London after we finished filming," he says. "But somehow I just ended up staying on in L.A." Townsend is now camped out in Theron's Hollywood Hills home, where his vampire fangs still come in handy. "Last Halloween I scared the s--- out of a few kids," Townsend says, chuckling. "And they're great for biting your girlfriend on the neck."


--Kimberly Cutter
Menu Petite