Meet Aaliyah's last leading man. ''Queen of the Damned'' star Stuart Townsend explains why he was canned from ''Lord of the Rings''
Stuart Townsend
Credit: Stuart Townsend: Henny Garfunkel/Retna

In ”Interview with the Vampire” (1994), Tom Cruise chewed the scenery — and some costars — as the rogue bloodsucker Lestat. Now Irish newcomer Stuart Townsend is tapping the same vein, playing Lestat in Warner Bros. new ”Queen of the Damned.” talked to Townsend, 29, about ”Damned,” mourning costar Aaliyah, and why he’s happy he was robbed of Viggo Mortensen’s role in ”Lord of the Rings.”

Considering your biggest role to date was in the indie film ”About Adam,” what does it feel like to go Hollywood?
This was my biggest film in terms of dollars and Hollywood, but I wasn’t that impressed with the script. I could take it or leave it. What I was interested in was the character, this rock star vampire. But considering this was the first time I’d ever done something I wasn’t 100 percent sure of, it turned out that I had a lot of personal, amazing experiences.

Such as?
Getting in front of 3,000 people and doing the rock star thing. I got to put on my leather pants and, because it’s just a movie, not fall on my ass. In real life I can play guitar, sure, but badly.

Queen of the Damned
  • Movie
  • R
  • 100 minutes
  • Michael Rymer