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latest heartthrob Stuart Townsend has taken
Hollywood by storm as his latest movie topped the
US box office last weekend.
latest starring role as that aging vampire Lestat
in the Australian-shot Queen of the Damned. And
his romance with the gorgeous Charlize Theron,
which became publicly known right here on ShowBizIreland.com
last year in a world exclusive.
a recent conversation with Paul Fischer in
LA, the Dublin actor talked about the changes in his
life over the past year and the role of Lestat in
think for me it was the opportunity to fulfill all
those teenage fantasies of being a rock star. A lot
of people ask me, if it's intimidating because Tom
Cruise was the star of the original and that kind
of thing, but for me, it was just such a different
story, it was rock and roll."
Townsend found the character compelling from the outset,
he recalls. "I thought there was a sensitivity. He
loved music and he was creative and he wasn't given
a choice. He was just created, then he was left alone
and then spends a couple of hundred years hiding in
the shadows, wanting to enjoy all these powers and
wanting to connect but literally emerging as this
solitary bird. He despises that, even though he's
monstrous at times but he kind of has to deal with
that, along with existence."
film does raise the question: Would we want to live
forever? Townsend says no. "Because it would be a
drag. Why do we all watch movies? Reality is quite
mundane but we have great imaginations such that,
you know, there are tons of beautiful things in this
world, but I don't think I'd like to be around forever."
The actor also takes time out to talk about the late
actress in the movie Aaliyah. The 22-year old
singer who tragically died in a plane crash last year,
shortly after completing principal photography on
Queen of the Damned.
"Working with her was amazing. She was a really special
person and, I mean amazing on set. We'd walk around
and she created this fantastic character, but it was
always a sense of fun, like the shoot was fun, and
most shoots aren't, and with her, she's very serious
about work but off set or in between takes, she was
always a lot of fun."
about his love of Ireland and how he got into acting
the actor says, " I loved film and I was bored. It
was a very small village I grew up in and we were
fed American culture. I mean, Australia's interesting
because it's sort of wedged in between English and
American culture and so was Ireland. A lot of people
understood the cultural references and I felt more
connected to Aussies than anywhere."
started at the Gaiety School of Acting where
he enrolled and made his stage debut in the school's
production of Tear Up the Black Sail. He made
his professional stage debut in John Crowley's
True Lines. In 1996, Townsend broke onto the
screen with his role in Gillies MacKinnon's
Trojan Eddie. Portraying a seductive young
man who steals away a bride from her groom on their
wedding day, Townsend was afforded the opportunity
to work with the legendary Richard Harris.
exposure in the film led to his first starring role,
in Shooting Fish (1997), a successful comedy
which cast him as a sweet-natured con man. That same
year, Townsend had a supporting role in Carine
Adler's acclaimed drama Under the Skin,
engaging in emotional dysfunction and phone sex with
the film's heroine.
also made a terrifying impression in the Irish crime
thriller Resurrection Man, playing a psychotic
killer. Townsend subsequently extended his talents
to period drama, portraying an impoverished Jew in
19th century Silesia in Simon Magus
(1998) and playing a dual role in the 16th- and 20th
century-set The Venice Project (1999).
1999, he was also visible in Michael Winterbottom's
Wonderland, an ensemble drama that screened
at that year's Cannes Film Festival.
Townsend just finished shooting the crime thriller
24 Hours, where he fell in love with co-star
Charlize Theron, whom he gleefully describes as both
"tall and fearless."
is about to take her to Australia while he promotes
Queen of the Damned, then "I'm going to grab a tent
and go out to the Outback for a week." A daring move?
"Nah, she's more adventurous than I am. After all,
she's a farm girl, you know."
by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.