Queen of the Damned, a “sequel” to 1994’s Interview with the Vampire starring Stuart Townsend and singer-actress Aaliyah, might be one of the most maligned adaptations of an author’s work in horror history.
Fans of Anne Rice’s source material did not appreciate the way the film played fast-and-loose with her carefully crafted mythology and horror fans at large just couldn’t make sense of the its meandering plot which did a poor job of explaining essential moments and character interactions.
Still, in horror, infamy can lead to its own notoriety, and while many still chafe at the film, the one element most can agree upon is Aaliyah’s performance as Akasha, legendary queen of the vampires with a ruthless plot to restore the earth’s balance.
She was the first person cast in the film, and was reportedly excited to dig into the Egyptian mythology curated by Rice to create her Vampire Queen.
At only 5’7.5″, the actress seemed to tower over her co-stars bringing the grace of a dancer to her role which made her appear as dangerous as she was beautiful. Furthermore, her onscreen chemistry with Townsend was palpable.
Sadly, the actress did not live to see the film’s premiere. She was killed in a plane crash six months before the film’s release at age of 22.
Who knows what she might have accomplished had she lived? Her light certainly shown brightly in life.
Take a look at Aaliyah as Akasha below.