Of course you're free to comment on anything stated in this section too and it will be much appreciated, even though this is not so much about the relationship.
| LESTAT OVER-ALL | | IS LESTAT GAY? |
| LESTAT IN THE BOOKS VS. FILM ADAPTATIONS |
I love Lestat. This Lestat Rice wrote after the IWTV. A vampire who loves his powers and vampirism but hates shadows and loneliness and would so bad want to continue living amongst mortals,
with only one person in the world who can make it bearable for him. Marius.
And he's childlike, philosophic, artistic, adventurous, and the ultimate rebel.
A total impossible brat with only one person in the world who can make it less catastrophical. Marius. Again.
I know originally there was also his mother giving him strength but I still think it shined through everything that
in the deepest it was Marius the most significant and important source of strength.
In every possible aspect of a child / parent relationship the same gender is absolutely necessary from the child's point of view, in the child's world
because with the same gender parent, when it's right and healthy unlike with Lestat's mortal father it wasn't, you share a completely different kind of connection and understanding.
Marius totally perfectly fills that hole in Lestat's soul. The hole that had been empty and abused for at least 19+ years. To me it's quite obvious that when someone fills that hole, makes it all better, comforts you,
that someone most likely is the ultimate source of strength in a life that's making you generally even more miserable than you ever were in your mortal life. God, I love Lestat and Marius!!
"The dark places in my desires mirror,
the moonlight on my tortured dreams."
- Z. Hazel Ballantine 'O My Blood'
Above quote, I don't know exactly where it's from, I just stumbled over it and it reminded me so much
of Lestat's yearning for light and mortality and his tragic history of relationships.
"You have a radiance in you, Lestat. And it draws everyone to you. It's there even when your angry or discouraged. There's a light in you that's almost blinding."
-Nicolas (from "The Vampire Lestat" book, Anne Rice)
One of the most fascinating things about Lestat is that he's far from the typical image of a vampire with his personality - and how, seeing to his mortal life he seems to have been born to become an immortal, a vampire - and he
enjoys being one but still won't fit into the vampire sociaty and doesn't want to either.
But also this: Because of all the shit he went through in his mortal life, at the end of it he became to fear darkness and death - the very thing that would eventually give him happiness.
As dying and living in darkness was the very thing that gave him all that he should've had in his mortal life: Wealth, adventures and a loving father, of which the last mentioned obviously was more important to him than anything else.
I'm wondering how some claim to be huge Lestat fans but ignore and don't seem to care about the most vital element of Lestat's character: His father issue.
And thus also the vital relationship that is the one he has with Marius. These two things directly and deeply psychologically affect Lestat's fictional character developement!!
He would be TOTALLY different person if his mortal father had been loving and caring.
And, he would just as much be TOTALLY different person if that was the way it is now BUT Marius wasn't there to take the place as the loving and caring father, and thus fullfilling the need Lestat is burning with.
This may be just my opinion but please think about it.
IS LESTAT GAY?
No. But I'm not saying he's not gay at all - heck, it's an undeniable fact he's a bi-sexual! And the vampires are omnisexual - these are facts I've never meant to deny. -
Just.... I hate it when people take it to extreme and fail to grasp the concept of a homosexual.
He was bi-sexual in his mortal exsistance. That sexual orientation of course remains or rather turns into omnisexual as he becomes a vampire.
Anne Rice has made it official her vampires don't have sexuality on the level we humans do and no sexual relations and she shows this very well in her books
so after Lestat becomes a vampire, it's impossible for him to be gay just like that.
For that matter there is no reference to sexual relationships between him and any other vampire in the books.
Lestat does love Louis but a male loving a male does not yet make him gay as being gay requires also a pure sexual attraction or interraction between two males and
Lestat does not have such with Louis, or anyone else in his vampire life. (Excluding David Talbot, but at that point he was a mortal human again.)
Now as I mentioned, he is bi-sexual but it doesn't affect him practically as a vampire and that's the point.
The blood drinking isn't sex the way most people think it is. According to Anne her vampires don't have sexual relations with each other or with humans and so I'd think their sexual orientations remain more a concept
and it's the essence of the pwrson their loves have to do with, their heart and mind is the essential part in their relationships.
It has bothered me that people are so much focusing on the sexual orientations and even looking at it in such a human level.
So I have never been bothered by the homosexuality but just by how extreme importance some people take these matters of the books, while I just see them one part of the whole beautiful picture.
So all I'm saying is; Lestat's bi-sexual, not gay and when he's a vampire, he leaves human sexuality behind (this doesn't mean losing any trace of it), he's omnisexual but doesn't have sexual relations.
That I wish people possibly would consider appreciating the deeper meanings of the transcended sexuality and the lack of sexual relations, and the love they are about all in all, instead of writing shallow slash and calling homophobic anyone who doesn't think Lestat as a vampire is gay
or that his sexual orientation isn't that big of a deal.
And even if you do decide to dismiss all that and think Lestat is a gay vampire with vampire sex - still what he has with Marius is a pure father-son relationship, which comes very clear
from all content in Lestat & Marius section. And if that's not enough, read also "My View" and it's extention (which are mostly based off literal readable facts from the books.)
LESTAT IN THE BOOKS VS. FILM ADAPTATIONS
| STUART TOWNSEND'S POTENTIAL FOR TRUE LESTAT |
| CRUISE FOR QOTD LESTAT |
| ANNE RICE ON THE ACTORS |
| ME ON THE CHARACTER VERSIONS |
| WHAT AGE LESTAT SHOULD LOOK LIKE? |
| THE ACTOR'S PART - WHY THE HATE ON STUART TOWNSEND? |
X Lestat (after Interview with the Vampire part)
is the most outstanding version, as he's not in the vampire standard in personality and attitudes towards vampirism. Not in his own world and not in the vampire world in general. He's for one thing a childlike and rebelious - yet in the vampire nature he's THE vampire. Lestat's the ultimate vampire for being both - clearly not fitting in the vampire sociaty but still loving to be a vampire. As a matter of fact I think being a vampire was terapheuthic for him after all the shit he went through in his mortal life. His relationship with Marius basically was terapheuthic but also the whole vampire nature. I think he was born to become an immortal - more specifically a vampire immortal.
Having not read all the books from cover to cover yet - I can not yet know exactly
what kind of character Lestat originally is. When I have, I shall improve this section.
Lestat's character changed very drastically after Interview with the Vampire book and as I said I love the Lestat after the IWTV book.
ANNE RICE ON THE ACTORS
X I've read ANNE RICE commenting on the choice of Cruise for Lestat
's role that she was shocked or something, because she didn't see Tom Cruise as her Lestat at all. But then, when she had seen him portray the role, she says he was her Lestat. She says "The humour, charm and the invincible innocence that I cherish in my beloved vampire Lestat are all alive in Tom Cruise's courageous performance."
X ANNE RICE's opinion on Stuart Townsend for Lestat
; From AnneRice.com's 2001 F.A.Q: "What, if anything, do you know about the Queen of the Damned movie"
In July 2001, Anne replies, "...I have no real news. Let me repeat what I mentioned in a recent message. I met Stuart Townsend, the young man who is playing Lestat and he was absolutely charming. He had Lestat's excellent speaking voice and his feline grace. I cannot wait to see him in the film."
But, she didn't like his portrayal of Lestat. She's said it was "Too cold and humourless. Not my Lestat."
That's true. It was too cold and humourless for the novels' Lestat. But it wasn't entirely in Townsend's hands, to portray the character. Because the script's story and the directing and all, matter a lot. And the film's story for Lestat's part was completely different from the books, and so Lestat had to be very different, too. Anne seems to have understood this, and though she doesn't like his performance in the film, she doesn't blame hold the man completely responsible for all the flaws in it.
You see, in an e-mail discussion, I've told her flat out that I'd love to see Townsend getting a chance to portray a true version of Lestat, because even though the film version was horrible, the man showed potential. And to that, she replied: "I appreciate your thoughts, but I don't think anyone will ever ask him to play Lestat again. The film was too much of a bomb. And I haven't heard anything of him since."
Since she used the word 'appreciate' and pointed out the film being such a bomb and not particularly his performance alone, I think it's safe to assume, she agrees to some extent; that she saw the potential he showed, even though she didn't like the portrayal in question. That would make sense, since she saw Lestat in Townsend before the film came out.
... for what I understand of her words; she didn't think Cruise would make her Lestat but he did it after all. And she thinks Townsend could make her Lestat but he didn't, essentially b/c of the bad, bad script. So, had she been allowed to write the screen play for QOTD or help with it... Townsend would've been able to live up to his full potential.
ME ON THE FILM VERSIONS
X Humour, charm and invincible innocence?
They are really great definitions of Lestat's character, yes. But in my
eyes, they are not all
alive in Tom Cruise's courageous performance. But of course they are if Anne says so, but just, not as far as I see. In TC's, I can only find the humour. He cracks me up so bad. Well, of course there's some kind of a charm too, but that just doesn't charm me. But the invincible innocence in Cruise's Lestat is totally lost in my eyes. I can not find it there. Especially when it's supposed to be invincible
innocence. I guess it depends on how one wants to define "innocence" in this case. I personally connect that word firstly to children, to childlike innocence. If it's there I can not see it through the tension, temper, anger and aggression that rules his behavour most of the time and combined to the fact he looks like 30+ years old. Cruise's Lestat's looks, being and behavour just doesn't fall even near to the image I have if someone described a bratty, around 20-year old artistic persona with angelic looks and childlike enthuasism towards life.
Stuart Townsend's performance as the QOTD movie's version of Lestat is much more close to what would form into my mind with that description. Note that I said "more close", not close or a perfect image - as I said the version in the film isn't much of the Lestat from the novels.
This is a shame and huge loss as the true Lestat really is something legendary and loveable beyond words to express and I believe Townsend would've shined as true Lestat. He already highlights in the crappy film version, the characteristics in it, that are in the true Lestat. And he does it so well, I have faith he might be a good Lestat, and in the least, he sure has potential.
The charm he oozes is what charms me too. The crappy script and how it limits the possibilities of course takes a lot away but it is there still, the charm and the point is it's more appealing to me than the kind Tom Cruise oozes. The humour however was left a lot out of the lines given to the character but it is there anyway, however little. But it's far better granted for Tom Cruise to portray. Oh I so wish they'd have let Anne help with the script of QOTD. But the invincible innocence is clear to me in the QOTD Lestat. Most perfectly brought up in the scene he does not want to believe Marius's story about Akasha. And also on the beach where he's learning to kill and to stay in the shadows. Many moments in that scene show how he truly is only an innocent, ignorant child in a vampire world and sociaty.
And surely while the QOTD film Lestat is too cold for true Lestat, he is n not entirely cold but has Lestat's sensitivity and in the end they even remember he should love and respect humanity. I think it sucks though they had it brought up only by some twatty disgrace of Jesse's character. So when ignoring all the script writer's out of character bs - the QOTD film version of Lestat is in my eyes closer to the books's Lestat version that I love, which is the one after IWTV in which Cruise starred. And, I think Townsend pulled those aspects of Lestat's nature off well.
Also, Townsend has mocking eyes, cheeky smile and something bratty and childlike about his being. Which are what I see in my head when I read the books's description of Lestat. And Townsend certainly does fit perfectly in a role of a gothic rock'n roll vampire.
My pick is the QOTD movie's Lestat performed by no other than Stuart Townsend. But my perfect Lestat is Lestat from the books after
IWTV and I wish
Stuart Townsend could play him too. It would be only fair too - because Cruise was offered Lestat's role again even though he too had portrayed very different kind of version of the character before.
STUART TOWNSEND'S POTENTIAL FOR TRUE LESTAT
Like everyoen else who have read the books
, I too see the Queen of the Damned film's version of Lestat is criminally out-of-character but I personally hold only the script writers' and possibly the director and whoever really had any say on it, responssible. Not the actor; not Stuart Townsend, at all - because he could not possibly have changed the character to more true version, in any case - because the script writers created the version - they wrote the scenes and the lines given to the character. And that written story us completely different from the novels.
So even if Townsend had known who Lestat truly is, the script was already too radical - it was impossible to portray a true Lestat in that film's story that is nothing like the books's. Marius's character was more like Magnus in personality and since Marius is an extremely important person to Lestat, Lestat of this film could not have been the Lestat from the books because neither was Marius. I have read two different earlier script versions of the film, including the very original. You can not expect an actor to capture the books' Lestat's personality when the script writers who wrote the film version of Lestat, didn't write the character to have that true personality. You can not capture something that isn't there. So, it is not as if the actor lacks talent of that it was in any way his fault.
BUT - there in fact is in-character personality features even in this mostly disgraceful film version of Lestat! AND Townsend portrayed those features heartfelt and in natural tone - because the facial expressions, tones of voice and the whole being is naturally all Townsend's acting - the way he brought them to life because NOT every single detail was in words in the script but Stuart had to decide himself how to have Lestat look like and so on. Can you see how Lestat in the film (is):
- A BRAT and a REBEL:
He plays the violin with the gypsies even though Marius had just told him not to meddle with mortals. And he goes to the secret tunnel and chamber though he must have realized secret chambers are secret and thus not allowed to be entered. And he fights Marius in every possible way while chained to the bed for his own protection - I think in that scene at some point Lestat goes a little out of character, but do take note he isn't ENTIRELY himself in these moments but high on Akasha's blood. And thirdly, he breaks the number one vampire rule by becoming a rockstar.
- SENSITIVE and DEEPLY AFFECTED BY MARIUS:
He loves humanity; almost crying after having to kill the gyspsy girl. Even though he's not exactly like that about killing, in the books - this was still a way to show he's sensitive side - as is also the moment much later, when he speaks beautifully about humanity, to Jesse. And as for the Marius matter - he cries out desperately after Marius, when finding him and the statues and everything else gone. And the look on his face when he steps into the room where Marius is waiting, in the reunion scene - he looks as if he can't believe he's actually looking at Marius and when he's convinced he really is, he looks as if Heaven just opened up in front of his eyes. And my personal favorite Lestat moment in the whole film: the look in his eyes indescribably deeply touched almost as if he was nearly in tears of happiness, when Marius had leapt on the stage to protect him - and he's not even taking his eyes off Marius for a long moment.
- DEVILISH and CHEERFUL:
Just look at his expression when he asks Akasha's satatue "Shall I play for you?" and the mischievous expression on his face, when he glances after Marius the second before he starts to approach the gypsies on the beach to play the violin. How about the perfectly enthustiastic and happy cheer-jump and facial expression he does, when Marius has appeared on the stage and he finally takes his eyes off Marius to find his fans adoring the show. Not to mention the gorgeous, happy smile while he watches Marius kicking the vampire's ass who had just tried to hurt him [Lestat.] While the film version is generally taken out of characterly depressed and not joyful enough, the fact all that changed around Marius is very, very in-character.
Lestat in the book describes he can look very mean, when he smiles. Well, Townsend does, for one in the moment he plays the violin on the beach and we also see in that moment, his eyes glowing, which was the moment the girl's father realized he's not human. That evil smile and the eyes - and Lestat clearly isn't trying to look like that but just enjoying the violin playing. And also I adore in the end the smile he gives David Talbot just before he walks out of the Talamasca door.
I probbaly forgot to mention some moments ad scenes but I'd think those ought to make you consider Townsend actually is potential to play a true version of Lestat and that he can act. Because, as said, not all the details, expressions and such were described in the pages of the script but Townsend brought them to the screen. And even if every single little thing was described in text form (which it never ever is in film scripts), Townsend would've still needed and had the talent to make it come alive. But as it is, he did it all out of himself.
You may disagree but then, please just tell me, how did you see those moments and experssions and all that if not as potential true Lestat and as good acting?
Because of all that and the fact
he looked around 20 years old and had the exact right hair style (except in the modern days it was lifeless and floppy which isn't Lestat but in the journal entry clips it was beautiful, natural looking, curly and not-quite shoulder-length hair), so in my opinion, Stuart Townsend's THE Lestat
TOM CRUISE FOR "QOTD LESTAT"
I've read that they actually did offer the role to Tom but the man refused. I've heard he declined the offer because he felt he was too old (to play a rockstar.) That could be part of the reason, but I'm guessing the essential reason was that he was a fan of the novel's Lestat, and the script SUCKS especially as an adaptation, and the Lestat in it, isn't the one from the novels.
And I don't think Cruise could be a believable, gorhic rock star. Also, QOTD movie Lestat is clearly portrayed as a bratty, childlike teenager, in persona as well as in the scenes. Cruise's being / acting ways could not fit into that role. This meaning, I think Cruise rocks as the IWTV version of Lestat but I just can't see Tom Cruise portraying the final version of Lestat, the sensitive, childlike Brat Prince. My main problem with Tom Cruise in that QOTD film would've probably been how ridiculous he would've looked like. I mean, I can't imagine him portraying that kind of childlike, bratty, emotional teenager that Lestat's pictured in behavour/being in the film. I just can't see it turn into so drastically different version of Lestat - no matter how good actor Cruise may be.
Plus, Towmsend looked good rocking on the stage. One of the, though not the most highlighting, scenes in the movie where Tom Cruise would've probably looked stupid.
Cruise just, in my opinion doesn't have what it takes to be "The Brat Prince". He never played him either, in my opinion. That title was given to Lestat by Marius, who hadn't even popped up to Anne's mind while she wrote IWTV. (Yes, she's told me she came up with stuff as she wrote the books.) Plus, Marius gave that title to Lestat for how he saw Lestat through his own eyes, which most certainly is closer to Lestat's own description of himself, than Louis's. (Hence, Louis hated Lestat at the time, where as Lestat loves himself and Marius totally loves Lestat. And yes, I don't think Marius titled him that only for the rule breaking - the name holds so much affectionate emotion in it when he uses it. And anyway, the IWTV Lestat wasn't even that big of a rule breaker.) In my opinion, he was made for the Interview with the Vampire Lestat but Stuart Townsend was made for the final Lestat.
But of course I must admit that no one can really know for sure unless he got the chance and the same goes for Townsend. They should be both given the chance to portray the Lestat from The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned. They'd both deserve it for showing that they can pull off well, some characteristics of Lestat. But as said, in my opinion, Townsend would probably make a better Lestat after IWTV and he will always be my Lestat with the books' Lestat's personality.
WHAT AGE LESTAT SHOULD LOOK LIKE?
Now, he wass officially 19-24 years old when he was turned into a vampire. It is stated in "The Vampire Lestat"
that it was his 21st year when he killed the wolves as a mortal man and that must have been at least 2 years before Magnus took him, making Lestat
around 23 maybe. BUT Anne Rice has made it official that Lestat's mortal birth year was 1760, (November 7th.)
While officially he was made into a vampire in 1780. Which would make him only 19 when vampired.
So there are in a way two canon ages for him. It seems that vast majority of the fanbase
has taken the official birth year (1760) as the canon and so regard Lestat as a 19 years old when made into a a vampire.
Overall he's considered to have been between the age of 19 and 21.
Whether Lestat should look around 20sh or older has been debated forever.
Especially these days, it's become a big deal and I see Lestat could look either 20ish or older just as possibly both.
To this conclusion I have become when taking an indepth look into everything Anne Rice has, as well as has not, said about Lestat's age throughout the years.
Read this entire part through and you'll see why I think how I think.
From AnneRice.com's 2001 FAQ:
"How old is Lestat?" -- Katie K. from Florida
Anne answered: "Lestat was actually 19 or 20 when he was made a vampire. He was a man for his age, but he was also...boys then didn't mature until they were 18, but once you did mature--once the coin was flipped at 19 or 20, you were pretty much a man, and Lestat had the responsibilities of a man. So, by the time he ran away to Paris, I think he's age 20 in the book, I'd have to look it up myself, but he has physically never aged beyond the age of 20. He has changed over the years as he's acquired blood from the elder vampires, and gained in strength, and also he's burned himself very badly in the sun trying to commit suicide in the Gobi Desert, and that has caused his appearance to change somewhat, so that he has, now, a rather bronzed look, but he's still the image of a 20 year old male."
From her Facebook:
"It's no secret that I want to see new Lestat films. I wrote eleven books in the Vampire Chronicles and only a small part of the material has been tapped. I'd be thrilled if Robert Downey Jr. did do Lestat. He has the face, the voice, the personality and the spirit. His age isn't an issue. He looked terrific in Iron Man. He's a great actor, that's the point."
From her Facebook
"Some are saying he is too old to play the part. This is absolutely not true. He is quite youthful. Besides, Lestat is a man when he is made into a vampire. A twenty year old man in the 18th century is the equivalent of an older man today. Age just shouldn't be an issue here, not with an actor of this scope and charisma. — I’m thrilled at the prospect that this rumor might be true." "
I see it makes sense Lestat could look older and my issue about Cruise's old looks just got a whole lot smaller - but...
I can still see Lestat perfectly logically look like 20-ish year old as well.
As it is not just the hard and active life but the hormones and all that stuff as well, just as individually as gaining weight -
some people can eat anything and as much as they want, but they just don't gain weight much at all.
Anne didn't bring up the 18th century aging in the first place when Lestat's age was asked about.
And this was an answer long after Tom Cruise's looks had been made into a problem since 1994.
Thus, there are three points that make Lestat's age looks are up to the reader:
1. The age looks haven't been made official in the books. They aren't brought up, it is just brought up that he was around 21 years old when he was made into a vampire. And it doesn't matter who is the narrator in the books or why they don't bring up the age looks, but the fact that the age looks are not mentioned in the narrating.
And we might also regard the given official birth year which makes him 19 at the time.
2. Even in her latest comments Anne Rice doesn't say "this is the way it's supposed to be" but rather brings the older looks up as a realistic possibility and as her own image of Lestat. She brought that up so we would stop making an issue about an actor's age looks being old.
3. Aging process pace just as gaining weight, depends on an individual's hormones and all that stuff. And returning to the point number 1; Lestat's case has not been made official in the books.
----it's possible Lestat could be both young or old in looks. Anne's view is the accurate one, and she has wished to state her view, but she's also clearly left possibilities open in the books.
So, in the end there is no 'should'. Just make your pick.
And my image of Lestat is that he looks around 20-ish.
THE ACTOR'S PART - WHY THE HATE ON STUART TOWNSEND?
The points I'm going to argue or comment on:
X How his performance as Lestat / any character supposedly sucks.
X He didin't even read the books when he took the role of Lestat.
X How he in the first place took such a crappy role in a crappy script.
X Being drunk on the set / made up accent and bragging about them.
X He supposedly acted surprised twice for the same reason in the film.
Now, when you put all that in that way and even leave it at that - sure as hell it sounds downright ridiculous and awful. But why don't we take a deeper look at all that? I know I will, you're always free to ignore and if you do choose to give the following a thought - you're always of course free to have and keep your own opinion. AND please do take notice that I am not trying to make him look like the best actor ever or justify his obviously stupid attitudes with the whole drinking thing... I'm simply trying to open people's eyes that there's more to everything than those arguments imply and that thus none of the above has to make Townsend into the worst actor in the world either.
Soon I will go in more depth about his unprofessional attitude - as in getting drunk in the set and refusing to read the books his character bases on -
but let me just say something first: I personally will not let such an attitude affect my opinion on his character portrayal, when that attitude doesn't affect that portrayal.
Him being drunk in that one scene, didn't show on camera at all. So why should I let it affect my opinion on the portrayal?
Him reading the books, would not have changed anything essentially, because the film's story was almost completely different, thus developing a completely different person named Lestat.
So why should I let the not-reading-the-books affect my opinion on the portrayal?
I see absolutely no sense
in judging his portrayal of Lestat because of his unprofessional attitude towards his job over-all.
So - let's start. Everyone need to remember - what the caharcters are in movies are not completely the actor's work - they can not decide everything. The script writes have written the characters and the directors have a heavy word in what's happening on the screen - that's the whole point of a director's job. Of course the actor has a lot to say o the performance too but the point is no one should focus on the actor in neither praising or trashing their performance. Nothing's black and white in acting and movie business and the more colourful the character the harder it is for the actor to perform well - especially with a crappy, illogic script writing and possibly a bad director. So I think people really should remember Tom Cruise did better job in everything mostly because he got a better script (written by Anne Rice herself) and a better director.
Chances are they were told the script's extremely drastically differs from the books. Townsend would've only found himself reading about a completely different character in a completely different story. And a leading actor certainly doesn't have the authority to request that many and huge changes.
Researching and questioning would've been utterly useless. And anyone who's read the original script, knows what utter bs it is. I wouldn't blame anyone for not making efforts to get to know a character in a novel when the film script is like that. So the whole script matters more than anything you, me, Anne, Stuart or anyone else might wish. Reading the books would have hardly made any difference to the film. It's naturally ok to think every actor taking a role based on a book, should read the source material, but for heaven's sake - please stop making it a huge problem in this case!
Now I've also heard people trash Townsend in the name that he even accepted a role in such a film and version of the character. And I feel that is plain petty attitude. As far as I've heard, Townsend didn't like the Lestat&Jesse "romance" but liked the idea of a rockstar vampire enough to take the part. As for the crappy version of Lestat... He couldn't have known it since he hadn't read the books. And as said, reading them would've been pointless for the reason I analysed above. If someone should be trashed for not caring to read the books or respect them before starting to work on them, it's the script writers. Without them this movie wouldn't even exsist for anyone to take the roles. And basically, if he liked the idea of a rockstar vampire and believed he'd be good as one, then he should be allowed to take the part without being trashed by fanatic fans of the source material. Because that reason has nothing to do with the books but just a person's likings for a role all in all.
I also wish to comment on the Townsend being drunk in the set / on camera and bragging about it and about the made-up accent. I agree that bragging about being drunk in any case is downright wrong and not respectable. But I am not going to hold that against him forever and ever and in everything he ever did before or after that point, unlike some. 'Cause holding one mistake against someone like that is just as stupid as the attitude that is held against him. His stupid attitude about the matter, doesn't change the fact that him being drunk didn't show in the scene in question on camera. It didn't show! So this means, either he wasn't that drunk at all in the end OR was able to hide it, which would actually be quite something in a positive way. But more likely he just wasn't that drunk. And a director surely wouldn't even let on camera an actor if he was too drunk to pull something off convincingly. Plus, it's not as if he was (as far as anyone knows) drunk in every scene. But just in one. It doesn't make him the devil of the actor kind. Gees. I mean, of course he shouldn't have got drunk at all, not to mention to brag about it but it could've been so much worse. I don't think he deserves to be downright hated and despised for one stupid mistake.
And the accent... Seriously, how petty is it to get all worked up and trash somone as an actor for that? At least to me, personally, in an actor's talent and choices, the how convincingly they say their lines matter a whole lot more than the accent, be it right or wrong accent and it's not even neseccarely wrong in this case. And I also rather listen to what the characters say than pay attention to the accents used.
But in the end it isn't even wrong to make up an accent. It probably was Townsend's artistic view; in the film it was said he's a french nobleman but never mentioned for how long the character had lived in France. Apparently there was no french noble men living outside France until the French Revolution so he could not have picked it up before Marius. But easily any time after. The French Revolution was 1789–1799. According to the film, he was made into a vampire in winter 1788, which was very close to the revolution - the film Lestat was alive and awake during and after the revolution, long after it, and could've been one of those french noble men, who lived outside France during or after it. He could've picked the other accent up anywhere between 1789 and 1885, in which year according to his "100 years of rest" he would've gone to sleep. Or even later, seeing to that it seemed to be 21st century in the film when he woke up.
So notice that he doesn't use the made-up accent in the journal entry scenes but only in the modern day scenes, so he obviously saw the character wouldn't have it in those days. Though he doesn't use french one either - but you know the characters were more likely really speaking french language anyway even though the film had them speak englsh (possibly for one because Townsend may not be able to speak fluent french like Perez could), so any accent wasn't needed. See, Lestat had written his journal in french. So chances are they also spoke french duting those days.
The voice-over while Jesse's reading the journal is spoken in english with the made-up accent, yes, that is a flaw. The language explainable by the reason I just gave for the language in the actual scenes - and the accent really shouldn't be essential when the language already is wrong. And to cast an actor who could speak french fluently, only because of those couple of scenes, would be quite unnecessary. The important thing is that acting is good and viewer gets to know what the journal says.
So, I really don't think making up an accent is an artistic crime here, no matter why he may have wanted to do so, which reason isn't brought up in the interview. So there are very valid bases for an actor to make up and accent without it being anything away from him as an actor. And Cruise's accent wasn't french either even though in that film too Lestat was implied to be french. Something about being from Paris as was his maker.
To argue the also often complained about "He acted surprised twice for teh same reason!" As in Lestat is told twice in the film that Enkil's dead and that he supposedly acts surprised for that matter, both times.
I never saw it that way, and still don't. Yes, he was told the same thing twice but he didn't react to the same thing twice; The first time, he was surprised for Akasha having risen, that's all - I see it so because even though he supposedly saw the dead Enkil first and only then the empty seat of Akasha's, the first thing he said was "Akasha!" in an excited/surprised tone. Only Marius spoke of Enkil and his death, while Lestat kept on speaking of only Akasha. Hence, Lestat didn't seem to give a shit about Enkil or Enkil's fate; Not at any point of that scene was Lestat surprised for, react to, or in any way interested in Enkil.
And so, it lead him into not remembering Enkil's fate, which is why he was surprised when it was implied again later - especially when he was at the particular moment, most likely in somewhat muddled state of mind, for having just been snatched from a battle field in which he had enjoyed being, by the one he had so been excited about earlier, (especially 200 years earlier.) Plus, that moment was happening some 3 days since the first time he was told about it. A combination potential to make one forgetful, especially when hadn't been at all interested in the matter earlier.
I repeat; he was told about the same thing twice but he did not react to the same thing twice. That is probably why Stuart Townsend suppposedly has said that he hadn't noticed reacting to the same thing twice. Because HE DIDN'T while he was inside "Lestat"'s head in those scenes!!
Just because Enkil and his death was thrown at our face and we paid attention to it and we hung on to Marius's every word, doesn't mean that Lestat did. We were watching a movie, taking in anything that's said and shown - but Lestat who was living the moment, was all about his precious Akasha, dismissing anything else, from the very second he noticed she'd risen.
So go ahead, mock Townsend for "acting surprised for the same thing twice". It's rather ignorant claim because he didn't and even if he had, there was all the chances in the story for the character to have forgotten about the first time.
The hair colour... They supposedly tried a blonde wig on and Townsend supposedly refusing to wear it... Or that it wasn't used in the first place. I have no doubt they would've and that he would have agreed to use it if it had been necessary and essential in the film's story but it wasn't. It most likely was seen and agreed by everyone that the hair colour doesn't matter, 'cause they had changed the maker from Magnus to Marius. For whatever reason Townsend chose not to use a wig, in this case really shouldn't be away from him as an actor nor a crime. The fact the script writers altered the maker, is the crime and away from them as adapting script writers.
As for his performance as Lestat, I want to make clear I don't support it as it is but I'm just trying to point out it isn't entirely his fault and that I think he showed potential in the very few in-character moments of the sctipt that he had. And thus I like his performance partly, as in I liked his performance at those moments. And so I'd wish he'd get a chance to show with a truer version to perform, just how far that potential he got to show, could carry him.
So... I think that whereas people do have valid reasons to trash Townsend to begin with - they fall apart when looked more into what Townsend had in his hands to work with, into what happened on camera (or didn't), and into everything that actually matters in acting business and a character performance. Stuart Townsend obviosuly isn't the best and most respectable actors there could be, he obviously isn't too professional in attitudes, but he's got talent, and the circumstances and bases to work with, are essential. So certainly he isn't the worst and doesn't deserve to be treated like scum in any way.
So people... I'm not asking you to like Townsend or forget completely what he has done and bragged about but won't you show a little appreciation for his efforts and obvious acting talent (that have been pointed out for one in the "Stuart Townsend's potential for true Lestat" part.)
And a little respect for his right to like any role character he feels like liking.
I just don't think extreme attitudes ever do any good to anyone or anything. Extreme attitude is blinding. And it surely isn't giving vibes of an intelligent thinking, nor of passion - but rather of obsession.
Critisism is another thing. It's point is to look for flaws but a good critic isn't dismissing valid points that are making something less bad or is unwilling to look deeper into the thing because it might make the thing less bad.