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Whatever Happened To The Cast Of Queen Of The Damned?

It wasn't one of the most successful movies of the '00s by any stretch of the imagination, but "Queen of the Damned" has slowly built up a fanbase since it was released to generally negative reviews in 2002, becoming a nostalgic favorite among genre fans. Based on the second and third books in the classic Anne Rice series "The Vampire Chronicles" (and a sequel to 1994's "Interview with the Vampire," the Tom Cruise-led adaptation of Rice's first "The Vampire Chronicles" novel), the film stars Stuart Townsend as vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, who awakens from a deep slumber and decides to take over a rock band. The music he creates awakens the first vampire Akasha, played by the late R&B singer, Aaliyah. She becomes besotted with Lestat and manages to bewitch him, though paranormal researcher Jesse Reeves (Marguerite Moreau) has also fallen for the brooding bloodsucker, and she won't give him up without a fight.

The plot sounds bonkers on paper, and it's pretty crazy when played out on the big screen (especially with early '00s visual effects), but that's part of what makes "Queen of the Damned" an unlikely cult classic. While the woman who played the titular queen is no longer with us, most of the main cast is still working in Hollywood — though some have gone on to be far more successful than others. If you're curious about what they've been doing all these years (and what they look like today), we've got you covered.

Marguerite Moreau reprised her two most famous roles

Marguerite Moreau made her big screen debut playing Connie in Disney's hit ice hockey movie "The Mighty Ducks" in 1992, and she would go on to reprise the role in two sequels, "D2: The Mighty Ducks" (1994) and "D3: The Mighty Ducks" (1996). "D4" never materialized, but by this point Moreau was ready to start taking on some grown-up roles.

After popping up as Katie in the cult teen comedy "Wet Hot American Summer," she managed to secure the part of Jesse Reeves in "Queen of the Damned," a member of a paranormal studies group who discovers Lestat's (barely-kept) secret. "I put all these photos on matte photo paper and sent it to the director, who took it to Warner Bros. and was like, 'This chick is it,'" she told Vulture. The rest is history, but where's Moreau been since?

The California native recurred on the likes of "The O.C.," "Parenthood," "Shameless" and "Grey's Anatomy" in the years that followed, and she came back as Katie in "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" (2015) and "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later" (2017). More recently, she reprised her other classic role, returning as Connie in the first season of Disney+ series "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers." She's teased more from her character in Season 2. "I don't even know if Connie can handle not being on the ice," Moreau told Us Weekly. "She's got a real over-eager part of herself."

Vincent Perez is a photographer

Vincent Perez played Marius de Romanus in "Queen of the Damned," a 2,000-year-old illegitimate son illegitimate son of a Roman noble and a Celtic slave. The Swiss actor got his start in French cinema in the 1980s and would star in a string of hits in Europe during the following decade, including Jean-Paul Rappeneau's "Cyrano de Bergerac," which boasts a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In 1996, he took on the lead role in "The Crow: City of Angels," the second installment in the superhero franchise that began with Brandon Lee's "The Crow" two years prior. The sequel got panned in the reviews, something Perez would get used to over the next few years.

He went on to star opposite Kim Basinger in the box office bomb "I Dreamed of Africa" and then appeared in the period drama "Bride of the Wind" (which have damning Rotten Tomatoes scores of 10% and 11%, respectively) before his role in "Queen of the Damned." Perez hasn't fared much better with the critics since then, even as a director, with his 2016 passion project "Alone in Berlin" receiving mixed reviews. Perez is still acting now (he's filming Apple's Charlie Hunnam-led series "Shantaram" at the time of this writing), and he's been making some waves as a photographer, too. "I did a very important exhibition in Paris," he told Hey U Guys. "[At] the European House of Photography, which is pretty major."

Lena Olin is as classy as ever

Swedish actor Lena Olin had a long and successful career in the industry before appearing as Maharet, one of the Ancient Vampires in "Queen of the Damned." She worked with famed filmmaker Ingmar Bergman in the early '80s, though she wouldn't become known internationally until the end of the decade when she turned in a Golden Globe-nominated performance in Philip Kaufman's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." She went one better with her next film, earning an Oscar nomination for her turn as a concentration camp survivor in Paul Mazursky's "Enemies, A Love Story."

Olin had a spell on television following "Queen of the Damned," playing KGB agent Irina Derevko on "Alias," a role created specifically for her. "When J.J. [Abrams] contacted me and told me about this character that he wanted to create for me, that was the main attraction, but also that American TV was new to me," she told Swedish journalists. She soon added another nomination to the collection, earning an Emmy nod.

She's plied her trade on numerous shows since "Alias" finished in 2006 (most recently Sky's original series "Riviera" and Amazon's Nazi hunter drama "Hunters"), but she still takes on the odd film role. In 2019, Olin starred opposite Bruce Dern in "The Artist's Wife," playing a woman who rediscovers her creative side after her painter husband is diagnosed with dementia. "She gets her life back in the midst of this tragedy," Olin told LRM Online.

Matthew Newton has been in trouble with the law on multiple occasions

Matthew Newton (son of Australian media personalities Bert and Patti Newton, described as "showbiz royalty" by The Sydney Morning Herald) has been involved in numerous controversies since he played the vampire Armand in "Queen of the Damned." His legal problems began in 2006 when he was charged with assaulting an ex-girlfriend. A conviction was overturned when a judge ruled that he was suffering from a "mental illness" at the time, a decision that sparked outrage (via The Daily Telegraph).

He was sacked from "The X Factor" and dropped by his management in 2010 when more accusations of violence against women arose. "We don't know how to handle it," Newton's mother said at the time. "He's always had a bit of a problem with his temper, even as a kid." According to The Daily Telegraph, the actor was experiencing "schizophrenia-like symptoms from dangerous use of hard drugs."

Newton relocated to the U.S. to start over, which didn't start well — he made more unwanted headlines after he punched a hotel clerk in Miami. He was fined $11,500 and given community service. Newton, who hasn't been seen in anything since playing an unnamed Russian arms dealer in the 2016 film "Wasn't Afraid to Die," almost directed Jessica Chastain in the 2020 thriller "Ava" (which he wrote), but he stepped down when revelations about his past came to light. His mother denied rumors that he was still estranged from his father when he died in 2021.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Claudia Black is a big name in the 'cult arena'

If you're a big fan of the science fiction, horror, and/or fantasy genres, chances are you've heard of Claudia Black. The Sydney native came to the attention of U.S. audiences playing Aeryn Sun on the Australian-American sci-fi series "Farscape" in the late '90s, and over the next few years would become a big name in the "cult arena," as she put it during a /Film interview. She appeared as Sharon "Shazza" Montgomery in Vin Diesel movie "Pitch Black" and played Karina in "Xena: Warrior Princess" before she turned out as the stern and mysterious vampire Pandora in "Queen of the Damned."

Post-Pandora, Black played Vala Mal Doran on "Stargate SG-1," joining as a guest star before graduating to the main cast, and she later recurred as Dahlia on "The Originals." She's even voiced a couple of characters on "Rick and Morty" in recent years, cementing her place as a true genre icon. Voice acting is something that Black has always been good at, as gamers know all too well. The Aussie actor has worked on dozens of video games over the years, and she's behind some of the most beloved characters in recent memory. She played Artemis in the original "God of War" game and has voiced Chloe Frazer from the "Uncharted" series on several occasions, most recently in 2017. Netflix subscribers will no doubt recognize her as the voice of Sheryl Goodspeed from the animated sci-fi show "Final Space."

Paul McGann returned to Doctor Who

"Queen of the Damned" wasn't the first cult film that English actor Paul McGann was in. He got his big break in 1986 when he fronted the BBC's First World War-set mini-series "The Monocled Mutineer," and the following year he starred alongside Richard E. Grant in "Withnail and I," an enduring favorite that inspired everyone from Steve Martin (who called it "one of the best comedies of the 1980s," per the Los Angeles Times) and Margaret Cho to Paul Rudd. The film was considered a cult classic by the time McGann took on the role of Doctor Who in the mid-90s TV movie of the same name.

Playing the Doctor was a life-changing experience for McGann, who still loves meeting fans at conventions to this day. "You'll see somebody to whom it really matters; it helped them through something," he told The Guardian. "Those conversations are really touching. You're reminded of the power of stories and myths and heroes, and how people invest in all of it." McGann (who played supernatural investigator David Talbot in "Queen of the Damned") reprised the role in the 2013 episode "The Night of the Doctor." The Liverpool native has is also known for his recurring role on the hit Idris Elba series "Luther." He's appeared as human rights lawyer Mark North on 11 occasions, most recently in 2019. McGann's latest role as of this writing is in the crime drama "Annika" (2021), a TV adaptation of BBC radio drama "Annika Stranded."

Stuart Townsend is making a comeback

The role of eternally handsome antihero Lestat de Lioncourt, inhabited by Tom Cruise in "Interview with the Vampire," was played by Stuart Townsend in "Queen of the Damned." He was famously supposed to play Aragorn in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy until the director "apparently thought better of it because he really wanted someone 20 years older than me and completely different," Townsend said, referring to his replacement, Viggo Mortensen. "I was there rehearsing and training for two months, then was fired the day before filming began," he told Entertainment Weekly (via Independent). It wasn't the last project he'd be removed from at the last moment.

Townsend was set to play Fandral in "Thor" but was replaced by Joshua Dallas because of "creative differences," Marvel sources told The Hollywood Reporter. It was another blow for Townsend's career, which was floundering after a string of duds: the forgettable thriller "Trapped" (17% on Rotten Tomatoes), the big-budget disaster "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (17% on Rotten Tomatoes), and the wartime drama "Head in the Clouds" (16% on Rotten Tomatoes).

He retreated into TV following his apparent firing from "Thor" (he recurred on ABC's "Betrayal" and WGN America's "Salem") but would return to the big screen with two movies in 2021. The Irish actor plays a gunslinger in the Western "Apache Junction" and the philosopher Ken Wilber in "Grace and Grit," the heartbreaking and uplifting real story of Wilber and his wife, Treya.

Aaliyah was supposed to be in The Matrix sequels

The death of Aaliyah in 2001 sent shockwaves through the entertainment world. The R&B singer had just broken into Hollywood with a role opposite Jet Li in "Romeo Must Die" and was poised to become a huge star when tragedy struck: she was killed when the plane she was on crashed soon after takeoff in the Bahamas, where she'd been shooting a music video. She was only 22, but she was already a multi-platinum-selling artist and had movie studios lining up to work with her. She was supposed to play Zee (the wife of Harold Perrineau's Link) in both "Matrix" sequels and had already started filming scenes for the second film.

"I did a couple weeks of shooting in the end of June on 'The Matrix [Reloaded]' and I go back to Sydney, Australia to finish shooting in January for one month," she told Teen People in July 2001 (via Came to Give Love). A crew member later confirmed that "The bulk of her work was to be shot in Australia," per MatrixFans.net. "It is a terrible tragedy," they added. "Those of us that had the opportunity to spend time with her will be thinking about it for some time." 

It's now been over 20 years since we lost Aaliyah — and we're still thinking about her. "She was a mystery when she was here and in her absence she's a mystery," biographer Kathy Iandoli told CNN. "Now she's an even bigger mystery, and people love a mystery."