Now that’s what a vampire queen is supposed to look like. In the 2002 adaptation of vampire maven Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned, R&B star Aaliyah looks thoroughly exotic, dangerous, and depraved. It’s sad to say, but the fact that Aaliyah died (in a plane crash, at the far too young age of 22) a year before the movie’s release only added to her character’s eerie, beyond-the-grave appeal.
In the film, Akasha is the first vampire, long dormant but awakened twice by the music of the vampire Lestat (Stuart Townshend), now frontman of a popular metal band. She and Lestat become lovers, but her seemingly indiscriminate willingness to kill any human or vampire that stands in her way is too much even for Lestat. The whole thing is pretty silly, but there’s no denying Aaliyah’s charismatic screen presence.