And had you seen the movie adaptation, starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt?
Oh yeah. I’d seen the movie and I’d read the books. I had actually read the books before I saw the film. I got into the books when I was about 13 because they shot Queen of the Damned, the Stuart Townsend and Aaliyah film, in Melbourne. And being a kid wanting to be an actor, when I read that there was this big vampire movie being filmed in Oz, I was very intrigued. I was always into vampires, Dracula and Nosferatu.
Did you draw inspiration from Cruise’s Lestat, or did you try to block out his portrayal?
When I was in the audition process of the show, I didn’t really want to look at Tom Cruise because I’m sure they weren’t looking at somebody to imitate him. I love his performance in it, however, because I’d read the books I really went back to them. The reviews are in and people are saying the TV series is actually better than the film. It’s lovely that they’re saying that, but we don’t hope to make a competition out of it. I think anything that brings people back to the source material, Rice’s books, is a good thing.
Lestat is quite theatrical. How do you get into character?
It was a process because I had to learn French, and piano and singing. It’s a transformative process when they put the contact lenses in, and I had the acrylic nails on for six months. I had to grow my hair. So there were a few things that made me quite different to how I am on a daily basis.
Do you believe in vampires? I mean, this series makes you believe there could be some out there.
That was Anne Rice’s MO. Her books existed in the real world. But do I believe vampires are real? No (laughs). But I believe their metaphor in society is real.