A few weeks before she died, singer and actress Aaliyah described a dream. It was about flying, the feeling of freedom and weightlessness - and about the fear to fail. Last saturday (August 25, 2001) she died with the age of 22 killed in a plane crash on the Bahamas, where she did some video clip footage.


It's dark in my favourite dream. Someone is after me. Don't know why. I got fear. Then, suddenly I lift off. I fly away. Far away. How do I feel now? It is like swimming in the air, free and without any weight. No-one can reach me. No-one can touch me. It' s a wonderful feeling.
Otherwise I am alarmed by this dream somehow. What does it mean? That I want to escape from the real life sometimes? But from what? From success or the pressure of show business? No. I enjoy every second of my fame. If I could rewind my life back to the start I wouldn't change a thing, honestly.


Foto: Mikael Väisänen

When I was a little girl I knew already: I want to become famous. I always worked hard for this dream, very hard. I took singing lessons and joined performances at school. I did everything to become a good entertainer because pretty looks won't make up a star, whether in the music business nor in the movie industry.
Retrospectively many people insinuate that I hadn't a real childhood. That's a lie! My parents always had taken care that I had enough time to play. I missed nothing. In general I grew up regularly. I was a normal girl, almost. Because not every girl had her first stage experience with the age of nine. I remember this day exactly. A great wish became true as I joined a concert given by my aunt Gladys Knight in Las Vegas but I was anxious. I was afraid of the audience and afraid to fail. My bashfulness obstructed me at that time. I loved to escape into my dreams.

Today I am still a dreamer, a daydreamer. In a conversation with friends often I digress from the original subject. I stare self-forgetful at remoteness. Were I am then? I have no idea. Probably in higher spheres. Sometimes I really don't know. I am somehow mysterious, that's it. Even my parents don't know sometimes, how I think. Likely they put up with the fact that I am an introverted person. No, introverted is the wrong term. I have a complex personality. Actually I am nice and open but often I seclude myself. Other people are afraid of being alone but I like it. At least from time to time. Sometimes I lay on my bed in my Manhattan apartment and look only out of the window. I dream.    
In my dream I am in Egypt, the land of my dreams. The culture and the pyramids - that fascinates me. You know, I'm sure, that I was an Egyptian in an earlier life. Only this way I can explain my fascination. This country casts a spell over me immediately although I knew it only from pictures. As I was very young my mother showed me holiday photos of friends. I saw hierogylphes, pyramids, masks, the people, strange ceremonies - I dived into another world. To explore this world is my greatest dream.

One day I will travel to Egypt. I will be there, were Cleopatra and the pharaoes lived. Unfortunately I can't meet them anymore. If I had a time machine I would visit the ancient Egypt. Who knows, perhaps Cleopatra and me would become very good friends. At least I would have a live experience of that ancient culture which I only know from books.
My books about Egypt are sacred. I use to read every story about Egyptian kings and queens. Sometimes I watch just the pictures. I dream to stand in front of these imposant buildings. Or I make a movie in Egypt. My favourite character to impersonate is Cleopatra. If there will be a remake of that movie I will apply for this character immediately!
But it hasn't to be this project. The main thing is to work in Egypt. I approached this wish by my participation in the making of The Queen of the Damned. In the sequel of Interview with the Vampire I impersonate the Egyptian queen Akasha. I admit it was like a fullfilled dream but unfortunately the movie wasn't produced in Egypt. Also my current involvement in the making of The Matrix II and III don't fullfill my dream. This time I am in Australia. It is a nice country, but even it's not Egypt.    
Otherwise I have a great partner on the set: Keanu Reeves. Surely many women envy me this but I find him just a nice person. He is reserved as me - I like it. The man of my dreams - no. I prefer masculines who let me feel safe and secure. He must be strong as an Egyptian warrior. If I find someone like this I will marry him. Like all little girls I have dreamed always of a traditional wedding ceremony with horse and carriage and wearing white wedding dress. I am hopelessly romantic. I want a man and children - a lucky family.
This wish has to take second place yet. Next I want to let come true another dream, no, two dreams. I will design clothes and accessories together with a friend. Perhaps next year already.
My second dream is not tangible yet. My movie career has priority at the moment but when I am fully established as an actress I want to have a break. Then I want to enrol on a college. My subject of studies will be egyptology, of course, nothing else I could imagine.

The interview on which this text is founded took place in Paris mid of July. An introverted young woman sat on a sofa at an expensive hotel. She needed time before words flow easily. The conversation lasted 40 minutes. It was one of the last Aaliyah had with a journalist. Not only she dreamed of flying, her greatest dream, she said, is to go to Egypt and to study egyptology.   

text assembled by Dagmar Leischow

German version of the interview back home more Plane crash report at Fox News