The Vampire Diaries, Daniel Gillies Panel - New Jersey Convention

Big thank you to Jeannette who attended TVD New Jersey in Parsipphany, and captured Daniel's panel.  Read Jeannette's post below.

By Jeannette Hinners.
Twitter: @ILoveZachR

On July 18, 2015, Daniel Gillies attended Creation Entertainment’s, 'The Vampire Diaries' Convention. I was lucky enough to have gone to the convention and met Daniel.  


Is there anyone you would like to play other than Elijah?

I don’t know. Sorry was that a boring answer?  I should have whistled.  Hmmm, anyone on either The Vampire Diaries or The Originals tricky question little lady.  No, I like playing Elijah. 


Do you think if Elijah wasn’t a vampire he’d want to be a human?

Amazing questions, you guys are amazing.  I’m sorry I’ve never been asked this question before and the answer is no, I don’t think he would have wanted to.  Especially Elijah of all the siblings. Especially him he loves and admires human beings.  I always fought to put that in the role.  I always tried to make that his dark place.  Thank you for the good question.


Do you like to be called Dan or Daniel?

 I was Dan when I was in New Zealand.  When I came to the states, they started to call me Daniel and I found that I liked it a lot, so I stuck with it.


Do you get recognized when you are on the streets or have people following you?

I think you have a disproportionate view of my life.  But I’m not, you-know, Tom Hardy.  It’s not that difficult for me to go to a supermarket, you know.  What I mean, like I have a very privileged life, and yes sometimes I go places and people do, um more and more now, yes people recognize me and want to take a photograph and things like that.  You know I told people at the convention before, I am very good friends with Ryan Gosling.  You know when I’m walking with Ryan through New York it’s difficult like we have to hide, and I know what my life feels like and to be honest the level of attention that I get it’s kind of nice.  It’s like, hey man I like the show.  Yes, I get it when I go outside publicly or whatever, but it’s like you know a few people when I go into the supermarket.  But Ryan is besieged, you know he’s besieged.  I literally will have dinner with him and he’s got vehicles pulling up in the alley outside and in front because no one will leave him alone.  I feel for him.  This is one of my best friends and I love him, and I watch him.  He’s a prisoner.  He’s a complete prisoner in that fame.  I think that a part of us when we start this journey,  I’ll be honest with you when we all start it, I’ll admit it to you, Ryan will admit it to you. When we start that stuff, it looks appealing.  It looks nice.  It’s something that you think when you begin, 'oh man that would be nice', and then as it starts to happen, you realize it’s not that pleasant actually.  It’s champagne problems, it’s not cancer. There are things we have to navigate around.  It certainly comes with its own set of problems.


How do you feel about wearing a suit every time you’re on set?

I like it!  I mean, it kind of gives me his character you know. Once I’m in the suit I sort of feel like I don’t have to behave.  Especially the shoes, when I’m in his shoes. I like it very much.

What lesson have you learned from the role of Elijah?

It’s taught me to work as hard as you can because of Elijah I work very very hard for every single scene.  To become a better actor, he’s given me a sort of new work ethic.

Do you have any special talents?

Yes I can whistle.
Daniel whistles Over the Rainbow for us from The Wizard of Oz.


What’s your favorite book and what character from that story would you want to portray in a movie?

I’d rather read a pamphlet, written in German, about assembling a toilet.
— Daniel on 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

The funniest book I ever read was Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.  It’s the funniest book I’ve ever read I laughed my ass off through the whole thing.  (Someone shouts out fifty).  I love it that people have suggestions for me on my favorite book. (Daniel starts to joke around).  What’s my wife like in bed?  Where’s that mole located on my lower left butt cheek?  Thank you!  Don’t yell out the answers.  No really please yell out he answers. (Someone yells, Fifty Shades of Grey).  Wait.  Let’s talk about this.  My daughter is 21 months old, I can give her three crayons, and she can write better literature.  Since Dan Brown there hasn’t been a writer that bad.  It’s some of the worst writing.  I really wanted to give it a shot.  I wanted to understand it.  What I liked was the phenomenon of it.  I understood it was kind of a backlash. The book represented a sexual kind of revolution and I liked that that was happening.  So I liked that this book was sort of the forefront of that, but when I opened its pages, it was the most unreadable thing.  I’d rather read a pamphlet written in German about assembling a toilet.  That didn’t answer your question did it?   It’s Catch 22 and I like to play Yossarian.  That’s who I’d like to play.


What’s your most bizarre talent?

Next question!  No very, very nice questions.  It’s obscene.  There’s a part of my brain right now that is shrieking.  It is saying don’t be fucking honest.  (Laughs)   Ok, I can make incredible fart sounds with my hands.  I don’t know why or how but I do.  It’s awful but funny.  Oh wait, there is just never a scene that goes by, the more serious the scene the more likely you are to hear (makes fart sound).  I love it!  It’s my favorite thing and especially when Elijah is in the suit. I love it!


Who is your favorite couple on The Vampire Diaries?

I don’t know.  I don’t really know.  I don’t think I have a favorite couple on the show.  Sorry, I wish I could give you more.  (Fan shouts Elijah and Katherine).  Daniel jokes, Thank you my job here is done she will be answering the rest of my questions today.  I’ll give you $200 in an envelope you can come pick it up anytime there is also a bottle of Jack Daniels in it for you as well.


Do you enjoy playing the good guy or would you rather play the bad guy?

I don’t think Elijah is a good guy. (Fans shout yes he is).  Where were you when he was in the diner and butchered all those people?  That’s a good guy?  Or when he was throwing change mercilessly into the café?  Or when he forced a vampire to murder himself with the stake.  He’s not a good guy.  The problem is I hear this all the time when you consider vampires you have to consider a new type of morality.   They’re cannibals, that’s what they do.  They cannibalize to survive.  That’s what they do essentially.  So by definition, vampires are all evil and it necessitates a certain type by human standards.  A type of evil, but now you look through the prism of when a vampire returns, is he considered a good guy?  Elijah has a noble quality and the quality is that he’s hanging on as desperately as possible to the last piece of his humanity that he has.  The others have all surrendered to the monster.


Was there anything you had to act out ever actually affected you personally or made you sad about it after you did it?

Yes, the truth is they all affect you, more than you think they do.  I find it really, difficult when I have to do aggressive scenes for example.  More than you think, actors truly do start to get emotional.  When you put your body into a place that is doing things for example, if you’re doing a violent scene especially as a guy I feel like you start to get angry.  You start to feel physically angry and your body starts to respond.  You start to feel it and you should.  To answer the question, yes, you should be affected all the time by what is happening to you.


Would you rather go back to The Vampire Diaries or stick to The Originals?

I’d love to go back to The Vampire Diaries!   I would love to go back to the Vampire Diaries!  In truth, I don’t think the scheduling permits it.  We shoot at the same time, and it’s just a little bit impossible. I think that’s a bit of a problem when you have, uh the repercussions of extracting both shows. It’s really difficult for both writing teams to track.