Daniel Gillies Opens The Doors To His 'Kingdom'

ET Online

This was five years of my life. I essentially quit acting for three years to make this.

This is the biggest week, professionally speaking, in Daniel Gillies life. Not only will The Vampire Diaries air his Originals-focused backdoor pilot on Thursday, but he's currently filming the second season of his medical drama, Saving Hope, and it was just announced Broken Kingdom, his directorial debut, would premiere this May on Showtime!

Not only did Gillies helm the globe-hopping, emotionally-resonant drama, but he wrote, produced and co-stars along with wife, Rachael Leigh Cook. A massive undertaking that underscores what a passion project this was for the actor.

Although Gillies used a different adjective to describe the endeavor when he rang up ETonline to talk Broken Kingdom, life lessons from behind the lens and The Originals!

ETonline: This is a big week for you, Daniel. Congrats on Showtime acquiring the film!
Daniel Gillies: Oh man, I'm very blessed. I can't believe all of this is happening at once -- I feel like every day is my birthday. These are lovely complications to have. It's been a bit of a process getting the release in order, and getting all the paperwork together, so I've been sitting on this for a long time. I'm relieved we can share the films with our friends, our supporters and the world.

ETonline: Why was this such a passion project for you?
Gillies: This was five years of my life. I essentially quit acting for three years to make this. It might be more accurate to call it an "Insanity Project" than a "Passion Project" [laughs]. I'm not sure if I had to do it again that I would find the courage. Walking into that blindly with a degree of naivety I had at the time was a helpful weapon.

Read the rest of the interview here >>