Elijah Mikaelson is a huge fan of Meryl Streep. No, really. This might not seem to jibe with the character's murderous, heart-crushing ways, but allow Daniel Gillies to explain.
"There's something about Elijah that admires humanity," the actor told me just now over the phone, in response to whether he feels Esther's evaluation of her son last week as "moral" was accurate.
"I still don't think he's that moral," Gillies continued. "But he aspires to be. I've tried to incorporate that into a lot of what I do... even if Elijah can be quite sinister, he has a duality to him... There's no question he's been through bleak, hard times. But he also has a deep reverence for what human beings can accomplish in one lifetime. He looks at Mozart or Meryl Streep and he's kind of enamored."
[Elijah vs. Rebekah]
Which brings us to the connection Elijah shares with Elena. It's not romantic, but "someone once told me respect is more important than love," Gillies said, explaining how that's the way he views his character's connection to Elena.
"There's this mutual, unspoken respect. Both aspire to be heroic in their attempts to reconcile themselves with the better part of their nature."
What can viewers look forward to tonight, on the final new Vampire Diaries episode until March 15?
"The brothers and sisters are going to need to set aside their difference and create an alliance," the actor said, implying that the siblings learn about their mother's wicked plan.
Gillies, of course, could not reveal the fate of Elijah or of any Originals, but the Twitterverse has been exploding with the wishful thinking of fans who have created their own future for the Mikaelsons: a spinoff!
What might it be called?
"How about just 'Original?'" Gillies said. "No plural. Original. That word has so many implications, including original sin, the bible... I'd want something esoteric along those lines."
Sadly, viewers are unlikely to see Original going into production any time soon. They're equally unlikely to see this actor grace any magazine covers wearing as few layers as his co-stars recently did for Entertainment Weekly.
"I would need at least a month warning," Gillies said. "And then I would need a diet of nothing but raw almonds, celery... I'd need to do about 10 million push-ups."