Vampire Diaries' Kiwi connection
If you've been wondering why Elijah looks familiar, it's because
the actor, who plays the mysterious vamp, is none other that Kiwi
actor Daniel Gillies.
Daniel Gillies was born in Winnipeg, Canada and grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand.
He studied at The United School of Performing Arts and was acclaimed in several Auckland Theatre Company productions. His biggest local role was in TV2 drama Street Legal, starring alongside Jay Laga'aia, as rookie lawyer Tim O'Conner.
After becoming frustrated with the local screen industry, he tried his luck offshore in Sydney and Canada before eventually finding success in Hollywood.
He appeared in Bride & Prejudice with fellow Kiwi expat
Martin Henderson and in Spiderman 2 with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten
Dunst, as well as various film and television roles, before being
cast as Elijah.
But he almost didn't get the role.
After auditioning, Gillies was told producers were looking for an older Elijah. Thankfully the Vampire Diaries producers changed their minds and went ahead to cast 35 year old Gillies as the 1000 year old Elijah.
Vampire Diaries creators Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson were so impressed with Gillies' performance as Elijah that they changed their plans for the character.
Plec told EW magazine, "We knew that we were gonna give the
surprise that he wasn't dead at the end of his first episode, but
the more we like him, the more complicated we make the rule about
how an Original can be killed for good."
Gillies confessed to TV Fanatic how much he enjoys playing a character Elijah, ""I love playing him. He's so fun."
"He's sort of like a military tactician almost." He said in an
interview with EW magazine, "I feel like he, unlike myself, has the
patience of a god. I feel like he would wait 100 years to be able
to avenge something, a slight on him."
He also revealed an usual inspiration for Elijah - former Frasier actor, Kelsey Grammer. "I wanted him to sound a little bit like Kelsey Grammer [laughs], if that makes any sense. I wanted him to sound like old money from the United States..."
Gillies doesn't reveal what Elijah has in store for the residents of Mystic Falls but confirms that Elijah is definitely playing his own game with Elena, Stefan and Damon.
"He's ultimately playing chess with these kids," he says.
Source: NZ Herald, EW Magazine, TV Fanatic
The Vampire Diaries names, characters and related indicia are trademarks and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. TM & © 2008 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.