‘The Vampire Diaries’: Daniel Gillies Talks Elijah and Elena’s Flirtation

by | February 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM | Interviews, Vampire Diaries

Daniel Gillies on The Vampire Diaries (The CW)

Elijah has always been the most moral of the Originals. Sure, he’ll rip someone’s heart out, but his own is in the right place. Last week, his mother rose from the dead with the goal of killing all of her children. Elena, whom he considered a friend, helped her cast a spell that binds all of the Originals together. If someone kills one, they all will die. Daniel Gillies discussed what will happen next, Elijah’s intriguing relationship with Elena, and why he wants “The Vampire Diaries” to be more like “Breaking Bad.”

“The key thing about this upcoming episode is really the unity between the siblings,” says Gillies. “They’re going to have to dispense with any of their old differences to overcome their mother.” Gillies insists that Elijah really did drink the Elena flavored wine last week which bound the siblings together, though it appeared that he might have skipped the toast. “One thing you’ve got to know is I’m a huge diva. At the best of times I’ll always try to create some question mark or whatever. Even when I was doing that I was thinking it’s just always nice for them to be able to have this sense of suspicion. Look, that’s in the editors’ hands. I did one like that. I did one where I was gulping it down. I kind of just wanted to create something enigmatic.”

Elijah’s seeming attraction to Elena comes from a similar desire to intrigue the audience. “Nina Dobrev and I just like working with each other and maybe we’re a little too flirty with each other. It just ends up in what we’re doing. That’s all it is. I really enjoy working with Ian Somerhalder. Not so flirty with Ian. Only with Nina.” He does think that there is more than simple friendship between the characters.”There’s some sort of unsaid thing that’s happening which I like. It’s going to sound pretentious, but it’s kind of like a spiritual romance. They both aspire to the same qualities in a person. I think that Elijah’s certainly enchanted by a nobility that she’s able to uphold, that he aspires to.” He may even forgive Elena after he learns that she has betrayed him. “He’s able to forgive Klaus (Joseph Morgan) for some atrocities. I think that if he thinks people are doing things in their best interests, then he’s probably relatively forgiving. We just have to see.”

Preview Thursday’s Episode:

Gillies is discovering the nature of Elijah’s relationship with his newly awakened siblings along with the audience. “It’s really strange for me because suddenly an actor appears on set and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s who they’ve been talking about.’ For example, I was saying things like, ‘You better look out. You’ll have Kol to deal with.’ When I was doing that thing on the coffin and [Klaus] removes the dagger from me. I hadn’t even met Kol at that point. Cole wasn’t even in the coffin. I don’t believe I’d met him when I was doing these lines… In my mind, Kol was – I actually think Nathan [Buzolic's] tremendous, but – in my mind the way people were describing him, he was this leviathan, this monster. I was like what is he going to be, this kind of ogre because there was so much talk of the threat of him.”

When Elijah learns of his mother’s Freudian quest to destroy the vampire children that she created, “It will destroy him, I imagine. But he has to do anything he can in order to survive and I think his loyalty is probably greater to Klaus and his siblings even through all of the betrayals than to his mother who has basically been extinct for most of his existence. It’s almost a pipe dream to have them all together including their mother once he learns of that betrayal.”

Elijah will continue his fragile alliance with the Salvatore brothers. “I think he just hopes that Elena’s safe at this point and I think he’ll do anything he can to maintain that. I think he knows that nobody will do that better than those boys even though they are knuckleheads.”

Gillies’ dream storyline involves an edgier, more mature version of the show. “I always want to see the adult version of this show. If [Julie Plec] and [Kevin Williamson] wanted to make something a little more adult with these characters, that would be really exciting to me. I do like getting to this idea of them operating discreetly in a contemporary world. I do like the idea of their being somewhere like New York just because I want to shoot there and being almost mafia like…I’d love to see a “Breaking Bad” version of this show. I’d like to see it shot more like “Friday Night Lights.

Finally, Gillies has a little bone to pick with all of the fans who are obsessed with his hair. “There was so much talk of, “Did he have a haircut in the coffin?” I remember thinking, “How do you get haircut from coffin?” because I had this scene with my former hair and then I emerge with a new haircut,” pointing out that sort of question is somewhat silly given that this is a supernatural show. “If we’re talking about historical accuracy, when the mother emerges she wouldn’t be able to speak any language we’d be able to identify in any way, shape or form…’I don’t know what you’re saying. You sound like Beowulf.’”