The Originals Q&A: Daniel Gillies Talks Klaus' Betrayal

Fans who saw the original version of “The Originals” encountered a surprise twist when the show premiered a beefed up version of its pilot last week on The CW. At the end of the episode, Daniel Gillies character, Elijah Mikaelson, was staked by his brother, Klaus (Joseph Morgan).

Klaus, the vampire/werewolf hybrid, did it because he believes Elijah, who has that great love of family (and is particularly pleased that Hayley is carrying Klaus’ miracle baby), is a weakness Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) can exploit.

Shortly before Daniel set off on his newest adventure – parenthood (he and his wife, Rachael Leigh Cook, welcomed a daughter just over a week ago), he spoke with Access about “The Originals” staking twist, and what could be next for the growing Mikaelson TV family.

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AccessHollywood.com: What a shocker. So first things first – what color was that stake?

Daniel Gillies: (Laughs) Who knows. Let’s just say medium rare! … I think that that’s my best death like since I’ve been Elijah. At this point, I don’t even know why he’s exhibiting surprise of any kind. I don’t know why he’s registering any kind of shock. I was joking with Julie [Plec, the show’s executive producer, that] with his next death, I’m just kind of gonna roll my eyes and hit the deck. You know what I mean? … It’s gonna be like, ‘Oh, really? I’m gonna look at my watch the next time I get staked.

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Access: Obviously he doesn’t have a lot of time to think because he’s been staked, but in the few seconds he had, what is Elijah thinking about? ‘That dastardly Klaus is up to his old tricks again?’

Daniel: Knowing Elijah… he’s probably thinking, ‘I wonder if I gave that dry cleaning to Rebekah this morning.’ It was probably something along those lines. No, I don’t know. I think it’s all of the things that anybody wants it to be. I certainly know what I was thinking as I hit the deck, but I don’t think that’s of any interest to anyone.

Access: We know you’re a series regular, so we know you’re coming back (otherwise that’s the shortest series regular contract in the history of television), but what do you think Elijah’s going to be like when he gets un-staked and he comes back into New Orleans society?

Daniel: Italicized ‘If’ he gets un-staked, I think that he’s going to be a quietly menacing sort of presence for Klaus, ‘cause it’s gotta be like, If Elijah returns, there’s no more good graces for Klaus. I just don’t see … any reason why Elijah needs to serve this person, other than that he has some sort of odd psychological disorder, you know? I mean, he’s a glutton for punishment. … He adores this person who doesn’t really reciprocate and doesn’t love him nearly as much or doesn’t demonstrate any [example] of sacrifice in return. I think that’s going to be one of the exciting things about the show actually is to see the redemption of Klaus because I think he wandered so far into this dark realm…

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Access: Do you think Klaus has totally lost it at this point?

Daniel: No, I think he’s making a rapid ascent. I really do. I think he’s making a rapid ascent. It might not appear so, but I feel like — and I don’t know, I know as much as you do at this point — I feel like the writers are navigating it towards seeing all of these other aspects. … What I think is gonna be exciting to see in the show, what I think we’re gonna explore through the show, through the characters of Elijah and Klaus, we’re going to see aspects of Elijah that are far darker than we ever imagined-- like he was in the beginning when he was super interesting and cool. And I think that were gonna see a lot more beauty and kind of compassion and dare I say it sort of warmth from Klaus.

And I think that Julie’s very clever in that way in that she knows what audiences sort of expect of the character. She knows what they anticipate, she knows what the expectations are and then she sort of turns them on their head. And even though people, there might be an outcry or there might be resistance to a character not doing what they’re sort of supposed to do… ultimately, people love it when [characters] behave erratically, irrationally and in a way or in a fashion that isn’t necessarily the norm for them. … I think that’s what we’re gonna see a lot of in the show is Elijah venturing into some territories that we’re like, ‘Oh, that’s unusual to see him [doing that].’ I think that Elijah will do anything… to create this reunification of this family. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do. I think that’s his great M.O. and I think Klaus is kind of stumbling through the world as this kind of lost, borderline sort of deeply lonely creature whose probably gonna find his way back to a degree of humanity, actually, is my guess. … But it might not turn that direction. I’m guessing because I’m a fan of the show too.

Access: Do you think there could be a love connection for Elijah and Hayley? She could use a guy like him about now.

Daniel: I don’t know. I’m at the mercy of the writers. … I’ll go wherever they put me, to be honest. … Do I think that I’ll see anything from between Hayley and Elijah? I don’t know. At the moment it seems like sort of a deep level of sort of compassion. I think she represents … a kind of a new miracle to him, the idea of birth, or perhaps that’s just me interpreting that, because I’m about to be a dad myself.

“The Originals” returns tonight at 8/7c on The CW.

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