Daniel Gillies, best-known as Elijah Mikaelson in the critically-acclaimed American supernatural drama series “The Vampire Diaries”, is an accomplished Canadian film producer, screenwriter, director as well as an actor, who is also famous for his appearance in “The Vampire Diaries” spin-off series “The Originals.”
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Born under the Pisces zodiac sign on 14 March 1976, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Daniel Gillies is 45 years old as of 2021. He was brought up until he was five years old in his hometown by his parents who hail from New Zealand – his mother works as a nurse and his father is a pediatrician. Gillies’ great-great-great grandfather was credited with being the plastic/otolaryngology (ENT) surgery pioneer. Gillies spent the rest of his childhood in Invercargill, New Zealand, to where his parents relocated during his early childhood.
Despite being born to a family that had a strong medical background, he grew up passionate about acting, revealed during an interview that acting was ‘the only thing I was ever any good at.’
Gillies hasn’t revealed where he went for his primary school education, and there’s no factual information regarding his high school details either, but it’s known that he attended Auckland’s Unitec Performing Arts School, and graduated with a theatrical degree in 1998.
Interesting Facts and Hobbies
Daniel once revealed during an interview that he didn’t like spending his childhood in New Zealand, due to the country’s frequent rains, but that he’s pleased with his ‘Kiwi’ accent, adding that whenever he tours a new place and says that he is from New Zealand, people become very welcoming and nice to him.
During his free time, Gillies likes watching Western films and series and – favourite productions are “For a Fistful of Dollars,” “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” He also likes playing video games, especially the Western-themed ones – his favorite is “Red Dead Redemption.”
He likes Japanese seafood and Italian cuisine.
Gillies enjoys traveling, and has toured many Asian and European destinations.
Career and Social Media Presence
Career Beginnings and Film Appearances
At the age of 25, Gillies relocated to Sydney, Australia, looking to pursue a career in acting. He later returned to Canada, and worked as a waiter for several months before he moved to Los Angeles, California. Daniel landed his first role in the Thomas Michael Donnely-directed TV film “A Soldier’s Sweetheart” in 1998.
Three years later, he was cast for a minor role in the horror film “No One Can Hear You”, before in 2004 landing his first major role in the Oscar Award-winning superhero movie “Spider Man 2,” which was the 2002 “Spider Man” sequel, directed by S. Raimi. The film follows the story of the protagonist, Peter Parker, who struggles to balance his superhero and personal lives; many consider this film as Daniel’s breakthrough movie. Later that year, he was seen in the Gurinder Chadha-directed “Bride and Prejudice,” which is based on Jane Austen’s novel. By the end of the decade, he’d featured in several other films, such as the acclaimed drama “The Sensation of Sight,” which follows the life of a man faced with a mid-life crisis. struggling to understand the meaning of life; the film features Ian Somerhalder, the “Vampire Diaries” co-star.
He was also cast in 2007’s horror “Captivity”. and 2008’s “Uncross the Stars.”
Some of Daniel’s recent roles have been portraying Wing Commander Hayes in the Australian action film “Occupation: Rainfall,” which was written by Luke Spade, and he also recently featured in 2021’s “Coming Home in the Dark” thriller, in which he played the protagonist role.
TV Series Appearances
1999 saw Daniel making his TV show debut in the drama “Young Hercules,” which aired in New Zealand. Through 2000-2001, he landed a major role in “Street Legal”, making appearances in two seasons of the crime drama, which is about the lifestyle of law firm partners. He was cast in his first American show – “Jeremiah” – in 2002 and in 2005, he featured in the miniseries “Into the West.” Before the end of the decade, he guest-starred in “The Glades,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and “True Blood.”
Between 2010 and 2014, he appeared in “Vampire Diaries,” which was created by Julie Plec and Kelvin Williamson, based on L.J. Smith’s book – it stars Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder, and follows the story of the teenager Elena, who falls in love with a vampire who is 163 years old; it aired from 2009-2017 on CW. Daniel later reprised his role of Elijah Mickelson in “The Originals” (2013-2018), landing the lead role together with other characters. His recent project is 2019’s “Virgin River,” which was created by S.Tenney and stars Colin Lawrence, Martin Henderson and Alexandra Beckenridge.
Social Media Presence
Gillies has a decent online presence, with over 900,000 Facebook fans, and a million Twitter follower; in addition, he’s active on Instagram with 2.8 million followers.
He uses his social media handles to update his fans about his current and upcoming career endeavours, as well as share details of his personal life with his avid fans.
Gillies married the American model and actress Rachael Leigh Cook on 8 August 2004. They were blessed with two children, a daughter and a son named Charlotte (born in 2013) and Theodore (born in 2015) respectively. Two years after the birth of their son, he announced that he would be going for a vasectomy procedure, to prevent having a third child saying that ‘…no that’s the answer. I want to be able to give those two my love and my attention and my care. I would like to stop now.’
In June 2019, Cook and Gillies announced through their respective Instagram platforms that they would be separating for issues which they kept private. One year later in July 2020, Daniel filed for a divorce, which was finalized in March 2021. Gillies has been referred to as a family man, and before he divorced his wife, he said during an interview with Fashion and Style that ‘The only downside to being both an actor and a father is the merciless scheduling and the distance from home’. Despite his divorce from Cook, they remained close friends who do the best they can to raise their children together.
As of now, Gillies is reportedly dating actress and cellist Julia Misaki. On the other hand, Cook has also revealed that she has moved on, and that she is dating an anonymous man stating during an interview that ‘…I met someone really nice, and I adore him. He’s fantastic…” She hasn’t yet mentioned his name.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Gillies is of white ethnicity, and has short dark brown hair and a pair of brown eyes. He’s 5ft 11ins (1.80m) tal,l and weighs approximately 165lbs (75kgs).
Since he began his career ,Gillies has been selected for several notable roles in award-winning shows and films, which has made him quite famous, and have contributed to his net worth. As of late 2021, authoritative sources indicate that the “The Vampire Diaries” star is worth close to $3 million.