April 20, 2012
Saving Hope: Q&A Interview with Daniel
While at the NBC Universal Summer Press Day 2012, Daniel Gillies and his Saving Hope co-star Erica Durance, together with Larry Gilbert (Vice President, Current Programming, Entertainment One Television) answered some questions about the project-to-come.
Question: Daniel, are you announcing that you’ve completely left Vampire Diaries? When were you offered this role?
Daniel Gillies: Well, I wasn’t offered this role. I auditioned for it. It was last year around April, and I have not entirely left the Vampire Diaries. Fortunately, we film at different times of the year. I’m deeply indebted to that show for what it’s given me.
Erica Durance: We’ll steal him.
Daniel Gillies: But this show takes precedence at this moment in time. However, I love Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson – and I would do anything with them in a heartbeat, but I can’t really speak to any further adventures of Elijah on that show because I’ll probably get fired.
Larry Gilbert: From which show?
Daniel Gillies: Who knows? But I’m happy to be on this one and with actors like Erica. It’s just a pleasure to come to work every day, I’ve got to tell you. I mean, it’s an easy sort of thing to say up here.
Erica Durance: I’ll pay you later.
Daniel Gillies: The Swiss bank account.
Erica Durance: That’s right.
Daniel Gillies: No, it’s an easy thing to sort of assume that one would come up here and say, but Michael Shanks, Julia Taylor-Ross, and Erica, it’s a pleasure. And working with Morwyn Brebner and David Wellington, and Frank, they have created this whole architecture within which we feel like we’re doing something incredibly original and touching and funny. It’s really deeply human as well as mystical, and we all feel blessed to be part of it.
Question: What percentage of the show focuses on the relationships between people, the ghostly world, and the actual medical drama? Is there always going to be a big operation?
Daniel Gillies: Well, yeah, those are the three, and I feel like we deal with those very admirably. It’s always well balanced. We’re five episodes deep now, and they always balance that so beautifully, and they’re not mutually exclusive to one another either.
There’s the harmony between what’s happening in this sort of enchanted world, and thematically there are motifs that sort of marry into what’s happening with the individuals and the surgeries of the week and the underlying texturals of the drama that’s happening between us and our sort of past history and whatnot. I think they are doing a beautiful job of balancing that. I don’t know how they are doing that to be honest.
Question: What was it like filming in a real hospital? Did you visit the morgue?
Erica Durance: We were in a specific wing of it. What was strange, and a little bit off-putting, is we would be in the middle of shooting a scene and then you would hear “Code Blue.” You would know that that’s somebody actually experiencing a very specific, painful tragedy right at that moment, and we would get caught in that kind of world, so it did have some of those elements to it and that feeling.
Daniel Gillies: We weren’t really permitted to go into places like the morgue, and we couldn’t go to the other wards. I mean, I’m sure we could have. I’m sure we had access to some, but we were really there to work
It was also a hell of the way out of the city. What was it called, New Market? We were literally driven there and taken to set. There was no sort of opportunity to wander, so to speak. It just was sort of cinematically offered enough light to be able to do it, but what they have created now, the new stages are stunning.
Erica Durance: I’m constantly taking my own blood pressure because they have machines in there to see how I’m feeling. We’re all becoming hypochondriacs.
Daniel Gillies: I hope I’m not betraying you a little bit here, but remember the first time we walked in with Linda?
Erica Durance: I got a little emotional.
Daniel Gillies: Erica started to cry.
Erica Durance: Which you’ll see a lot in this season. Oh, here she goes again.
Daniel Gillies: Get the tissues.
No, it’s lovely to walk into an environment that you sort of have to act in and then you realize you’re not going to have to do a hell of a lot of acting because they built a hospital. We felt so spoiled and so humbled because actors tend to think largely that they are the center of the universe, and then you realize everything else that goes on and we’re just little pieces.
Erica Durance: Talking heads.
Question: Thinking about a second season, how important is it that Charlie is in a coma?
Larry Gilbert: We’re not going to say anything. You have to watch to find out.
But what Charlie and Erica’s characters go through is important. It’s that desperation of two people so madly in love and whatever they will do to get back to each other. I think that’s the journey, and then wherever the writer decides to take it. We hope everybody moves on for the ride
Erica Durance: One of the things I also love about it — sometimes it’s hard to put into words, which is ironic considering you guys are trying to write things — but it’s the idea that they have taken this overall theme of hope and positivity and believing in something better than yourself and that sort of thing. They have taken that overall theme and then they have used the situation with Charlie going into a coma to kind of push it there. It’s establishing itself. Then each episode, what they do is they pick some of the things we as human beings do to hold on to hope to fight desperately for. Are we blind to the reality of what’s going on? Because she needs so badly to believe in something, and you see that interwoven throughout the whole episode.
And then at the end, occasionally you have Michael’s character that is kind of able to view all of this ongoing. This is what we do as human beings to have contact with people, and some of us do this, and some of us do that, and it’s kind of like a very non-judgment thing, but it puts out those Questions.
Daniel Gillies: And really, just as a stand-alone medical show, it’s really as good as any I have seen. I mean, it’s stunning. If it was just a medical show, it’s got a lot of clout and this other sort of dimension to it.
Read the full interview here.