Broken Kingdom follows Gillies’s character, who forms a friendship with a 14-year-old Colombian prostitute, and an LA teacher — played by Daniel’s wife, Rachael Leigh Cook — who is suffering from a personal trauma. “I wanted to make a story about people," Daniel says.
Three years and $100,000 worth of debt later, Daniel had his film. "I'm grateful we didn't have kids early because that's the luxury you have when you don't have children — being able to do extraordinarily risky business ventures. I'm not sure I would have taken that risk as a father,” the actor says.
Along the way, Daniel scored the role of Elijah on The Vampire Diaries. Now he gets recognized all over the world, including Bangkok. After a few drinks, Daniel said, people who’d initially claimed not to know who he was would say, “'I f**king love Elijah! I've seen every episode!' I didn't realise how globally-popular the show was. I've never been part of anything like this. But when you have young men in cool clothing, pouting, beautifully-lit, and talking about how much they love one girl, with a danger and sweeping romance thrown in, it's a bullet-proof marketing strategy."
Not only do viewers love the Original, many of Daniel’s castmates said they want their character to get intimate with the well coifed vampire. "Maybe they've taken pity on me because I'm not as attractive as them," jokes Daniel. "I have no idea why they're speaking so fondly of me."