Saving Hope’s Daniel Gillies Interview On Why Dr Joel Goran Is More Like Him Than Any Other Role
It looks like Daniel Gillies is in for a complicated season on Saving Hope. Orthopedic surgeon Joel Goran is still reeling from Alex’s accident, and the pressure mounts as he deals with multiple responsibilities and the guilt of Alex’s near-death experience. Part two of Saving Hope’s premiere airs tonight, Thursday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV and the CTV GO app and picks up right where we left off. Real Style spoke to the Canadian-born Gillies (he was raised in New Zealand) about what’s next for Joel and how his native New Zealand accent made a difference in the character.
Real Style: What are you looking forward to with Joel this season?
Daniel Gillies: Joel joins a stripper academy; they’re called Magic Joel. Around mid-season, I’m looking forward to that. I have to get in incredible shape for that very purpose. But no, nothing stripper-related happens, I should say, fortunately, looking at my torso now. I’m looking forward to people experiencing what he goes through. I know a lot of what happens and it’s a tempest. He really is thrown into a storm. I’ve had more to do this season than the previous two. We’re making lots of discoveries about who he is and was. As well as who he and Alex are and were. And we’re getting him into a lot of trouble. I mean A LOT of trouble.
Real Style: What will fans learn about him?
Daniel: A lot to do with his past. The family that he comes from, particularly his father. We find out a little bit about he and Alex and we discover the specificity of his medical passion. This season really explores what his desires are in terms of his medical future.
Real Style: He feels guilty about what happens to Alex so how does that change things between them?
Daniel: He eats a lot more chocolate and smokes a lot more. No, it changes him immeasurably. I think the only thing we ever see Joel exhibit passion for in his life, other than his medicine, is Alex Reid. Those are his two great loves: medicine and her. I think that answers how weighty this is.
Real Style: What do you like about playing Joel?
Daniel: I love the actors that I work with. I love coming to work and being with Erica Durance and Michael Shanks and Husein Madhavji and Christopher Turner and Julia Taylor Ross. They’re just all so good and so prepared. My favourite part about playing him is that I get to play him, it’s that simple. I get to play every day with this great character with these magnificent actors and I get to watch them work and enjoy and learn. Our directors are superb; every single one of them is a great talent in really different ways. My favourite part is that I get to play him.
Real Style: How similar is Joel to you personally?
Daniel: If I’m brutally honest, I thought it was a great opportunity for me because I hadn’t used my own accent in my acting for 11 years. For me, the character always begins with the voice and when I was able to use my own voice, first I thought, “Man, these guys have it easy.” I’m always learning everything in another dialect so it felt really simple at first and then it became really complicated very fast because I had to find a new way into my technique. In the very beginning, it’s a lot of me, but as time elapsed I started seeking other things to distance myself from him. But I’ve never played a character as close to me as Joel before and I don’t think I ever will again.
Real Style: Do you actively try to make Joel and Elijah [Daniel’s character in The Originals] very different even if they might be similar in some respects?
Daniel: There are no similarities. They’re as different as two characters can get. I see zero similarities between the two of them. Can you see similarities between the two, other than they look kind of similar?
Real Style: I guess their mystery.
Daniel: That’s interesting. There’s schools of acting which teach that there are some things that no matter what you do as an actor you can’t escape. If you’re not intelligent, you can’t play intelligent, you have to be intelligent. There’s certain inherent qualities. And it’s interesting because I don’t see myself at all as a very mysterious person and yet for some reason that seems to be a bit of a recurring theme throughout the characters that I play. They don’t divulge anything, there’s a secrecy going on. It’s difficult to be objective about yourself and it’s too hard to see, but there’s some things you can’t help but bring to your art.
Real Style: How do you manage filming two shows at once?
Daniel: I have lots of loving people in my life and fortunately I have great support and I love both shows a lot, so that helps to be able to haul my ass out of bed in the morning.
Photos: Bell Media
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