Daniel Gillies talks Sight Unseen and reveals whether he’d play a vampire again

Daniel Gillies promotes Sight Unseen
Daniel Gillies stars on The CW’s Sight Unseen. Pic credit: CW

Daniel Gillies is returning to The CW after several years away.

Best known for playing Elijah Mikaelson on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, the actor has also appeared on Virgin River and SEAL Team.

Now, he will play a homicide detective on Sight Unseen.

Sight Unseen focuses on a young woman named Tess (Dolly Lewis), whose life is upended when she learns that she’s clinically blind.

After being forced to leave behind her homicide detective career, we see her trying to navigate a new way of life while simultaneously trying to crack cases.

Jake is there for Tess every step of the way, but their relationship changes considerably when Tess becomes more reliant on technology, which isn’t the type of policing Jake understands.

Monsters and Critics chatted with Gillies last month to discuss this new series. The actor explained why he wanted to return to TV screens, what he did on the set to keep things light, and much more.

Check out the full interview below.

Monsters and Critics: In this series, you play a homicide detective, which is quite a departure from some of your other roles. Was that intentional?

Daniel Gillies: Not really. I mean, would I play a vampire again? No. Just no. You do want to do something a little bit different. If something’s well written, I’m going to jump towards it.

Monsters and Critics: Jake’s life changes quite a bit on the series premiere when he learns that Tess is no longer his partner. Their dynamic is going to be different. How will Jake come to terms with that?

Daniel Gillies: Well, I think that that’s the dance. That’s the turbulence that presides in the center of the story. Tess Avery is doing her best to straddle the world she knew and the world she’s now trying to navigate.

Being the other characters from the protagonist, we can either help her to do that or get out of her way because she’s fairly autonomous, as you can see in the first episode.

I think that you want that energy. It will probably not be smooth sailing for Jake and Tess, but the sooner they’re tested, the better.

Monsters and Critics: Jake isn’t your typical TV detective, either. What should viewers know about him before the series premiere?

Daniel Gillies: He’s not as clumsy a cop as he looks like he is [laughs]. It’s Tess’s show, and I joked with the creators about that.

I was like, ‘Look, for the show to work, he has to be fumbling the ball because he represents conventional policing, and Tess represents a whole new era as well as dealing with the deterioration of her site and this condition she’s navigating.’

She has to get incredibly resourceful and innovative in order to do the job she wants to do. She’s working three times as hard, but I just want everyone to know that Jake’s not a sloppy cop. [laughs].

He’s good, and he’s only going to get better at accommodating Jess and working in lockstep.

Monsters and Critics: The cases on the show are pretty dark. How did you and Dolly keep the vibe light on the set while filming?

Daniel Gillies: With hand farts! I know how to make farts with my hands. For some reason, that amuses me. I don’t know why. Dolly loves it. I do it at every opportunity. The darker the scene, the more ominous, the more terrifying the scene, the more hand farts I’m going to do.

Monsters and Critics: I chatted with Dolly yesterday, and she said you were very funny.

Daniel Gillies: No, she’s funny. I’m just a nuisance.

Monsters and Critics: You’re returning to The CW for the first time in over five years since the conclusion of The Originals. What has that been like for you?

Daniel Gillies: There’s been a change of guard at the CW, so it doesn’t feel like walking back into a completely different job.

I do think the CW is remodeling and is adjusting its image. It’s leaning into darker and more adult stuff. You know, grittier and more dramatic stuff. I think they’re trying to, admirably, adjust their image, and it doesn’t feel any different being back there.

It just feels like I’m with a really great crew and cast, to be honest.

Monsters and Critics: The series premieres soon on The CW, and I expect that each episode will feature a different case. Is there a particular case that you’re excited for viewers to see?

Daniel Gillies: There’s one where Tess and Jake head off into the woods, and YouTubers have mysteriously gone missing. That episode is interesting and cool because we shot it on location, so it’s sort of engraved in my mind.

Sight Unseen premieres on Wednesday, April 3, at 9/8c on The CW.

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