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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Daniel Gillies

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services on

Born in Canada, raised in New Zealand and now living in the United States, Daniel Gillies has roles on two current series. He co-stars as Dr. Joel Goran on "Saving Hope" and as Elijah -- a character who has been killed and resurrected no less than four times -- on "The Vampire Diaries." The 36-year-old actor and his wife, actress Rachael Leigh Cook, reside in Los Angeles. Fans may follow him on Twitter (at)danieljgillies.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. I moved to New Zealand from Winnipeg when I was almost five. I hated it. It was to a city in the south of New Zealand called Invercargill and there was constant rain. There was a depressing sensation in the air.

Q. Canadians and Kiwis both have a reputation for being incredibly polite. In your opinion, is this warranted?

A. The Japanese are incredibly polite. Tahitians are genuinely, uniquely and inherently polite. Kiwis and Canadians? No. New Zealanders have conventions and pleasantries, but we are direct. We are encouraged to be transparent with our behavior and not to employ passive aggression. It's what I admire about them. Kiwis are fiercely proud of their country. If you adore New Zealand and you express that to a New Zealander, they will love you forever. Canadian humor is a whole other realm. This is perhaps where I see the greatest similarities between Kiwis and Canadians. We also live beneath the shadow of two vast countries. We're both enormously self-deprecating. However, when we travel, we're pretty universally loved. Tell people you're a Canadian or a Kiwi when you travel and they'll adore you. I have American pals who lie and say they're Canadian in order to receive better service and treatment when they're abroad.

Q. You're back in Canada working. What has surprised you the most about that country?


A. Put it this way, I've lived in Los Angeles for a decade. I've been out thousands of times. I have never seen a single bar fight in L.A. Ever. I've been here in Canada for four months. Since I've been here, I've seen several brawls in drinking venues. To be honest, I found Toronto a little hostile when I first came. Though you could hardly call that Canada, since Toronto is just one region. I adore it now. The city is so rich with culture and activity. But it took a little time. Los Angeles was far more welcoming and warm. I've found that Americans, generally speaking, are more immediately hospitable.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Moorea and Tahiti (in French Polynesia). Hands down that's the most beautiful area on earth.

Q. To someone who was going there for the first time, what would you recommend?


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