October 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm , by Sonia Harmon
He had a steamy role in the first Sex and the City movie, and then showed his smooth moves on season eight of Dancing with the Stars, but now French model and actor Gilles Marini is settling into his role as Luc Laurent on the ABC drama Brothers and Sisters. On Monday, you can catch his guest gig on the 200th episode of Dancing with the Stars (this time he’ll be doing the judging.) We recently met with Marini—who was in New York filming an episode of the USA series Royal Pains—and quizzed him on everything from his rise to fame to his baking skills. We quickly discovered there’s much more to love about him than just his looks.
1. He doesn’t give up. When Marini moved from France to Miami, he arrived with only $400, a few belongings in a backpack and a dream of being an actor. He barely knew English, but he didn’t let that hold him back: “If you want something, you can make yourself understood. You point at things, and you smile, and you’re like, ‘I’m an idiot!’ and people love you.”
2. He knows his way around the kitchen. Marini worked in his father’s bakery until he was 19 years old, and now he regularly whips up treats with his kids at home. “I make a lot of French yogurt cakes. It’s so simple, my four-year-old does it all the time.”
3. He’s an animal lover. The Frenchman has an especially soft spot for French bulldogs (how patriotic!). “That is the only dog I will ever have for the rest of my life. They are not dogs; they feel they are human. And they are so ugly that they are cute!”
4. He’s always believed in giving back. Education, Haiti relief, and working with kids are just a few of the causes he supports. He also regularly works with cancer associations and participates in Rally for Kids with Cancer. “I really do that because it makes me feel happy,” he says. “That makes me feel a part of the world more than my work.”
5. He has a sense of humor. “Every actor on Brothers and Sisters has an Oscar, Golden Globe or Emmy…I won the Best Rear of the Year from Bravo in 2008!”
Photo by Alexandra Nataf.