The Last Rescue
(originally posted on Examiner.com)
Loyal fans of hunky actor Gilles Marini were crushed when his character, Angelo Sorrento, died following a tragic car accident earlier this summer on “Switched at Birth.” In a previous Examiner interview, Gilles discussed how proud he was of his final scenes in the award-winning show and teased good things for his impending return as Carmen’s (Roselyn Sanchez) seductive married suitor Sebastien on Marc Cherry’s latest creative endeavor, “Devious Maids,” on Lifetime.
Having proven he is a master juggler, Gilles has become very skilled at stepping into a variety of memorable guest starring roles, which sometimes require him to do more than one project at a time. For instance, he starred as the sexy, philandering Chef Nicolas on several episodes of CBS’ hit sitcom “2 Broke Girls” at the same time he was filming SAB. Nicolas pursued a steamy relationship with Caroline (Beth Behrs) while his wife was back in France. Gilles thrived in this role and left a memorable impression on viewers.
During those two projects, Gilles also appeared in an indie film called “The Last Rescue.” The gripping World War II movie tells the story of three American Soldiers and two Army Corps nurses who are stranded behind enemy lines just after D Day. The film was directed by Eric Colley, who also stars as Lt. Bill Nelson. Gilles recently attended “The Last Rescue” premiere in Seattle, Washington. As a former member of the French Army, the compassionate and humble actor experienced a memorable and emotional moment when speaking to the inspirational group at the premiere.
In fact, on Oct. 5, Gilles tweeted a photo of the World War II veterans he met at the film premiere which also posted on his Facebook page, noting, “What a great honor to have met those incredible #WorldWar2 veterans. They will be in my heart forever. It’s amazing how humble those men were last night. They are such a huge part of history and forever I am grateful to them. Real hero still roaming around us everyday. I felt so happy and while talking to them last night and thanking them, I got to admit, I got choked up by their presence and I believe they truly understood and felt how huge of an impact they had in my life. Truly blessed to have met them. #MedalofHonor recipient btw.”
In August, I had the pleasure of speaking with Gilles in person at the Troy, Michigan stop on his Kiehl’s LifeRide 5 for amFar cross-country motorcycle ride to benefit HIV/AIDs research and the hunt for a cure. At that time, he was still waiting for a season three “Devious Maids” pick up, to determine his future on the show. He ended the 1,600 mile bike ride on Aug. 11 with a World AIDS Quilt dedication ceremony and wrap party in New York City. While he was there, producers from Debra Messing’s new hit NBC show “The Mysteries of Laura” contacted him for a guest role. He extended his stay in the Big Apple to work with Emmy winner and multiple Golden Globe nominated actress, Debra Messing on her recent critically-acclaimed creative endeavor.
Gilles is known for staying closely connected to his fan base via social media. While filming TMOL, he asked his Facebook and Twitter followers to guess what sort of character he was playing. Dressed in a snappy suit and standing in front of a jail cell, many fans offered things like “lawyer” and “international spy.” It turns out Gilles will play a fashion designer with ties to Laura’s latest murder victim, who also transforms the hard-working mom/cop into runway-ready glamour. (Yes, we know neither Gilles nor Debra Messing need any real life help looking fabulous!)
I caught up with Gilles on Oct. 5 to discuss his upcoming role on “Devious Maids” for which he is billed as a series regular, his “Mysteries of Laura” appearance (which airs this month on NBC), his work on “The Last Rescue,” and his upcoming plans for Halloween in the following Examiner Exclusive Q & A.
Gilles and his beautiful wife Carole traditionally dress up with their kids Georges and Juliana to go trick-or-treating. Get ready fans, Gilles is asking for your suggestions for Halloween costumes this year. Hit the comments below with your response or contact Gilles via Twitter @GillesMarini or on Facebook.
E: Congratulations on the big news for “Devious Maids!” How did you feel when you got the news that you’re officially a series regular?
GM: Well it feels very, very good. I’ve always wanted to work with Marc Cherry. He’s a very smart, sweet man with a super specific way to see the characters and how the show should go. I’m a fan of his work for sure. I also wanted to do something different from “Switched at Birth.” After three seasons there, it was a perfect time for me to get the chance to portray someone else. I loved being surrounded by the cast and crew and had a very good time on “Switched at Birth.” Now, there are new challenges and I hope I will kick a** playing Sebastien (smiling). We were waiting for a pick up for a while now and let me tell you, it wasn’t fun for sure. This waiting game in the business can be nerve racking and I’m honored to be added as a principal. It’s just fantastic, especially when it’s coming from someone like Marc Cherry. I’m so happy!
E: In the season finale it looks like you made Carmen a rather awkward promise — a meeting with your wife! Can you tell us anything about Sebastien’s character or what to expect when the show returns?
GM: I wish I could. It’s still very early and as we speak, they are starting to write it all up. Let’s just say it’s gonna be a juicy, must-watch for sure! The chemistry between Carmen and Sebastien will make people go crazy and we hope for many funny moments. This season will be the biggest …
E: You’re going to be appearing soon on “Mysteries of Laura.” What was it like to work with Debra Messing on the show and how many episodes will you be in?
GM: I was on my way to NYC during my Kiehl’s Ride for amFar when I got the call that the producers of “The Mysteries of Laura” were offering me a guest role in their show. As soon as I heard “Debra Messing” I flipped out and said YESSSSS! What a talent this woman is. She’s kind, super funny and works so hard. I am glad that the show is doing well. I cannot wait for you guys to see it.
E: You also recently attended the premiere for “The Last Rescue.” Can you tell us about your character and role in the film?
GM: I play Bruno, a farmer in France during the Second World War. I am proud of the performance even if it was just a little role, I was shooting “2 Broke Girls” and “Switched at Birth” at the same time when I shot this movie — so imagine the craziness. I hope this independent movie will do well for the people who invested so much time of their lives to make it happen.
E: You were in the French Army and a firefighter. Did working on this film bring back any memories for you of your time there? Can you recall a scary time from your military days?
GM: [I can’t recall] anything scary during my time in the forces. You serve, you go home and in the process you learn to live with others with respect and honor. Somehow, being in the military changed me from a boy to a man. I wasn’t deployed anywhere and fought no wars, so it was not anything dangerous like that. On the other hand, I had the honor to meet some of the finest, most heroic men during the premiere of the film. I asked if I could say couple words to them before the film started and let me tell you, I got choked up and just to be standing beside them my eyes started to tear. Those men fought for a cause that forever changed the course of history and saved us from such evil. Shaking their hands was for sure the highlight of my last couple years.
E: Your lovely wife Carole just had her birthday. Did you guys do anything special to celebrate?
GM: I took Carole to a nice little dinner and then we had a birthday party at the house. She likes it simple. She’s my queen, the pillar of the family, and the strongest woman I know. I love her to pieces!
E: Halloween is coming up pretty soon. Will you all dress up and go trick or treating with the kids?
GM: We always do. This year my beautiful niece is gonna be here with us for the first time. I cannot wait for her to experience it. I am not sure what the costumes will be. Maybe I should ask my friends online what I should dress on this year. (Winks)