After a few years of one-episode stints on shows like Passions, Criminal Minds, Ugly Betty and Dirty Sexy Money, French actor Gilles Marini truly broke out in last year’s Sex and the City movie as Dante, the Naked Guy. For the past few weeks, he’s been charming Brothers & Sisters fans — and providing a much-needed vitality boost for the downtrodden Walker family — as Luc Laurent, the sensitive-artist lover opposite Rachel Griffith’s Sarah. When I talked to my favorite Dancing With the Stars runner-up on the phone last week about his upcoming role on nip/tuck (he’s in two episodes beginning Nov. 18), we wound up talking about Brothers & Sisters a bit. The actor, who’s humbled and shocked by the number of fans who Facebook or email their urgent demands to see more of him on the show, is overjoyed that Luc’s story line has been extended four episodes beyond Marini’s original five-episode commitment…with the possibility of more. In tonight’s episode, “The Wig Party,” Marini appears only once — but don’t freak out! The actor’s own schedule was to blame, and he’ll be back for much more. “It gets to something much deeper and more dramatic the next week,” Gilles promises. “It’s major. Everyone will be on a cliffhanger of no way, what just happened, no no no! It’s pretty deep and I cannot wait for people to see it.”
EW: Do you think you’ll get to stay on the show for a long time?
Gilles: Right now, four more episodes, that’s the minimum. I think they’ll leave it open and we’re gonna go day by day. For me, it’s so hard. I’m on Brothers and Sisters, you know? It can’t get better than that. Everyone there is acting royalty. It’s been an American Dream, the whole nine yards. The character Luc is great, rings a lot of bells to me. He’s very spontaneous and he’s in love with Sarah, inside and out. Sometimes it’s hard for her to believe it. In Europe, he’s a painter and he’s doing pretty well over there. He doesn’t need anything from anybody. He has no agenda. He just loves her! He’s like, ‘Well, why should I not be here?'”
You had a pool scene [in Oct. 25's "Last Tango in Pasadena"] that reminded everyone of your role on Sex and the City, and then you even did some ballroom dancing. Did you like going back to those previous roles?
You know what, the writers decided to put it out there, and what I liked about it was that they put it up in a really light way, as kind of an homage. It was fast and it was funny. It wasn’t like Sex and the City. Nothing will be like Sex and the City ever. The writers on Brothers & Sisters are very smart to put things that you already know are my strengths, then scratching the surface and finding the layers. Obviously, I was very happy to do the tango stuff — there were some moves in there I had never done on Dancing With the Stars.
Maybe if Luc and Sarah get married, you can do a special foxtrot-slash-rumba at the wedding.
I hope we do much more than that! If we get married, it would be awesome. What a great story line — Sarah finding love with someone so different from what she ever had before. Someone for real loves her. In life, it happens sometimes that you just meet good people.
Photo credit: Randy Holmes/ABC