'Brothers & Sisters' exclusive: Gilles Marini, 'I have no problem taking things off'

Gilles-Marini-Brothers-Sisters-ABC-320.jpg Gilles Marini isn't doing too badly for himself lately. The ex-French soldier and model is returning to his role as Luc Laurent on " Brothers & Sisters" on Sunday, Feb. 21 when he'll throw a wrench into Sarah Walker's current relationship.

We first caught on to Marini in an unforgettable shower scene in " Sex and the City: The Movie." We didn't get to really know Marini, though, until he competed on ABC's " Dancing with the Stars." He joined the competition, because he thought his daughter would get a kick out of seeing him dance on TV. He soon grew to love it, himself, but ultimately lost in the finale to Olympic gymnast, Shawn Johnson.

His luck has definitely gotten better.

"This is really cool," Marini told Zap2it about his role on "Brothers & Sisters." "Doing something on TV with a massively amazing cast like that, I appreciate it. And being asked back, it's to die for."

After Zap2it broke the news that ABC had extended his contract this season and that he's in negotiations to become a series regular for next season, we spoke to Marini about the negotiations, his character's developing storyline and Rob Lowe's last shooting days.

How are the negotiations to become a series regular going?
They are looking really good. I can't wait for the day the show gets picked up again. That would be my first regular TV part I've ever had, so it's very exciting. It's a huge accomplishment for me. I'm excited, but nothing is concrete until the show is picked up.

What can we expect from your character going forward?
Well, to tell you truth, we're shooting episode 17 now and I asked the writer what's coming up in 18 and 19 and he said they're writing it now. Every day it changes. So, they don't know. They do have an idea. Obviously, they have to change a lot of things, I believe, because, as you know, Rob Lowe is leaving and all that. So, I'm sure they have a lot of things to work on. I'm working as we speak on [episodes] 15, 16 and 17 and I think we're going to 24, so there's a lot more to go. I'm going to be in pretty much all of them except one.

Are you just going with the flow?
We have an amazing showrunner. The communication is unbelievable. So for my character, I learn pretty much every episode something new about him. So, I have to adapt. Especially the one I'm shooting now, 17, you learn so much about my character that you never could believe, how he grew up and how he is. It's deeper than ever. This is what I've been hoping, dreaming of for a show of this magnitude. Getting to develop a character that's interesting. I think people are going to react to it in a very good way and, hopefully, a lot of people who haven't watched it will watch it now.

What's the feeling on-set, knowing that Rob Lowe is shooting his final episodes?
It's all fine. They just keep joking like before. It's not like something broke down. I think this is what the show is all about. Whether you are here doing the show and one day you're not, you're still family. Rob Lowe is one of the sweetest guys I've ever met. Always asking how you're doing and how's everyone treating you. I wish him the best. I know he's going to do some amazing things right off the bat. And look at him, he's so beautiful. I have this guy next to me without makeup and he's like perfect. It's like, OK, get back to the gym, Gilles.

Tell us about Luc's return in the Feb. 21 episode.
This is when the character, Luc Laurent, sees Sarah for the first time. It's beautiful. It doesn't go as easily as people may think. There's a huge conflict, obviously. As everyone knows, she is with someone else.

What's the chemistry like with Rachel Griffiths?
We really get along super well. She's such a perfectionist. She's really living in the moment of every scene. With us, it works so well, because she's putting out something amazing so people will remember her and everyone around her as good actors who love what they do. It's very hard to explain what she gives to me everyday. I'm in the best place I've ever been in my life, because of the help and the chemistry between us. I'm in love with my job right now.

ABC calls your character the love of Sarah's life. Why does this relationship work for her?
She's a very hardworking woman, an amazing mom, but she has never been taken care of. This guy, he's an artist. He's in the moment and he's madly in love with her. There's a chemistry that's palpable between those two and maybe they belong together. Luc Laurent does not doubt this is the woman he loves for the first time so deeply. His background is not a happy one and you'll learn down the line he had it really tough. He grew up in places no child should grow up, so he has learned and seen many things that most have not seen at his age. So, he might be a bit young, but in his mind he's way older. They're a great match.

Were you nervous joining the show with its award-winning cast?
[Laughing] Imagine sitting across from Sally Field! I was sweating. It was a table read. I was so scared. And next to me sits Rob Lowe. Seriously, I wish someone taped this. If anything happened to me tomorrow, I want people to know I did that. Sally Field is like royalty in American acting. They're all super funny on and off the set.

Gilles-Marini-Brothers-Sisters-Swimming-ABC-320.jpg You're a good-looking guy and the show writes to that. There's even a scene where the whole family watches you swim.
[Lauging] It was a very funny scene. When it's written that way, you have to embrace it. We have scenes in bed. I don't really know people who are in bed completely dressed. I make love without a shirt on. If it makes sense in a script, I have no problem taking things off.

So, we're going to see more of you taking things off?
Oh my God, yes! I just shot two scenes already that actually showed Sarah and Luc together in a private moment and tells you why exactly they are meant for each other. Finally, a man completes her.

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Related:

'Brothers & Sisters' exclusive: Gilles Marini negotiating to join as cast regular [Updated]
'Brothers & Sisters': Is Joe Jonas leading the band of new Walkers? [Updated]
'Brothers & Sisters': Is Calista Flockhart moving on, too? [Updated]
Rob Lowe leaving 'Brothers & Sisters'
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Photo credits: ABC