Gilles Marini plays everyone’s fantasy boyfriend, the sexy French artist Luc, on “Brothers & Sisters.” This Monday, he is taking a break from the Walker family angst to spend some time with the fun loving crime fighters on “Castle,” playing the role of a master magician. Marini revealed how he learned to do magic tricks, what he’s really drinking at Walker family dinners, and why he was worried about Luc becoming an underwear model.
Tell me about this character you’re going to be playing on “Castle,” Tobias Strange.
Tobias is a bit of an eccentric magician, [who guards] his secrets. He’s a bit out there. He’s a bit out of control. The next thing we know he’s involved – or not – with the murder of someone who was close to him for many years. He’s the [top] magician right now in the world. Castle loves him as an audience member, as a magician. He’s very into magic tricks. So it’s kind of a cool relationship they have.
Did you work with real magicians to prepare for the role?
One of the magicians from [Los Angeles magician’s club] The Magic Castle was on set. We had someone who was doing magic tricks for the last twenty years teaching us how to do it so it was very accurate. It was pretty dangerous, too. I loved it because it was so interesting to push the boundaries.
What trick will your character be performing?
It [involves] a machine. All of a sudden, the rope comes down and [Tobias] gets pierced by a sword. The audience feels he just died, and that the trick went wrong, but that’s the trick, and then he appears right away, in the back of the stage. Castle and Beckett show up at that time so they are in the middle of the rehearsal for the trick, and that upsets Tobias Strange very much. Then he realizes they’re the police, not other magicians. For security, they added someone holding a rope on the side because [if something went wrong], someone would be injured or killed.
You usually play good guys. Is this your chance to be evil? Does Tobias have something to do with the victim’s death?
He may have something to do with the victim’s death. Is he going to be the murderer, or the one that helps the police? That you’ll have to watch unfold. He has the biggest motive. The guy betrayed him, big time. He’d been working for fifteen years with him.
Preview Gilles On “Castle”:
Will Tobias work his magic to get Castle and Beckett to admit how they feel about each other?
That would have been great. I cannot wait for [that] moment. The showrunners have been making us linger. I want them to be together so bad! I don’t think he’s going to have the time to make the magic happen. The tension between those characters reminds me of the really great shows from back in the day. It’s real chemistry. There’s nothing fake about it. It’s beautiful. [Fillion and Katic] get along really well. They work together with so much respect. They so deserve the spot that they have right now. Hopefully, ‘Castle’ will last for so many years.
Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic are both very attractive people. Were they a little threatened by your presence, since you’re known for being a sex symbol?
I talked to Nathan for twenty minutes. He’s the nicest guy you could ever meet. That’s actually very sexy. I understand why Nathan has amazing followers. He’s got amazing sex appeal. He’s very charming and very polite. He’s got it all. He was great to work with and an excellent actor. As for Stana Katic, she’s a beautiful woman who speaks six different languages perfectly. She speaks perfect French, better French than I do.
How did the “Castle” set compare to the “Brothers and Sisters” set? Which show is more fun? Which is crazier?
It was fun to work on “Castle” because it was smaller. It was very different to work on “Castle” than “Brothers & Sisters.” “Brothers & Sisters” is like family. I’m going to set and I feel like I’m going home. The family on “Brothers & Sisters,” they’re hilarious. Nothing can top that. When we have the Walker family dinner, it’s a complete blast. I wish there was a camera that was filming [between] takes, because it would be a show on its own. The producers should really think about doing that. We have a bunch of talent that makes everybody crack up. I love having everybody there.
Do you get to drink real wine during the Walker dinner scenes?
We’re drinking grape juice most of the time, or a colored water. We do not drink real wine. We’d be so messed up. One [dinner] scene takes the entire day, to get coverage. We’d get completely wasted if we drink real wine. Me, two glasses of wine and I’m out of it, so it would be a big problem.
What is coming up for Luc on “Brothers & Sisters”? Is he finally going to marry Sarah?
From your mouth to God’s ears. As much as I’m watching “Castle” every Monday at 10 pm, I’ve [been watching] ‘Brothers & Sisters’ even before I started to work for the show. I really want Sarah Walker to get lucky in love because it’s the only thing she never had. So Luc is a person who really fell for a woman, who is deeply in love with her. He wants to make her life easier because she’s been such a workaholic.
When you learned that Luc was going to go from sensitive artist to underwear model, what did you think?
I was in Home Depot, trying to build a deck in my house, when I got a phone call from the execs saying, “Well, what do you think of this?” I was like, whoa, why? And they said, well, the reason why he’s doing this modeling stuff is because they have a problem with money. I was like, “Then do it.” That’s why now he’s in China, he’s doing the mural over there. He’s back as an artist because he hated that job. I was worried. I was like, “Oh no. I’m going to have to start working out again because this shirt is going to come off.”
You’ve been on a lot of ABC shows: “Dancing With the Stars,” “Brothers & Sisters” and now “Castle.” Are there any others you would like to do?
The one show that my son has been begging me to be on is “No Ordinary Family.” He wants me to be a villain superhero that is after the family. Also, one of my personal favorites would be “Detroit 1-8-7.”