This year, Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund (HTSF), founded by acclaimed children’s book author Nick Katsoris, honored Marini with its “Artistic Achievement Humanitarian Award.”
On being the 2011 recipient of this prestigious honor, which was presented to him by Oscar winning actress Olympia Dukakis, he remarks “it was really cool. Humanitarians do what they do since they want to help, and not to get any type of recognition by any means. I was honored and very surprised!”
According to Mr. Katsoris, the President and Chairperson of the HTSF, “we were in fact honored to present Gilles with our ‘Artistic Achievement Humanitarian Award’ for all his charitable efforts. He was a pleasure to work with and everyone who met him at the Gala unanimously agreed what a wonderful person he is. I am also honored to have him as part of my next Loukoumi children’s book benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Chefs for Humanity. Coming out in November, Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook will feature a very special recipe from Gilles’ childhood.”
This summer, Marini teamed up with the United Service Organization (USO) and visited Italy to showcase his support for the American troops that were stationed there. “I went to Sicily, Napoli and Pisa, and it was incredible,” he says. “At the same time, being with the troops was amazing! They were so great. It’s hard to explain. You have to see it to believe it,” he reveals.
In addition, Marini was able to spend several days in France with his mother, who is of Greek origin.
“I saw my mother for three days. She’s a very hard-worker. The only time I saw her there was while she was at work. She’s a beautiful woman, with a lot of heart!” Marini exclaims.
Following his return from Europe, he took his stunning wife, Carole, and two children Juliana and Georges to Hawaii for a one week vacation. “Hawaii was great. The kids had a wonderful time. We enjoyed swimming at the pool, and playing with the dolphins was amazing!” he says. “Eventually one day, we would like to live there somehow,” he adds.
Marini is expected to appear on the season finale of ABC’s Switched at Birth, on Monday, August 8, 2011. He portrays the biological father of Bay, the lead actress on the show.
Marini is also starring in his first play, a stage production of This, which opens on August 7, 2011, at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, situated in Culver City, California.
“Melissa James Gibson wrote this play. If I had to compare her, it would be very difficult. Her writing is like Moliere. It is very intelligent, deep and profound,” he says.
Regarding his future plans, he notes that he would love to be part of a trilogy like The Bourne Supremacy, or perhaps to someday do a musical, or to do something different than what he has already done before. “The sky’s the limit,” he says.
“Playing the bad guy in a James Bond movie would be a dream role for me,” he adds.
For his fans, Marini concludes “it will be lovely for everybody to really tune in for the TV finale of Switched at Birth this Monday evening. It’s a great show, that people of all ages can enjoy watching. They really nailed it! It’s really well done.”
“With regard to This, everybody in the Greater Los Angeles area should come down and see it. It’s a heartfelt, yet funny show,” he acknowledges.