Gilles Marini Talks “Days of Our Lives,” the Meaning of Success, and His Greek Heritage

Gilles Marini. Photo Credit: Alan Mercer

Acclaimed actor Gilles Marini chatted with this Greek-American journalist about playing a character on the long-running American soap “Days of Our Lives,” as well as the upcoming “Star Struck” fan event in Tarrytown, New York, on August 10 and 11.

“It has been an incredible journey. It has been so much fun,” Marini said about playing the character of Ted on the perennially-popular NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”

“What I liked the most about Ted is the fact that he is a hopeless romantic,” he relates. “Ted had that weird, European thing in him. He’s a businessman that is very sneaky and he will do anything for money. On the other hand, he can be a hopeless romantic, and lose everything. It is interesting to see him doing bad things yet being romantic.”

Marini will be a part of the “Star Struck” fan event in Tarrytown, New York on August 10 and 11, as part of the “Summer Fever” festival He will be joined by such fellow actors as Eric Martsolf, Freddie Smith and Greg Rikaart.

“This is cool because I have never been to Tarrytown,” Marini tells me. “The summer is very nice. It will be fun to meet other people that love the show. Some of the fans of the show have been watching it since they first learned to talk. This show has been a big part of their lives. It’s absolutely crazy.”

Regarding being an actor in this digital age, Marini says, “The last time I shot film was on ‘Brothers & Sisters,’ and during that show, we went from film to digital. That was one of the last shows to do so. I believe the digital format makes actors a bit lazier these days,” he adds intriguingly.

“In the soap world, it’s an enormous amount of work and line memorization. We would film two to three episodes a day, and you would get one take to get it done. You need to do it well. The soap world is the hardest form of acting. It is not to be taken lightly at all,” he explains.

“In the beginning, it was a reality check for me to memorize all those monologues,” he admitted. “It’s intense, I must admit. I was scared and worried. I admire all those soap actors with all my heart.”

Aside from his fellow actors on “Days of Our Lives,” Marini praises all of the producers on the show, as well as the crew and staff, including hair and make-up artists, for their hard work. Many of these behind-the-scenes workers are there before the actors come in — and they stay on set after the actors leave for the day.

He is proud of his Greek heritage, his mom being half-Greek and a native of Athens, Greece. His mother’s family name is Galises. “My mother is the Greek goddess of our family,” Marini says with admiration.

The actor was presented with the “Artistic Achievement Humanitarian Award” by the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund in 2011, in recognition for devoting a great deal of his time to causes that are close to his heart.
The award was presented to Marini by the Academy Award-winning Greek-American actress Olympia Dukakis.
Photo Credit: Jillian Nelson

Refreshingly, Marini defined success as “being able to love and enjoy your time with your family.” “Success is being able to live in harmony with the people you will live with. Success is in your heart, and it is in the eyes of your children,” he added, prior to emphasizing that success does not necessarily have a monetary connotation.

Speaking of his “Days of Our Lives” fans, Marini tells me, “I love the fact that they are so resilient and passionate about something that was created a long time ago. After a couple of seasons of any modern show out there, people get bored watching it. “Days of Our Lives” has been around for over fifty years, and some people have been watching it all of their lives. It’s phenomenal and it deserves all of its worldwide success.”

For more information on the “Star Struck” fan event in Tarrytown, New York this month, check out their official website here.

To learn more about Greek-American actor Gilles Marini, follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.