Who knew? Before he melted hearts and instilled lust on TV and film (he’s still known as the “shower guy” from the first Sex and the City movie), actor Gilles Marini was just another Miamian with big dreams.
The French-born hunk (a newly minted American) is sure to continue that streak with his new gig as ambassador of Miami-based Perry Ellis International’s Axist line. We caught up with Marini as he was shooting the new campaign for a trip down memory lane.
What do you remember about your days in Miami? This is my home! Florida is where I landed when I arrived [from France]. Miami gave me, I would say, the fever of America.
But you left us 10 years ago! Do you miss it? Come on! I come back once or twice a year. I cannot live without Miami. I should have done this a long time ago, but this [new] year I think my wife and I will get a house here.
We hear you learned English in Miami, so you learned it with a Cuban accent. True? [Laughs] What I learned in Miami was Spanish, and Spanish from Cuba is the fastest, so if you can understand Cuban Spanish, you can understand all kinds of Spanish.
Speaking of nationalities, don’t you have a new passport these days? I’m now an American! I can’t wait to come back into the country, give the passport to the immigration officer and hear him say, “Welcome home.”
How did this partnership with Perry Ellis as the face of Axist come about? I met the owners of Perry Ellis on Fisher Island, out of the blue, right after my run on Dancing With the Stars. We casually chatted and the relationship formed that way. Again, Miami. Everything circles back to here.
So, how would you summarize your personal style? For me, less is more. I want to wear stuff today that I will wear 20 years from now and still look good.