As attorney Ted Laurent on Days of our Lives, Gilles Marini cooked up all kinds of trouble. Now, the actor is playing a passionate chef in the Lifetime romantic film A Taste of Christmas.
Gilles Marini: Cooking For Christmas
The holiday movie, in which Marini stars as Chef Stefano and Anni Krueger stars as Natalie, debuts Friday, November 20 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime, also starring My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos. “What a blast to have worked with @fensma and our #greek queen @niavardalos ❤️ Take a sec, set up your DVR or watch it live,” Marini tweeted.
The film’s story has Natalie learning that her cousin Francesca must cancel the Christmas Eve opening of her new Italian restaurant. Natalie decides to make the opening happen any way that she can. With only three days till the restaurant’s debut, can Natalie convince the pessimistic but attractive Stefano that it’s possible? Soap Hub chatted with Marini to get his thoughts on A Taste of Christmas.
What was it like being in the project with Nia Vardalos?
Gilles Marini: She’s a great person. She was there a couple of days. I’d never seen someone smile so much. She was smiling, sweet to everyone. When the camera rolls, you see the amount of brilliance that Nia has. She gives out so much kindness.
Is Chef Stefano open to love?
I’m sure he is. Most single people have that in the back of their mind, but in A Taste of Christmas, Stefano is more focused on making things work in the kitchen. His passion for cooking is greater than anything else. Stefano and Natalie meet in a setting that’s not [standard]. It was interesting to play a chef. My character is so passionate about cooking that it may be blinding to him [of everything else].
At the same time, Stefano’s temperament in dealing with things isn’t always right. There’s yelling and moving things around. It was fun to play that because I’d seen that so many times. I grew up in a bakery. I was playing a little bit of my dad [who was a pastry chef] in this part.
How does Natalie’s arrival mix things up?
Her ways are so pure. It takes Stefano a while to realize this woman is different and may be the woman he really wants. I really liked this script. The region where we shot and the people were wonderful. The kindness of the people in Georgia is incredible.
What are the conflicts that Stefano and Natalie need to conquer?
First, there’s a cultural difference and also, cooking! Stefano knows how to cook, but Natalie doesn’t. She’s relentless but in a beautiful way — so much so that she might be able to change Stefano’s ways in how he looks at life, love, and, of course, cooking. In real life, Anni is an incredible cook, and in the film, Natalie pretends not to know anything about cooking. I’m more of a pastry chef. My father taught me everything he could.
You can see Gilles Marini in A Taste of Cooking tonight, November 20 at 8 p.m. ET. Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC.
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