Television

Gilles Marini on Crimes of Fashion: Killer Clutch and the Joy of Working with Hallmark


Gilles Marini stars with Brooke D’Orsay in Crimes of Fashion: Killer Clutch, a delightful movie filmed on location in France that uses location and fashion as key characters.


Marini is OK with that, as the Frenchman who came to America to act was thrilled to be whisked back to his home country to do what he loves.


This is Marini’s first time with Hallmark, but it certainly won’t be his last. If ever there was a leading man who fit beautifully into the Hallmark world, Marini is that man.


The movie focuses on D’Orsay’s Lauren, a leading psychologist who lands a dream job as a performance coach at the Parisian-based House of Trésor, a coveted fashion brand run by Virgil St. James- a famous fashion designer.


With the help of her calming techniques, Virgil’s Paris Fashion Week show is a success, but the applause of the audience is interrupted by screams when Charlotte, Lauren’s best friend, is discovered behind the catwalk standing over the dead body of Trésor’s business manager.


As Lauren uses her expert skills to unravel the case with the help of André Duvreuil (Marini), an alluring but guarded French detective, the two discover a counterfeit handbag ring and a growing list of fashionable suspects.


We spoke with Marini about filming Crimes of Fashion, and you can enjoy the highlights of our conversation below.


Hi, how are you?


I’m doing fantastic. What about you? Sorry, there’s a plane going over me. Helicopter to be precise. How are you?


Oh, I hope you’re not in trouble.


Yeah, no, I didn’t do anything bad, it’s just flying over.


Phew.


By the way, if I did anything bad, I will know because my son is in the LAPD, so he would’ve told me, “Get out, get out.”


Oh, wow, that’s kind of fun.


Yeah.


Good for you.


Can you believe it?


You must be proud.


I’m extremely proud, just because of his act of selflessness, that is just different than other people. I know you don’t know him, but George, he’s a man of service since he’s a child.


I can remember he was always doing things for others, always defending others, always he’s that guy. So I’m very excited about his career there. And he’s a young man with a lot of different cultures, so that’s what LAPD needs.


And what tips did he give you about playing a detective?


You want the truth?


Yes.


Okay, first of all, I think you’re the first one who hears this, but he went into the academy the day I got the call that I will play a character that he will be coming real life.


Well, that’s so exciting.


When I’m saying the same day.


So he’s new at this. You’re both new with this.


It’s incredible. And it goes a little further, our daughter, sorry, she wants to be a psychologist, just like Lauren’s character does in the movie. It’s crazy!


Wow. Attunement.


Yeah, yeah. And that day was a special day for me, for sure.


I read that the opportunity came up really quickly for you. Did you have any reservations about taking a role on such short notice?


It took me from 10:40 to 11:00 A.M. to decide. Okay, to tell the truth, I wanted to work for Hallmark for like six years, I would say. Six years, I’ve been like, “I want to do film with them. It’s fun.” Everyone that I know says, “Oh man, they are an amazing company to work with.”


They really understand A to Z, everything of how you must work, and the enormous amount of respect and dedication they have for what they come out with. It’s stunning. It’s no news that all around the world, Hallmark is very present, even if it doesn’t called Hallmark, my mom watches every single thing.


It’s very popular and it makes people happy. And that’s been a thing that I want to do for a long time. So when I got a call, I did not even finish the script. I read my character. I knew I was going to talk to Felipe Rodriguez, who is the director, and I’m like, I got to finish this.


And then I get a call. And then I oversee a little bit my character, so we exchange a couple notes, and talk, and next thing you know, oh, I see the creek. And that’s how it happened. It was really fast. I’m so thankful, and you have no idea how amazing it went over there.


I knew it was going to be a really fun time, and I heard the things about how the company works, and it was that and more. Look, if I work for them for the rest of my life, I’d be the happiest man. And I just have to say that.


You’re not the first person who’s ever said that.


I’m sure. I’m not messing with you. I’m really saying-


No, I know. I know.


I can name a hundred different times where I was on very much different shows, where it was, yeah, yeah. There’s no understanding of what’s happening. Literally, Hallmark has it tied in. I’m very, very thankful.


I’m kind of surprised with your background, that this is your first time with Hallmark. I almost feel like looking at you, andhaving watched you all these years, that it just seems like you’re a perfect fit for Hallmark.


Thank you. Okay, thank you so much. There was the reason. The reason is, first of all, it was a lot of change in Hallmark, I believe, the last couple of years.


Sure.


And then the second, don’t forget, I’m a weird shape. It’s not good, nor bad, it’s just different. And when you have a weird shape human, it’s very difficult to put him in this box, because it’s a square, or a rectangle, or a triangle. I’m a weird shape.


So when there is a slot for me, then I get an in. When the casting director at Hallmark heard about the project and saw the project, he’s like, “Okay, call him. That’s the guy.” And really, that’s the guy. And I read it. I’m like, I really want to play this.


I always wanted to play in Agatha Christie type of roles, murder and mystery. It’s always something that I really wanted to be doing in Hollywood. And it happened in a time where it was three days post-strike. For me, it was like, look up in the sky, say, “Thank you, God. Thank you.” It was really special.


I don’t think you’re as much of a square peg in a round hole as you think you are with Hallmark. After all, there are how many princes? And these movies are just filled with people who use fake accents. You’ve got the real deal.


I got a real deal. I sound weird for real, and for life. But no, I’m telling you, first of all, the way the production company was really amazing.


But the icing on the cake, I have to say two people, is Felipe Rodriguez, our director, that he will not leave, this man will not leave a sentence right there in the unknown for an actor just to say it. It will be a dissertation about why this person is feeling this way, at that moment, and X and Y reasons.


It was so beautifully done, in the sense of he was not leaving. And we don’t shoot movies in two months anymore. We should movies in quick, quick, so we have a turnaround. And this man was so special, and so in love with what he was doing, that it was incredible.


And then, of course, Brooke D’Orsay. I have never met her before. I’ve seen movies with her. I know knew about her. And then you get to a set where this woman works so diligently. I never seen her wince once, or thinking that, oh, it’s too harsh. She’s a soldier of a different world.


Hard worker, super talented, and so sweet. I was happy. Imagine you go to set, and you’re so happy to see your partner in crime. You can’t wait to spend hours and hours, and you don’t care about what time it was finished. She’s really amazing. I hope we’re going to do 40 of them, of those movies. It’s amazing.


I was wondering if you’re going to do more of them, because they do all of these mysteries with the Crimes of Fashion: Killer Clutch. So I assume that there’s going to be a Crimes of Fashion: Alligator Shoes, or something like that.


I’m betting, don’t quote me, but if all goes well, and I’m really hoping it all goes well because it’s such a godsend, I think that we should go to Milano. We should go to places where fashion, because it’s all around about fashion.


By the way, when you’re going to see the film, if you didn’t see it yet, it’s really like there’s a lot of beautiful colors. It’s really about fashion, about the world of fashion. At the same time, you have all these mysteries that’s happening. And you really don’t know until you need to know.


I really loved it. It was really cool. I read the script, I’m like, damn, this is awesome. Let’s do it, let’s do it. So I’m excited. I met Tom and Natalie, the writers, and they’re also very excited.


Listen, I hope everybody watches, because not only it’s cozy, and you’re not coming out of this with scarred for life for what you just saw. You are really having a good time. You will be with your family, and you think at the same time, I mean, listen, we’re in Paris.


How many movies are in Paris? Not many. It’s expensive to shoot there. And they made it happen. They made it happen. Imagine, I’m calling my mother and she doesn’t know I am behind the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Towers. She doesn’t know I’m filming in Paris.


So I surprised her with a little video call. And for her, it meant absolutely the world. Her son, going back to France to shoot a film over there, playing a good guy, for her, it meant a lot. For me, it meant tremendously more, for sure.


Have you been playing bad guys?


I’ve been playing bad guy a lot. This year, it was kind of interesting, I played good guys. I really played good guy. I have another movie coming out very soon, called Murder Company. I played a good guy of the good guys. I never played a good guy like that, usually, for real.


And it’s a true story, so it’s really cool too, that I shot that. But yeah, I really would love to have kind of a Mr. and Mrs. Smith type of vibe going into different part of the world, solving crime together. A little bit of Remington Steel.


I say there’s a lot of adjacent work that I’ve seen through my life, that really reminds me of this really cool little movie that is about to come out. Cannot wait.


I love the comparison to Remington Steel. Nobody ever brings that show up anymore, but you’re right, I can see it. I did get to watch a little bit of the movie this morning, and I can definitely see that there’s a tad of Remington Steel in there.


Yeah, and I think that would grow with time, because of course when they introduce themselves, he’s a bit of a no-nonsense kind of cop, because he’s got family issues. So it’s a bit, he goes by the book at all time, until meets her.


And I think more than, are they going to have a relationship, you can feel in their soul, that there’s an incredible chemistry that they’re holding.


And that was super cool, because I know second, third, fourth, hopefully fingers crossed, something would be undeniable, a bit of a, I don’t know, there’s so many shows that I can name, where there’s a tug of war between two people.


And let me tell you, Brooke’s character, Lauren, knows what she wants, thinks very specific way, and without her, I would not be able to fix anything. That’s what I’m going to say. So it’s pretty cool. It’s pretty cool because it could truly happen.


Because every sentence, like I say with Felipe, was meant to not cheat the audience, to make the audience really think that, okay, that’s not only possible, but it makes sense. So I really dug it. It was such a great experience.


Have you had many directors like that that have really explained the characters roles to you, and their reasons?


I’m going to have to say no. And some of them are friends of mine. I’m going to have to say no. I have never seen a director so hands-on, so passionate about every frame he would come out with.


Think about it, a lot of times it’s like, “Yeah, yeah, we good. Move on. No, we got to move on.” That’s not the guy. The guy is, “We got to get this. And we got to get this right.”


Oh man, this guy is incredible. This is the guy you should interview. To tell you that the specificity of how he sees things, is brilliant. I really loved it. Love him.


How does working with someone like that change your performance? How do you think that maybe the role would’ve been with a different director?


Yeah. Well, it’s simple. Every night, I’m throwing under the bus here, but every night Felipe will send a very detailed email of how the way went, the reasons why, who did this and that. And it’s always with a mega splash of positivity, to really make you feel like, let’s go back to more and kick ass, right?


Not only does that to make you feel like one with him and everybody else, but he also will approach every scene with a talk of different scenes. So for example, you have the scene, you have to go to point A to B, and you’re going to have this person in the middle.


He makes you really envision something else because he wants you to come across with another message that he has in his mind. This guy is brilliant.


Wow.


Yeah, no, I really liked it. I really liked it. I haven’t seen the film. I’m going to see it tonight, because I got a super special code, so I’m going to see it tonight. I’m super excited. I was watching it a little bit this morning, and then they called me in, so I stopped it.


But man, the first opening, I got to say something else about Brooke. The first opening, the opening of the film is this moment that she’s being pursued. And that place, we finished at 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM. I’m not kidding you.


Sun was rising, and it was very close to sunrise we have to stop shooting, right? Because that we can’t stop. The sun does its thing. But I promise you, I’ve seen Brooke D’Orsay, in frigid cold weather, doing her thing and not even blinking once.


So imagine when you have, she’s maybe 5’6″, I believe, this beautiful young woman, dealing with extreme weather situation where most people would’ve cracked, or at least, “Hey, I’m frozen,” or something. This girl met every man, the 200 pound, like 6’1″, like… Not say a word the entire time of the film.


Because when you’re the number one on the cold shift, and you’re sitting down there on that road, and it’s very difficult, and ice-cold, and there’s no one sound of like, this is complicated or difficult, it makes every single person on the cold shift behave. I loved it. She’s really a warrior. Really a warrior.


What high praise. What do you think she’d say about you?


That, I don’t know, I may be a circus act, a lot of different things. What can Brooke say? I know, I love her. I’m sure she likes me too. We had such a great time. I have to say, I cannot wait to just give a five, and say, “Did you see the script? Let’s go.” I cannot wait.


What’s your favorite part of this experience? Can you narrow it down?


If I narrow it down, honestly, it would’ve been to kind of have a childhood dream come true. Listen, I have never act in France. I’m not a French actor, by any means. I was born and raised there. At 20 years old, I left with a duffel bag, $460, and I land in Miami.


Are you speaking this or any of that? I only have a thought in my mind that one day I would become an entertainer, because I only dreamt of entertaining people. I never seen anything else, but entertaining people.


So flash forward, I ended up not only doing it in America, in a place where it’s a lot more complicated, especially when you’re not from here, and going back home with an American film to the… I mean, imagine on the Champs-Élysées?


To me, I was like, I don’t even know if I was really here, because it was just, am I dreaming here? Really, truly, the people involved in the film will never know how much this meant to me. Seriously. It was really, really special for my heart, very special.


If my father was still alive, that would’ve made him proud, very, very proud.


Oh yeah, yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s death, so I understand how it feels to imagine if he could see you now.


Yeah, it’s tough. It’s tough to think about it. I was 18 years old when he passed. He was 44. And he was my hero of everything. I started working with him at six years old, as a baker. The reason when he passed, I left the country, that’s the Miami stuff.


So to me, every day I think, what would he have thought of me? What would he have thought of me? I would never have that answer. I would’ve to wait to go up there, and say, “So, what did I do?” Because I was just only a pastry chef for my dad, and we had a bakery.


During the film, there is a little bit of an homage to my father, but I don’t know if they left it in there. My father’s name was George, and I believe I slide in there something about a pastry. And if they left it in there, that would be making my mom very much emotional for sure.


Oh, do you still bake?


Yeah, I’m about to do it. My son turns 25 today, so he’s working now, he’s going to come back around 3 P.M. and I’m going to make him a cake myself. I mean, it’s easy. I’m not saying like I’m… It’s make a cake when you were born in a bakery. It’s like saying, “I’m playing football, my father is Ronaldo.” Easy.


What kind of cake?


I think I’m going to do a strawberry shortcake.


Nice. Yeah, you can’t beat somebody who’s willing to make you a homemade cake.


Yeah. Ah, my baby, he’s such a good boy. I’m so proud of him, so proud of him. It’s funny, because it’s when your son’s getting better than you at everything. I don’t know if you had the experience before, but my son is getting better at everything against me.


So it’s kind of making you even proud. You don’t want to tell him, you want to be competitive a little bit so he doesn’t slack off. But it’s really interesting. A 25-year-old man is pretty powerful. I forgot.



You sound like a wonderful father.


You should ask them. I don’t know. I don’t know what they think.


When he’s eating the strawberry shortcake, I don’t think anybody’s going to have to ask him whether or not you’re a great father.


No, thank you. Well, I will record that, send it to you. What do you think of your father? And he’s eating the cake. That would be funny. Thank you very much.


———————————-


Crimes of Fashion: Killer Clutch won’t show you whether Marini is a great father, but it will show you his passion for his work. Be sure to tune into Hallmark Mystery tonight at 9/8c to spend the evening with two wonderful actors, the city of Love, lots of fashion, and a spellbinding mystery.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

Originally Published Here.

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