There have always been famous, male cat lovers from Hemingway and Einstein to John Lennon but it’s never been more hip or hot to be cat lover than now. The sexy poster boy of cat lovers is actor Gilles Marini currently staring as Angelo Sorrento in ABC Family’s critically acclaimed family drama, Switched at Birth. He’s best known for his sizzling appearance in Sex and the City: The Movie and recently featured in People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive issue holding his adorable cat Penelope and played host at the second annual Catdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
The festival takes mainstream cat videos to new artistic heights by showcasing original, scripted short films. Marini says, “my furry friend Penelope provides endless entertainment at home, it’s no wonder cats are a muse for the big screen. I’m excited to celebrate with these fantastic filmmakers as they debut their fresh films.”Marini and his wife, Carole, live in Southern California. They have a son, Georges, and a daughter, Juliana. Marini, a devoted family man loves cooking, spending time with his family and of course his pets.
LMW: On Twitter you call yourself Actor, Philanthropist, Adventurer, Husband, Father and Farmer. Which one is the most important to you and how about adding cat lover to the list?
GM: Father for sure, I take it very seriously, kids are a product of their parents. I have the ultimate responsibility to raise good adults for the world. Ha ha . “Cat lover” Yes I will add it 😉
LMW: Before your current pets Mila (your dog) and Penelope (your cat) did you have pets growing up in France?
GM: The first pet I had when I was two years old was a cat named “Sammy” who was famous in the city because he was drinking at the public fountain like a human. I also had a dog called “Reagan” I know the name of an American president!
LMW: Where did you adopt your cat from?
GM: We adopted Penelope on Mother’s Day last year, it was a present for my daughter Juliana’s sixth birthday. For as long as I can remember she’s wanted a little kitty. So we made it special and gave her the ultimate responsibility of caring for a living thing. It has worked out well because she is very good at taking care of Penelope.
LMW: Who choose your cat’s name and why?
GM: My daughter chose it. No idea why she picked Penelope. But I like it .
LMW: What is the funniest or weirdest thing Penelope does?
GM: She drinks the water from the fish bowl, she never tried to get them or anything, [it] actually looks like she likes them as buddies.
LMW: What’s her favorite toy, game or treat?
GM: Ha ha .. Her favorite toy is our dog Mila. She loves to bug her, jump on her and play dirty. You know cats are like that. They like to tease.
LMW: Why do you think more men are becoming cat lovers?
GM: I think cats are very, very similar to us guys. Independent but in massive need of attention (big laugh) … Funny but so true. Cats are giving us a mirror image of how we sometimes act. Maybe that is one of the reasons we love them so much.
LMW: You have a birthday coming up. Any special plans?
GM: My wife [is] always surprising me with amazing things. I am ready ;)) Exiting!
LMW: What have you most enjoyed about being in Park City for the Catdance Film Festival?
GM: The scenic incredible beauty of that state is mind boggling . I am going back in the summer for sure. The people are warm, sweet and super polite. I stayed at the Stein and it’s probably the best service we ever had. I cannot wait to go to Sundance again. Btw. I slept 2 hrs the 2nd night cause I did not want to go back to Los Angeles without skiing. And trust me probably the best snow weather and resort in the world ;)))) hugely recommended.