Wetpaint Entertainment spoke to the French hottie in an exclusive interview at the In Touch Weekly Icons & Idols party in Los Angeles on September 6, 2012, where he shared about the pain in his Achilles, why he wants the All-Stars trophy this time around, and whether or not he’ll be taking his shirt off (hint: probably)!
Wetpaint Entertainment: How are DWTS rehearsals going? Gilles Marini: I’m blowing up my Achilles right now.
And what about the foot you injured this summer? [Note: a nail went through his foot and he had to have it surgically removed.] Oh, yeah. The nail. You know what? I recoup very fast. I destroy my toe, shred like four different ligaments, affected the nerves on the left side of my knee. You have to kill me to stop me. That’s it!
What’s the partnership with Peta like? Amazing! What a sweet girl. She’s tall, very lean, super patient. I’m two left feet many, many times during the day, probably hit her shin 30 times, so I think she deserves a medal just to be as patient as she is right now.
Are you going to take your shirt off this season? My shirt off? You know, if the people are voting for me to go down in mid-season, I probably will shock them more than ever because I’ve been working extremely hard on looking very different. I want to show people that are 35 years old that they can look amazing at 35. I’m not anything else than another person laying on their couch right now. I never danced. I stood up, started dancing. When I do devote myself to something I can look okay and hopefully people will be inspired and will try to go toward a better healthy living.
How much do you want to win this time? This time, I want to have that trophy to put in my daughter’s bedroom. And now that I’ve heard the trophy is an incredible one this year—
Oh, tell me more about the All-Stars’ trophy! I heard about that. It’s like all crystal, like 50 grand, amazing trophy. I’m like — I want this in my daughter’s bedroom! My wife said, “Oh, my God, no”! I said, “Oh, yeah!” It has to be in my daughter’s bedroom and nowhere else.
What does your daughter say about that? Does she know about this? No. I don’t want to tell her it’s precious. She’s going to try to play with it. I would love to [win] because it will be the sense of what the show is about — someone who has never danced before, braving this and winning this.
Who’s your biggest competition? Myself. I hate everything I do so clearly, I need to chill out a bit. I’m my worst critic. I can’t stand what I do. I’m going to work to the last minute to make it so beautiful.
Do you miss Cheryl [Burke], his original partner]? Cheryl, she’s my girl! She taught me how to dance. The producers decided to put me with someone else so I was worried and then I met Peta.
Do you see Shawn Johnson around? [Gilles lost to her narrowly in their season.] Yeah, every day. Shawn is my girl. I hug her and we talk. She’s a sweetheart. It’s hard. She’s not a kid anymore. Now we can really compete.