June 18, 2009 05:00 PM

Gilles Marini started off season eight of Dancing With the Stars known only as the naked neighbor from the Sex and the City movie, but he quickly danced his way into America’s heart — and second place in the reality competition.

His success with a more intimate audience, though, is what really makes him smile. With Father’s Day approaching, the 33-year-old former firefighter and model opened up to Life & Style about life with his wife, Carole, and kids Georges, 10, and Juliana, 2 ½. “Being a parent is simple,” he says. “Be with them, love them, and everything should be perfect.”

Courtesy Life & Style for use on CBB

Source: Life & Style

Read the interview and see more photos below!

Courtesy Life & Style for use on CBB

How did it feel to lose out on DWTS’ mirrorball trophy by less than 1 percent of the vote?
You know what? I felt so happy! I looked at it as a spectator, and it was a beautiful moment for Shawn [Johnson] and Mark [Ballas]. I just saw a 17-year-old exploding with joy.

But Georges was upset, right?
Yeah, I turned around and saw my son collapsing and crying. Georges felt he was responsible for my losing because Monday night he’d forgotten his iPhone at the house and didn’t vote. One percent meant one vote to him. But I told him, “It’s not your fault,” and he understood.

He actually bought me a trophy. It’s a big star with “Daddy, I’m so proud of you” written on it. It’s beautiful. So I won — being a dad is my first job.

Your partner, Cheryl Burke, was strict with you in the dance studio. Are you the same way as a parent?
Not at all. I’m strict if I see my kids doing something wrong, but I don’t have to tell them a lot. They understand my body language. You can’t seem too intimidating when you’re playing tea party with Juliana!

I believe I’m a very cool dad. Juliana wants me to dance every day with her. She’s the reason I dance.

Any plans to add another tiny dancer to your family?
Yeah, I’d love to. If anything, what we should do is maybe adopt. There are so many orphans, so many kids that really need to be adopted.

I know you hear about celebrities who go to Africa or the Philippines or other places, but you don’t have to look far.

It’s important to understand that America’s the most evolved country in the world, the most advanced country in the world, but still there’s a lot of poverty and kids who need to be helped.

Courtesy Life & Style for use on CBB

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