«How I learned to dress for success»

 Daytime Digest, 1988

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Joe Marinelli was born in Connecticut but grew up in Southern California. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and studied for a year in London. The role of Bunny is his first contract role. Previously he guest-starred on L.A. Law and Cagney and Lacey.

Bunny is a very interesting character. How was the part first described to you ?

They said he was a mobster/cross-dresser, so I didn't know how they wanted him. I didn't know if they wanted him effeminate. What I saw from the piece was that they wanted him masculine, extremely macho. I auditioned with that and didn't even concern myself with the other stuff. The fact that he is so macho is what makes him go the other way.

Do you see any similarities between yourself and Bunny ?

I think the caring aspect that Bunny has. I remember during the audition (I did a scene) where he's giving advice to Gina. My uncles used to give me advice like that, with so much invested, with their hearts on the line. They were tough men and you knew that they meant every single word that they said from the bottom of their hearts. That's the thing with Bunny. Bunny is so caring, but he'll kill you. That's the way it has to be.

Instead of supporting yourself in between acting jobs by waiting tables as many actors do, you went a different route. Why ?

I didn't feel that it was free enough. So for a while I drove a cab. When I did a play, I parked the cab.

You must have some interesting stories from that.

There's just something about driving a cab; so many elements are funny. So many things that are just a comment on the state of society. There's danger involved. There's sadness. I mean at the end of a night things are so lonely. I've picked up a lot of transvestites. It's amazing too what happens as the night goes on. It's almost predictable that (as it gets later, things) get stranger.

Have you heard much from the fans yet ?

Yeah, I've been getting some great stuff. I never watched the soaps before so I didn't know who Justin Deas (ex-Keith) was. I mean, I've never met him or seen him, but I can feel that there's somebody gone. Obviously he did a great job. Everyone has been really nice. They have accepted me for me.