If Giacomo Gianniotti seems like a familiar face, he is. Gianniotti plays heartthrob doctor, Andrew Deluca, on the ever-popular ABC award-winning drama, Grey’s Anatomy.
It’s easy to get caught up in a character’s persona, feeling like you know the person behind the camera, but the truth is, nine times out of 10 we do not. I had the pleasure of speaking to Gianniotti (and yes, he’s as dreamy as you’d imagine) about the man behind the TV scrubs, and the things that shaped him into the person he is today. A philanthropist, an activist, and a passionate humanitarian, Gianniotti is more than just a pretty (beautiful, stunning, hot) face.
I asked Gianniotti off the bat, what is something everyone should know about him. His answer pleasantly surprised me, because it was nothing short of relatable. “When I speak to people, they’re often surprised to find out that I still have friends from high school, because they often don’t talk to anyone from their high school anymore,” says Gianniotti. “I have a really strong group of friends from high school, and we’ve managed to stay in touch. The more I speak to people, the more I realize how incredibly rare that is. I feel fortunate because they have kept me grounded and kept me who I am.”
A strong point—I’ve never stopped and taken the time to think about whether most celebrities are friends with their high school peers—but one would assume not, considering a lot of us non-celebrities barely talk to people from high school. A humble reminder to remember where you came from, Gianniotti remains down to earth and kind despite his extreme rise to fame.
The conversation turned to Gianniotti’s truest passion, helping others.
“Doing good, giving back, and doing acts of kindness was always a part of my agenda. My mother did a lot of work when I was growing up feeding the homeless and working in community living centers where there were residents with mental health issues, so I was always kind of around and exposed to that,” Gianniotti says. “When I started to grow in my career and started gaining a following on social media,” which took a while since he says he resisted social media for a long time, “I started seeing the power of it as a tool for change and for good. We can distract people with positive content or things that help raise money for charities, getting people involved to do good. Once I made that realization, the sky was the limit in terms of what I could accomplish, and I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish in the past 5-6 years since moving to LA.”
While the list goes on (and on) of the amazing things Gianniotti has accomplished, a few stick out specifically. Gianniotti helps out a lot with My Friend’s Place in Los Angeles. My Friend’s Place assists and inspires homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives, offering comprehensive services to nearly 1,400 youth experiencing homelessness between the ages of 12 and 25, and their children, each year.
“I’ve really championed [My Friend’s Place] because I like to impact change in my personal community, and that’s where I live,” explains Gianniotti. “I’m not from here, but I live here, and I like to contribute to the place I live in the most possible way. I guess to answer your original question”—what people should know about him—”and round it back, growing and closing in on whatever the ‘top’ is, is not really fun unless everyone else can come along. And I don’t just mean my friends that I grew up with and my family, but I also mean my community. People who are homeless and people who are struggling. People who don’t have the same opportunity as I was afforded. It is my duty to do something to help everybody get a leg up.”
This is typically where I’d insert a line about how dreamy he truly is (and don’t get me wrong, he is), but I feel like there is little room for sarcasm when talking about someone who is so passionately making a difference during a time where the world needs help.
Gianniotti also gushed about his most recent partnership with outerwear brand, Nobis. While we’ve seen a-million-and-one celebrities collaborate with brands, we’ve not seen a-million-and-one brands donate 100% of sales to Red Cross COVID-19 Global Appeal and local hospitals.
“When I went in a partnership with Nobis, I told people that it’s very easy to see Nobis is a strong brand. The quality of the jackets and the way they ethically source, it’s beautiful,” Gianniotti says. “Nobis has already been doing a lot of work, a lot of giving back in the shadows that they haven’t been public about. I couldn’t be more proud to be partnered with them, because truthfully a lot of big companies are donating less and cushioning their profits, meaning they won’t experience real loss. Nobis is donating 100% of sales, profit, everything, and that means they will be losing, but they’re happy to do it for a good cause.”
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Thanks again to @nobis for having me in NYC to lauch our new campaign together. This spring rollout is bonkers! You guys have got to go get some of this gear, it’s just way too fly. This is the Mateo Mens Bomber, click the link in my bio to shop the new collection. And thanks to everyone that made the event a huge success, you know who you are.
We switched to a more personal gear, as I wanted to know more about Gianniotti and his story. After all, it’s not every day that you become Grey’s Anatomy‘s biggest *living* stud. RIP McDreamy and McSteamy, we still think about you.
“These are issues that we need to talk about, issues that aren’t seen on television. Police bias, homophobia, gender inequality, pay equality, politics, gun violence against children, the trans community, [and so on]. Getting people to be visible and see themselves on screen in a powerful way, and combating negative stereotypes that have long been seen by these different franchise folks. That is something that makes me very proud to be on the show,” he says. “I had the immense pleasure and responsibility this season of telling a story with my character of mental illness. Bipolar, to be specific. There is a lot of mental illness in my family, and I struggle with anxiety myself, so I was very proud to represent that community and I hope I did a good job. I hope I made people proud, and feel represented. It is something we worked very closely on with the writers, and again it’s really about people being seen.”
Gianniotti, who was open about his personal struggle with anxiety, has recently found a way to bring peace into not only his own home, but the home of his followers too. He recently began a segment on his Instagram page, which he calls “Poetry in the P.M.”
Of course, I had to tune in for
my own personal curiosity research purposes, but I left his first session feeling calm and happy. It was nice to click on a celebrity’s page and see their platform used for good. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to bash the ~other~ celebrities who continue to post photos of how their lives have not changed because their property is the size of a small city, but I DO appreciate the celebrities who care about us little people.
“As a lot of people in this situation have been, I’ve been forced into time alone with my thoughts,” Gianniotti admits. “I started thinking about the things in my life that I’ve been neglecting, the things that I haven’t made time for, but bring me joy. I’ve always loved poetry, but I haven’t given time for it in the past couple of years, so I started reading it again and thought it would be a cool thing to share with my followers. We read a poem, we talk about it, and maybe for 15 minutes you can forget where you were. I’ve had guests and people from different parts of the world, different languages, come on and read to show our similarities instead of our differences. Wherever you are in the world, you are special, you are valued.”
If you’re reading this and gasping at how one human can be so perfect, same. In all seriousness, I will probably rate people’s quality of being on a scale from zero to Giacomo Gianniotti, because he’s set the bar so high for how to be a good person 101.
I ended our conversation by asking Gianniotti about his biggest inspiration in life. Like, who made you this perfect, sir?
“Something I never mind talking about is my why, and my why is Robin Williams,” Gianniotti explains. “He has been a big hero of mine my entire life, and when I was younger it was because he was a comedic genius and a force to be reckoned with as an entertainer. As I got older, I recognized all the work he did behind the scenes and how much he gave back. At the height of his career he was forcing his production to hire homeless people to work on films, doing all these things and using his power for greatness. I just really look up to him a lot, and I try to be an example like he was, having that immense power and using it for good. I always want to honor Robin Williams.”
At this point in our talk I was borderline (and by borderline I mean extremely) emotional. HOW CAN SOMEONE BE SO PURE. Beauty, brains, kindness—I guess you really can have it all.
Images: Giacomo Gianniotti; giacomo_gianniotti / Instagram (2)