Actor and philanthropist Giacomo Gianniotti has opened up about his evolving journey as a man – and how learning to become self-aware has been a major element of his growth.
The 32-year-old, best known for playing Dr Andrew DeLuca on Grey’s Anatomy, shared his thoughts on Man Enough, one of the most important podcasts of our time that is changing the dialogue around masculinity and reminding men and women all over the world, we are enough, just as we are.
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Speaking to hosts, filmmaker and author Justin Baldoni, his long-time collaborator and BFF Jamey Heath and journalist and feminist queen Liz Plank, Giacomo begins by praising his wife for being the one to help him discover his true self:
“She had the patience to really guide me into being the man I always wanted to be. I just feel like when we met, I was a boy. And I only became a man with her because I met someone who really allowed me to grow into this person that I felt like I was just pretending to be this whole time.”
In between sharing stories about being a child of divorce and the son of immigrants as well as his success on Grey’s and using his platform to support the homeless in Los Angeles, Giacomo also candidly reveals he was a controlling person at one point in his life.
“It took me so long to actually step out of my body and be able to observe these things and see what I was doing. And just see how stupid it was!”
He goes onto explain that this self-awareness, which he brilliantly refers to as a “superpower” has meant he has learnt to not only give up his controlling behaviour but also apologise with sincerity and evolve emotionally:
“It used to be this thing, begrudgingly with my teeth clamped…which is not genuine and it’s not an apology,” he says.
“I feel like now I’ve come to a place where I’m way quicker to apologise and I’ve redefined that apologising doesn’t make me less of a man. It doesn’t make me weak. It’s not even, admitting that I’m wrong. It’s just – I’m having enough grace to give over, and be generous enough, to give over this moment to this person…and I think there’s a lot of strength in apologising.”
I mean, have you ever heard a better definition of an apology?
And as Justin, Liz and Jamey discuss at one point, having someone like Giacomo who has a platform of over 3 million on Instagram, share these thoughts as a “strength,” put the work in to figure out who he is and be honest enough to say things like “I’m sorry” or “I don’t know” or “I need help” or “there are things I can do better” – well, that’s how we change damaging societal ideas of what it means to be a man, or how men must act in order to be man enough.
During the chat, Giacomo was also open about the benefits he’s received from therapy, his friendships with other men and being able to confide in and cry with those he is close to:
“Oh my god, my wedding day,” he laughs. “I just couldn’t stop, I didn’t think there was that much water in my body!”
You can listen to the full, heartfelt chat on the Man Enough Podcast.
(Feature Image Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com)