It's my guess that yes, Gilles and Mark are at least aquaintences prior to the show. Gilles and Mark are the kind of guys that aren't well known in the general public but it never ceases to amaze me "who" they know and the connections they have. For example Gilles kid Georges plays soccer with the Beckham boys, and Gilles has worked with Johnny Depp... Mark has worked with well known actors as well, like Monica Bellucci and Jet Li...Mark worked in an early film with director Wayne Wang, who directed Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon... the six degrees of separation will probably lead us to Gilles and Mark knowing each other, Gilles is very involved in mixed martial arts, epecially because Chieck Kongo, one of the UFC heavyweights is best friends with Gilles. The fact that Mark is probably one of the few hollywood actors who speaks fluent French wouldn't hurt their relationship.Growing up in Germany and living in Asia and the US, Mark would have a really international pov, one that a Frenchman would relate to. And they just would have not only a martial arts connection, there's action films that Gilles says are his favorites, as well as I think a sort of spirtual nod to each other. To read that Gilles finds a lot of solice in faith, and to hear that Mark studied to be a Shaolin monk, could be another connection.