I only became familiar with Melina through her work on CSI:NY as Mac Taylor's second in command, Stella Bonasera. I have also seen her on Ellen and she seems like a really nice person. She has a lovely motherly presence about her and I think her kids are blessed with a wonderful mom.
Stella is my favorite person on the CSI:NY team. I think she is a terrific colleague and would be great to work with. She is a friend to everyone, supports her teammates and has their backs, is professional, works with integrity and knows how to have fun.
I was reading her quotes here and a couple struck me in particular: I realized that it's okay to take risks and make choices based on your heart as opposed to your pocket book or anybody else's opinion.
That combined with her comment that saving money has allowed her to make decisions based on [her] heart rather than financial need is pretty special. It touches me personally because I was raised to believe that money was THE thing and I have been very fortunate to learn that it most certainly is not.
Melina talks about making heart centered decisions and living a heart centered - as opposed to a money centered - life and I think that pretty rare in our culture.
Lastly, when a person says that watching my parents crawling around on the floor with my kids - and becoming children again - is the greatest gift ever, you know that they get it. One of friends says that Stella is just a character and that may be true, but it takes a good actress to bring her alive and Melina is that and much more.