Although Peter Facinelli was at the current Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour to promote the upcoming second season of his hit Showtime series, Nurse Jackie (premiering on March 22nd) following the panel presentation, talk immediately turned to his other role, as Dr. Carlisle Cullen, in the Twilight Saga films.
The Cullen patriarch talked about his larger role in Eclipse, which is his favorite book in the series, filming in Vancouver while also working on “Nurse Jackie” in New York, and how he’ll probably learn the status of Breaking Dawn on the internet before he gets the phone call about it from the studio. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Question: Does Carlisle have a lot to do in Eclipse?
PETER FACINELLI: Yes, he does a lot. A lot more than the first two films, for sure. You know, what I like about the third movie is that you get to see a side of Carlisle you haven’t seen before. You actually get to see what his vampire capabilities are because there’s some great battle sequences. It’s my favorite book.
When do you hear about Breaking Dawn?
FACINELLI: I don’t know. Usually the fans know before I do, so I’m sure I’ll see it on the internet before I get the phone call.
FACINELLI: No, I just enjoy what Twitter is because I can really connect with the fans. It’s a great way to share information with them and it’s also a great way to entertain. I like being able to put a smile on people’s faces and I like being able to also mix that up with sharing information with them that’s important, and also letting them know what I’m doing. I’ve had people come to me and say, “Hey, will you tweet this out?” There’s like pay advertisement stuff. I’m not into that. I like to keep my Twitter pure. I don’t want to sell my followers anything. I want to be able to have that fan base so I can tell them what I’m doing and entertain them.
How do Twilight fans relate to you?
FACINELLI: What’s great is that, because I look so different from Carlisle, they’ve gotten to know me in a different way than Carlisle is. I’ve had this fan base go and look at some of the other work I’ve done and see how vastly different that work is. It’s fun for me that I don’t look like Carlisle and I’m not anything like him, so when people do meet me, they’re not confusing me at all with Carlisle.
Did you ever think these Twilight films would do so much for your career?
FACINELLI: No. The fan base has been so phenomenal. When you go to an event and people have flown in from other countries just to take a picture with you, that’s a loyal fan base that you can’t even imagine having. I’m thankful for all of them and that’s why I try to connect with them, in some way.
FACINELLI: Yes, for the third movie, because I was doing both projects at the same time, I wore a wig. There were days where I was literally running for hours in the forest and then I’d jump on a plane and be on the “Nurse Jackie” set. I was going from Vancouver to New York, every three days.
Was it hard to switch gears?
FACINELLI: No, for me, it was really invigorating. I did a scene where I was crying with Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) that came out of me just being emotionally exhausted. It wasn’t written that I was crying and, all of a sudden, in the middle of the scene, I broke down and started crying. It felt right for the scene. I did takes that I wasn’t crying in, but they felt like, because I was just dumped by Jackie and there was all this heavy emotions going on, it really worked for the scene. I think it was just me getting off an airplane, having three hours of sleep and just being that vulnerable. It hit me that hard. But, I enjoyed doing both projects, at the same time.
What kind of doctor is Carlisle?
FACINELLI: Carlisle is the head of the hospital in Forks.
Is he good?
FACINELLI: He’s great. Carlisle, because he’s been around for so long, is very well educated. What I love about him is that he has a real love for humanity. People always ask me what kind of research I did to play a vampire. I say, “I did very little to play a vampire because I’m playing a vampire who’s trying to be human.” My research was more about what it is to be human and why he loved humanity so much that made him want to hold onto that. When you look at something like Twilight, the good vampires aren’t necessarily good. They’re just eccentric. The bad vampires are just doing what they’re born to do and made to do. It’s like domesticating a lion. For me, Carlisle doesn’t want to be a vampire, so he’s just really holding onto that humanity.