Peter Facinelli: Skype Keeps Us Connected

Peter Facinelli, who plays Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight movies, has fans bloodthirsty with anticipation for the November 20 release of his upcoming film New Moon. The father to three daughters with 90210‘s Jennie Garth – Luca Bella, 12, Lola Ray, 6 1/2, and Fiona Eve – sat down with New York Kids for a look into his busy life.

On if the Facinelli household is on Team Edward or Team Jacob: “When I asked my three-year-old what she liked about Twilight she said Edward.”

On how he balances family life and work: “Any minute I have off, I try to get home. Last year I flew into L.A. on a Friday morning, picked up my kids from school, put up the Halloween decorations, had dinner with them and got back on a plane that night to go back to film. But it was worth every minute that I got to spend with them. I try not to go more than two weeks without seeing them even if it’s only for a day. And we also have Skype. At least we get to see each other! Sometimes we’ll even eat dinner together. I’ll be eating ramen noodles and they’ll be having a wonderful home-cooked meal.”

On if Twilight fans be surprised by New Moon: “I don’t know if they’ll be surprised; I’m hoping they’ll walk out of the theater happy. I was a fan of the book and am very pleased with how the movie came out. The Cullen family isn’t featured as prominently [as in the first film]. New Moon is focused more on the werewolf side of this small town. Also, Chris Weitz directed New Moon and his vision is different from [Twilight director] Catherine Hardwicke’s. It’s not the same as Twilight, but it still has its edge.”

On if it’s challenging to play dad to a brood of actors so close to his own age: “When I first got cast I thought, I’m only about ten years older than these kids; how am I supposed to play their father? But I was more conscious of that on the first movie. Carlisle’s speech pattern and movements aren’t very contemporary, so it gives him more of a patriarchal feel.”

On how Twilight has changed him: “I’ve definitely got more people asking me to have a picture taken with them. The fan base is fantastic. They are very loyal and giving. Some people will fly in from other states just to come meet me.”

On if lots of moms are fans: “The fans span all ages. It’s not like more of the moms like me. They love the whole Cullen family.”

On if he likes living in New York: “It’s great! I grew up in Ozone Park, so it’s always nice to come back. I moved to L.A. in 1996 but I’ve shot a number of things here: The Big Kahuna with Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito, Riding in Cars with Boys and now Nurse Jackie.”

On his favorite things to do with the family in the city: “At Christmastime we like to see the tree at Rockefeller Center and go ice-skating in Central Park. The kids love to go shopping at FAO Schwarz, walk around the city and buy pretzels or hot nuts on the street corners.”

On if he ever goes back to Queens: “A couple months ago I went to Aldo’s Pizzeria where I used to go all the time. They sponsored my baseball team when I was a kid. Aldo is still working there on Cross Bay Boulevard and still makes one of the best pizzas in New York.”

On what it was like growing up in Ozone Park: “It was a real community. All the neighbors knew each other and watched out for one another. Fourth of July was huge. The streets would close down and fireworks would be lit off all the way down the block. I have a lot of good memories.”

On the key to his successful marriage: “We take it one day at a time. My theory: Don’t throw in the towel in a relationship if you’re having rocky times. You’re just going to have to start over with somebody else and then you’re going to have rocky times with them. Every time we’ve ridden through the rocky times, our love’s gotten deeper. At this point we’ve been together 15-odd years and I can’t imagine trading that time for somebody else.”

On any plans for more children: “I believe the world was made for a family of five and no more. When you get in a car, you can seat five comfortably. When you go out to dinner, you can seat five comfortably. I’m from a family of six but those were different days; everyone climbed in the back of a Chrysler and your face was smashed up against the glass and nobody cared. That being said, never say never!”

On what he likes to do during downtime, besides Twitter: “What downtime? Any downtime I have is spent with my family, with my kids. In between one doing soccer and basketball, another doing horseback riding and the three-year-old wanting to go to the park, I don’t have a lot of downtime.”

On if they take family roadtrips: “Yes. We take our RV to our daughter’s soccer tournaments and we drove to Portland, Oregon this past summer. I just bought a new RV the other day. We had a 33-foot and now we’ve moved up to a huge 40-foot Class A motor home. Who knows? Maybe I’m making room for one more child.”

On what is up next, aside from the Twilight series: “I’m filming Nurse Jackie through December. There’s the possibility of a fourth Twilight [film]. I’ve written three scripts and hopefully they’ll eventually get set up.”

On his favorite character he’s played: “That’s like asking me to pick a favorite kid! Every one of my characters is my creation. I’ve liked them all. Dr. Cullen is a great character, but so is Dr. Cooper [from Nurse Jackie]. I love playing them both.”

Filed under: Peter Facinelli

Photo credit: Bauer Griffin

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