At 34 years old, Peter Facinelli probably doesn't seem old enough to play the father to twenty-somethings Robert Pattinson and Kellan Lutz. Of course, when you throw into the equation that Facinelli's character, Dr. Carlisle, is more than 300 years old, you realize not everything in the world of Twilight is as it seems on the surface. Especially when Pattinson's and Lutz's characters, Edward and Emmett, are only around the century mark.
ReelzChannel got the chance to sit with the Cullen family patriarch for an exclusive interview to discuss his performance in Twilight.
ReelzChannel: You don't really look old enough for teenage kids. Was it weird to play the father figure to these slightly younger kids?
Peter Facinelli: Well I'm over 300 years old in the movie, so in reality or non-reality, he's actually 23 in the book. So I'm actually a little old to be playing him. But because he's 350 years old and locked in a timeless age, what I thought had to work for me was bringing a kind of maturity to the role to differenciate between the father figure and the kids.
Reelz: How did you first hear about Twilight?
Facinelli: My agents called me and said there's a really good vampire movie. Do you want to do it? And I said no. I'm not really into the blood and gore stuff. They said it was different and persisted. I told them to set up the meeting so I could read it, but they didn't have a script. So they sent over the book and said my meeting was tomorrow. I read Twilight in one day because I had to, but in actuality I didn't want to put it down because it was that good. I fell in love with it. It felt like a throwback to the film noir of Bela Lugosi, sensual images and mystique.
Reelz: Have you read beyond the first book?
Facinelli: I read two and three while we were filming because I wanted to have as much info. on my character as possible. Four wasn't out yet. I'm in the middle of four right now because my wife took it from me and wouldn't give it back. (Laughs)
Reelz: Did reading the books help enhance the performance?
Facinelli: Yes. It was important for me to bring the attributes of the character in the book to the screen. He's very compassionate; he has a lot of patience. He has a certain maturity about him. There's a stillness about him in the way he walks and talks. All of that was important to create Dr. Carlisle.
Reelz: As a vegetarian vampire, wouldn't being a doctor present a lot of temptation, as far as exposure to human blood?
Facinelli: You know, I thought about that often. I think that blood is like a drug and because he's been clean for a while, off of human blood, I think the worst thing for him to do would be snacking on human blood during the day. It takes a lot of willpower to do what he does and for the family to [subsist on animal blood].
Reelz: Did you get the chance to speak with Stephenie Meyer about your character?
Facinelli: I met with her twice. She was great. She has a great presence. I didn't talk too much about the character with her because I felt like everything I needed to know was in her books. She's very detail oriented in her writing.
There was one question I asked her, about his dialect and speech pattern. Since he's from England originally, a lot of fans were asking if I was going to play him with an English accent. I chose not to, because the last point he was in England was over 300 years ago, so I felt like he's been in America for so long and he wants to adapt to his surroundings, so he probably would have formed an Americanized accent. Although I did use more of a standard dialect for him because I wanted there to be a proper sense of speech while he was talking. I think there's an elegance there with Dr. Carlisle.
Reelz: What have your Twilight fan encounters been like?
Facinelli: They've all been very generous and gracious, and it's been very humbling and supportive. I remember filming and fans would show up on the sets. It was great to see people support the movie even before it was out.
Reelz: Are you signed on for all three movies?
Facinelli: If there are more, I would definitely be a part of them, but I don't think there's a green light until the fans come out and show that they want more.