This week, the cast of Twilight celebrated its final Comic-Con with a bittersweet preview/panel event comprising a seven-minute sneak peek of Breaking Dawn—Part 2...
Peter Facinelli—who has played Carlisle Cullens, Robert Pattinson’s 372-year-old onscreen father in the past four films—sat down with Vanity Fair to discuss the possibility of a Breaking Dawnfollow-up, what he thought Edward and Bella should have named their baby had it been a boy, and his plans post-Twilight.
Julie Miller: How does it feel to be at your last Comic-Con for Twilight?
Peter Facinelli: It’s a little sad. I’m going to miss the fans. They’ve treated us so well, at Comic-Con especially. But just because the movies are over doesn’t mean the fans will disappear. I hope. Otherwise it will be me standing outside with a bunch of markers and no one who wants an autograph. [Laughs.]
Are you going to mourn Carlisle after the film opens in November?
I’ve mourned all of my characters but I haven’t really mourned him yet. Maybe in December, I’ll have a little vigil for Carlisle. Usually, when I wrap a character, there’s a three-to-five day depression that I go through because a part of you is gone. You’ll never get to play that character again. I got so used to playing Carlisle, though, that I never had to mourn the loss of him because I knew I would revisit him at some point. When we wrapped last time, I think we shot for six months. I wasn’t ready to mourn him; I was just thankful to be done. I knew that also I would have Comic-Con and there would be press [for the movie], so he is kind of still with me. But I think in December, there is no more to talk about. It’ll be complete.
At the panel, fans asked about Stephenie Meyers’s writing a follow-up to Breaking Dawn. It seems like readers are desperate for the Twilight story to continue.
Maybe there will be a Broadway musical. Twilight: Turn Off the Dark. Or an Ice CapadesTwilight. [Note: There already is in fan fiction.]
There was a scene that the audience really loved seeing in which the Cullens family tries to teach vampire Bella how to act like a human. When filming, did you realize how funny that scene was going to play out onscreen?
Oh, I did. I thought it was hysterical when we were shooting it. We were having a good time with that and even when they were picking out the name [for Bella and Edward’s daughter] in the book and they were giving her advice . . . I wasn’t in the scene, but I told Kristen off-camera, “If it’s a boy, you should name him Charlisle.” “Charlie” [Bella’s father’s name] and “Carlisle” put together.
How did the cast celebrate the end of filming?
We had a wrap party in Louisiana so we had a crew there to say good-bye. And then I think we had a wrap party in Canada. But people wrap at different times, so by the time we got to the wrap party in Canada, a lot of the cast had been wrapped. It’s not like there was a big final day where everyone was gone. We shot the wedding scene last, which I think Bill [Condon] did on purpose, because almost everyone was in the wedding scene. We got to all say good-bye to each other on set, but it was like four o’clock in the morning, in the rain, after we had been shooting for like 16 hours. So everyone was diving for their cars.
But some other people, like me, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, and Kellan Lutz—we had another two weeks in second unit. Then we thought we were done, but they added another two days. When we were finally done, we were like, “Is this really it?” I remember that I wrapped with Elizabeth Reaser. They told us we had wrapped, she screamed for joy, we hugged, and then we went out to dinner that night. It was nice.
What will you miss most?
The fans. There is something really special about Twilight fans where they all come together for the love of these books and this story. When you get all of these Twilight fans together in a room, it doesn’t matter whether or not they know each other. They all kind of are bound by this love and they become friends. You feel this energy. There are Twilight fans that I’ve known for years now that come to different events, and I’ll be like, “Oh, you got a haircut!” I know their names and they become members of this community. Then I’ll miss the cast relationships, because even though I might get together with one or two of them here or there, everyone is so busy. So I really appreciate moments like today and doing press sometimes because that brings the cast together. I was thinking that today, that this Comic-Con panel was probably the last time that the cast will be together in the same room.
Maybe there will be a big 10th-anniversary celebration.
I mean, it’s a big cast. I’m surprised that we were able to shoot these movies in four years and everybody’s schedules worked. I was doing Nurse Jackie, and at any time I could have been replaced because I was unavailable. For three years, I did Nurse Jackie and Twilight at the exact same time. It’s very rare that an actor does a big movie and a television show at the same time. But they were able to work it out.
That sounds grueling.
I actually kind of enjoyed it, because it broke up the monotony of things—like, you’re on set with one group of people, you jump on the plane, and then you’re on set with a whole other group of people. People are like, “Did you ever get your lines confused?” And I’m like, “No, the characters are distinctly different.” That was part of the fun, how different the characters are. Coop [his character on Nurse Jackie] is so frenetic, boyish, juvenile, and it always seems like he just drank 10 cans of Red Bull. And then three days later, I would be playing this mature fatherly figure and the rock of the family. It was fun as an actor.
How often are you recognized for a character other than Carlisle?
I’m so unaware of my surroundings that I never notice when anyone is watching me or not. I am always so shocked when anyone recognizes me from Twilight because I look so different [from my character]. I don’t even recognize myself when I see pictures of my Twilightcharacter.
What’s up for you next?
I’m just going to dress up like Carlisle and do birthdays and bat mitzvahs. I’m just going to rent out Carlisle on the weekend. [Laughs.] I think that’s against—someone wouldn’t let me do that. I have Nurse Jackie season five. I have a production company now, so I am really enjoying having more control over my career. It’s nice to not only sit back and read other people’s scripts but to find my own and partner with people who get things made from the ground up. I made a movie last year called Loosies. I wrote that and produced it. Michael Madsen was in it, Vincent Gallo. All of a sudden I created something and got to work with these actors I love. I wrote another film that I’m hoping to shoot in January. I have three other films that I didn’t write that other people are writing that I acquired the rights to. I like being able to mix it up.