Peter Facinelli was kind enough to speak with me today about his work on The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Nurse Jackie, up-coming The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and much more.
Though recovering from a bit of a cold, this self-proclaimed Twilight fan and film enthusiast was earnest and open about his work.
After a couple of weeks of constant Twittering, and the widely known win in a bet with Rob DeFranco, Facinelli is still working out the details on how to handle the prize. He is still "just trying to figure out what to do for the day [June 30th] because I want to try and do some kind of charity event. I thought it might be a fun way to actually make it into something meaningful."
While the day might already include the very charitable donation of Facinelli's own actor's chair to one lucky Twilight fan/Twitter follower, Rob DeFranco's Hollywood Boulevard jig might not be all Twilight fans will see on June 30th, it seems.
I asked Facinelli if he was surprised at how much the bet took off after his initial few Twitters. Said he, "Yeah, I mean, Rob came over to my house and he saw the back of my chair and was like 'Can I have that?' And I said, 'No,' but he knows I like a good bet, so he said, 'I'll bet you for it.' We kind of came up with this bet. It's not like we sat around and planned some crazy thing, and then all of a sudden we threw it on the internet, and it kind of exploded. I know a lot of people had fun with it, and I was happy that people were. It was a very entertaining week."
Also fun this week was the third episode of Facinelli's newest show Nurse Jackie on Showtime - whose pilot broke Showtime's own records and led to an immediate announcement of a second season. Said Facinelli about this news, he's "pretty excited. I love working with Edie Falco. She's an amazing actress, and a really sweet person. I mean, whenever you get to do more of what you love to do, it's always great. When we did Twilight, I think our main goal was to hopefully be able to do more and we are."
Indeed, they are. Having just wrapped The Twilight Saga: New Moon with director Chris Weitz, Facinelli is to be back on the Twilight set once again - this time with David Slade for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. I asked Facinelli whether he was surprised at all that his work in Twilight has potentially led to a four-part film series.
"Well," he said, "when we first shot it, you know, I think no one really knew that it was going to be this big. I think we were just hoping to satisfy the fans of the books, and we knew there was this underground following. Again, no one really knew it was going to snowball into this huge thing... kind of like my Twitter bet... No one knew it was going to snowball into that huge thing either."
Facinelli also enjoyed his work on Nurse Jackie with director Steve Buscemi. "I've been a fan of Steve Buscemi's for the longest time, so to be able to be directed by him was a real treat. I almost worked on a movie with him ... and I was up for the lead role, and I ended up not being able to do it. And to work with him years later was pretty cool .. It was called Animal Factory." He didn't end up on the picture, he says, because "[Buscemi] went younger with the role. It was between me and Edward Furlong, and he went with Eddie ... So, I was kind of bummed, but later on I got to work with him on Nurse Jackie, and we were excited to work together."
Steve Buscemi and Edie Falco aren't the only long-timer HBO/Showtime series alums, and this fact might be one that intimidates some, but Facinelli has a different perspective. "I've worked with a lot of great actors, so I don't get intimidated by [them.] I get excited to work with great actors."
When asked if there were any particular actors that he'd like to work with, Facinelli admitted "that's a long list." "I always wished I worked with Paul," Facinelli said, "Paul Newman, but I never got the chance. Robert Redford would be my second. You know, I love Al Pacino and [Robert] DeNiro... they're great. I think my favorite would be ... if I had to pick ... Sean Penn. I'd love to work with Sean Penn. Either way. As a director (with him directing me) or acting alongside him. I'm a huge fan of his and the work he's done."
Nurse Jackie, since being pitted for a second season reprisal, will begin filming this fall. Also filming this fall is The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, but Peter Facinelli is confident that both can be done harmoniously. According to him, "They're starting in October some time, and I think we're starting Eclipse in August, so if everything stays according to plan it'll be close, but we'll be able to squeeze both. The good news is that I'm not in every scene in Eclipse and I'm not in every scene in Nurse Jackie, so I'm sure I'll be able to do both."
Speaking of Eclipse, I asked Facinelli if there was anything about director David Slade that he looked forward to working with him for. Said he, "I've heard he's very intense, and I heard he's a great actor's director, so I'm excited to work with him."
The changed directorial hands, too, seems to be exciting to Facinelli. "Whenever I've done television (Six Feet Under, or Damages, or Nurse Jackie) we worked with different directors each episode," Facinelli said, "so, it makes it interesting because they come in and it's the same material, but you get a different perspective on it. And that's how it's been on this one too. Chris Weitz has brought his vision; Catherine Hardwicke had hers. And, now, we get to see what David Slade's going to bring ... It's exciting."
Though only contracted for Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse, Facinelli also intends to reprise his role as Dr. Carlisle Cullen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, if it comes to fruition. Says he, "I'm a big fan of the series. I wish there were more!"
In our discussions here, I told him, we've bounced around the idea of a post-Breaking Dawn television series, and the witty Facinelli is on board for that as well, he says, "as long as it's called the Carlisle Chronicles." If only, huh?
Other projects in the works for Facinelli include, potentially, Thicker, which Facinelli tells us is based on a "short movie" of the same name. "I'm hoping they can get the money and shoot that because it's a fun little short ... Leslie Zemeckis (who is Robert Zemeckis' wife) co-stars and is producing it. And Christopher Lloyd."
Also in the works is one of Facinelli's own near and dear projects called Loosies. About the film, Facinelli says, "it's about a pick-pocket in New York, who lives this carefree lifestyle, kind of like the Steve McQueen type, and he ends up getting this girl pregnant, and his whole life gets thrown upside-down. He has to grow up and take some responsibility for his life, basically." The script, he says, was his own penmanship, and he "was supposed to try and squeeze [it] in this summer, but the window got too small between going back to work on Eclipse, so I'm going to have to push that 'til next year."
While another project may also be in the works for Facinelli, he says that if not, he will plan to attend Comic Con this year. Says he, "it sounds like fun. I didn't go last year..."