Peter Facinelli spent a significant part of last year commuting between the New York second-season set of Showtime’s NURSE JACKIE (which completed its run Monday night), in which he plays emotionally immature Dr. Fitch Cooper, and the Vancouver environs of the feature film TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE, in which he essays (as he has throughout the franchise) the wise vampire patriarch Dr. Carlisle Cullen.
The schedule was so intense that Facinelli reports he had to give up dyeing his hair as Carlisle and wear a wig instead.
“I mean, there were days where literally I was running for hours in the forest [in TWILIGHT] and then I stepped on a plane and then I’d be on the NURSE JACKIE set. I was going from Vancouver to New York like every three days.”
It was draining, Facinelli acknowledges, but also, he says, “It was really invigorating.”
“You know the scene where I was crying [at the beginning of this season’s NURSE JACKIE]? A lot of that came out of me just being emotionally exhausted,” he admits. “It wasn’t written that I was crying. All of a sudden, in the middle of the scene, I broke down and started crying and it felt right for the scene. They did takes where I wasn’t crying, but it felt like, because I was just dumped by Jackie and there were all these heavy emotions going on, that [crying] really worked for the scene and I think it was just me getting on an airplane with just three hours of sleep and being that vulnerable that it hit me that hard. So I enjoyed doing both projects at the same time. I really did.
Twitter, as Facinelli has discovered, is a great way for an actor to communicate with the avid TWILIGHT fans too.
“It’s a great way to share information with them,” Facinelli says. “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 mean, I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘Hey, when you Tweet this out, there’s paid advertisements and stuff.’ I’m not into that. I like to keep my Twitter pure; I don’t want to sell my followers anything. I just want to be able to have that fan base so I can tell them what I’m doing and entertain them.”
The fans do not confuse the actor with his TWILIGHT character, Facinelli relates.
“You know, what’s great is that I look so different from Carlisle is they’ve gotten to know me in a different way than Carlisle is,” he says. “Now 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, and so 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, then it’s not like they’re confusing me [with the character]. They’re not confusing me at all.”
In fact, Facinelli continues, he’s really enjoying the appreciation of the TWILIGHT enthusiasts. “The fan base has been so phenomenal. When you go to an event and people have flown in from other countries, that’s the part of 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 give back in connecting with them in some way.”