Fans of Twilight may know Peter Facinelli as the DILF-y vampire Dr. Carlisle Cullen but there is more to PFac than playing Robert Pattinson‘s dad – the Queens-born actor is currently working on Loosies (a film that he wrote, produced and starred in) with his new production company, Facinelli Films. Peter took some time out of his hectic Breaking Dawn filming schedule to chat with Celebuzz about the making of Loosies and how he feels about Twilight finally coming to a close.
Tell us a little bit about your character in Loosies.
I play a pickpocket in New York who he lives with his mom [laughs] and his mom thinks he works on Wall Street. So, every day he walks out of the house in a suit and tie and he walks down to the subway and that’s his office and he just pickpockets the people all day. He’s a pickpocket because he’s in debt, his father left him with $500,000 in gambling debts, so he has to pay off the person that his father was indebted to which is Vincent Gallo‘s character so it kind of took his life into a whole different direction.
He lives this fast, loose kind of Steve McQueen kind of lifestyle and one day he gets tapped on the shoulder and this girl that he had a one night stand with tells him that she’s pregnant and his whole world just kind of collapses around him because he has to grow up and take responsibility for something, so it’s a fun story.
What was your motivation for starting your own production company, Facinelli Films, and creating your own films?
You know I had a couple of films that I had written and I thought it was time to get them off the ground. I wrote a television movie for the Hallmark Channel that aired last month and that my wife [Jennie Garth] starred in called Accidentally in Love and it did really well in the ratings so I was really happy about that. Loosies was the second movie that I had written and we shot it last August and are now in the middle of post-production.
To be able to create something and give other people a job and have the whole crew working on something that was just an idea in your head, that was very exciting for me.
What was it like working with your wife in a movie that you wrote?
It was fun to have my wife actually say the lines that I wrote. When you’re writing something in your head you wonder if it’s going to work and I got to go down to the set and watch all the actors kind of bring it to life. With Loosies I was in it so I had to bring the words that I wrote to life. It was a lot of fun to have something that I wrote that I was able to act in and also have more control over from the producing side and be able to hire people and the cast that I thought were talented.
In the film you play a pickpocket – did you have to learn any pickpocketing tricks?
Yeah I did. I met with this guy and he taught me the tools of the trade [laughs] and how to pickpocket watches and wallets and I learned a lot and we implemented it in the film.
Actually, in one of the scenes I pick pocketed the actor and he didn’t even know that I had done it. In another scene we shot outside I pick pocketed this one actor and walked away and this lady had seen me do it and she ran over to the guy and she said, ‘You just got pick pocketed!’ [laughs] She had no idea we were filming.
Is shooting in New York different than shooting in Los Angeles or on different locations?
New York City is a character in itself. I wanted to really capture New York because I grew up there and this film was my homage to New York City. I don’t know if I have preferences [on where I shoot] since films are set in different places and right now I’m in the middle of Canada shooting Twilight 4 and 5 but I’ve always loved the City’s streets and I wanted to make that a big part of this film.
You mentioned that you are in the middle of shooting Breaking Dawn, is it a bittersweet feeling to know that the Twilight Saga is coming to a close?
Yeah. I mean, we’re so busy working that I don’t think that we’ve wrapped our heads around the fact that it’s ending soon. We still have another month to go so right now we’re just knee-deep in the work of it. I haven’t really given much thought to it being over. Even when it’s over, the films will be coming out over the next two years so I’ll still see everybody.
We asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter to submit some questions for you. This one is from Melissa H.: “Of all the characters you have played over the years, which one do you identify with the most?”
They all become like children to you so picking your favorite character is like asking who’s your favorite kid. I’ve had fun playing them all. My litmus test is if I don’t feel like I have a connection to the character, if I don’t have a passion for the role then I won’t do it. My test is, on my way to work am I going to be excited for the day’s work ahead? I’ve always been excited about the day’s work ahead.
With that said, I think with Loosies because I wrote it and it took me four or five years to get it off the ground and my character was an original character that I created it was very satisfying from that point to play that role.
This next question is from Alexandra A.: “Did it ever cross your mind that the Twilight Saga and Nurse Jackie would become so successful when you saw read the first script?”
No, I never have any control over whether it’s successful or not. When you’re an actor you come in and you do your part and then you hope that everyone puts it together and people like it. You have very limited control. With Twilight and Nurse Jackie I enjoyed the characters and I was excited to be able to play the characters, but I had no idea if they were going to be successful or not and I’m very pleased that they were.
I think that’s why in producing and writing as well that gives me a little bit more control over the project so I can see it all the way through form beginning to the end.
Now that you are working on an independent film do you ever get nervous that it won’t be a success?
At that point you’re creating you’re not worrying if anyone is going to see it, you’re always putting your focus into the creative aspect and then, once the movie’s done you kind of worry about how to get this out to the public so they can see it. Now we’re going into sound editing [for Loosies] and then we’ll distribute it to screenings and hopefully it will be in theaters for people to see it. Again, you have such limited control over whether or not that happens or whether or not the public likes it so I try to focus the energy on the creative process.
The last question comes from Leona J.: “Is there any other character in the Twilight Saga that you would like to have played?”
I’m pretty satisfied with Carlisle. When I read the book that one made the most sense for me. I always said that if I was 10 years younger that Edward would have been a fun role to play but for where I was I thought Carlisle was pretty cool. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s good to play the dad.