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The Fangs All Here
Twilight star PETER FACINELLI talks about life inside the hottest vampire franchise in cinema
Tara Brady, 24 Nov 2009
Peter Facinelli opens his hotel window and leans out to admire the view. “I like Dublin,” he smiles approvingly.
The feeling is mutual. Within hours, there’s a thick queue around the block at Forbidden Planet, where the Twilight star has alighted to sign autographs.
“It’s humbling and overwhelming,” gushes the 36 year-old Hollywood veteran. “I’m a big fan of the book so it’s wonderful to be part of it. I never tire of the fans. Why would I? They’re all so sweet.”
It was not always thus; not too long ago, Mr. Facinelli was more likely to be recognised as the husband of Beverly Hills 90210 minx Jennie Garth than as the TV star from Six Feet Under, Damages or Nurse Jackie.
“My kids have always known that mommy is an actress,” he laughs. “But with me they weren’t so sure. I don’t think I ever made a movie they could actually legally watch before Twilight.”
A respected character actor, he could not have predicted what would happen when he signed on to play the charismatic, vegetarian vampire turned physician Dr. Carlisle Cullen in director Catherine Hardwicke’s 2008 smash, Twilight.
“When we were shooting the first movie we knew it was delicate, tricky subject matter that could get very cheesy, very quickly,” he recalls. “In the wrong hands all that white make-up could have made us look like the Munsters. But, ultimately, as an actor, all you can do is hope that the director strikes the right tone. And thankfully, Catherine Hardwicke did a great job. We knew we were acting in a naturalistic way. We knew she was shooting in a naturalistic way. But you still never know what’s going to end up on the screen. So when I watched the film, I was really happy it wasn’t some sappy teen movie.”
The actor was even more surprised by the film’s hysterical reception; “We knew the books were popular. We knew there was a fan base. We knew there was internet chatter. The fans were showing up to the set even while we were still shooting. Then, I was on a beach on Hawaii – long before the movie came out – and people came up to me because they knew I was playing Carlisle. But it wasn’t until the premiere when we showed up and there was four blocks of screaming fans that I had any idea what was happening. Mostly I was scared they’d hate it and turn into an angry mob.”