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Tuesday, September 23, 2014  
‘Twilight’ master
It’s been a blessing for me to have ‘Twilight’ and ‘Nurse Jackie’ going at the same time, Peter Facinelli tells Ian Spelling

PETER Facinelli is not a doctor – he simply seems to be playing them a great deal lately in films and on television. Facinelli co-stars in the Twilight features as Carlisle Cullen, the affable, selfless vampire who refuses to dine on humans and is the adoptive father of Edward (Robert Pattinson), and on Nurse Jackie he’s Fitch Coop Cooper, a self-absorbed jerk.

‘’It’s been a blessing for me to have Twilight and Nurse Jackie going at the same time,’’ Facinelli says. ‘’One is a very big franchise with a lot of fans and the other is a smart, little comedy that gets a lot of critical praise. And to play two doctors that are 180 degrees from each other is also great for me, because I didn’t want to get associated just with Carlisle.

‘’The good thing is that I look so different from Carlisle,’’ the actor continues, ‘’so that, when I go do other movies and shows, people don’t see him. I don’t have the blonde hair, the pale skin and the golden eyes. When I’m on Nurse Jackie, it’s not like they’re looking at Coop doing the things that Carlisle does. That lets people buy into the other character I’m playing and enjoy that ride as well.

‘’So I feel lucky to have had both roles,’’ he says, ‘’and I’d like to continue to do different things, as I have in the past. I’ve been in 30 other films and shows and I’ve always played very different, distinct characters, and I just want that to continue.’’

Facinelli’s days as Cullen aren’t over yet, but they’re definitely numbered. The beginning of the end came on Nov. 18, when Part 1 of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn opend, and everything concluded on Nov. 16, 2012, when Part 2 of Breaking Dawn arrived in theatres.

‘’It’s so weird to talk about ‘Part 1’ because we shot the films back to back,’’ Facinelli says, speaking by cell telephone from the Manhattan set of Nurse Jackie. ‘’It was six months of shooting for me, so it all feels like one big film, one big jumble. I know that the first film deals with the marriage between Edward and Bella (Kristen Stewart) and the pregnancy, and the second film picks up more when the baby is just born, and it explores the relationship with the child.

‘’I haven’t seen them yet,’’ he continues. ‘’But in the first film there’s always a great threat to this family. They can have a joyous time with something like the wedding – for a minute their lives seem great. They get to have this magical wedding. It’s been three films of building up to this event, to the payoff of the relationship between Bella and Edward. They’re supposed to be together forever. But the happiness there is very short-lived, because all of a sudden another threat comes down upon the family.

‘’So it’s really about the choices that they make in the way they live their lifestyle,’’ Facinelli says. ‘’Living as vampires, they’re always going to have threats to that ideology. And for me too, as Carlisle, it’s really about keeping his ideology alive. He started this branch of vampires that are free of eating humans, which is a pretty radical idea and scoffed at by the Volturi. If Carlisle goes down, if his family goes down, his whole ideology goes down.

‘’I think, in Carlisle’s world, he sees a future where he started this one branch and maybe Edward will go off and start a branch, too, and where maybe one day we can live not as vampires, not as these nomads of the night who kill humans, but as people who can live harmoniously with humans,’’ the actor continues. ‘’That’s the idea in his head that is threatened. So for him it’s not just about the threat of losing this child or the threat of losing his family, but the threat of losing everything he’s built up to now.’’

In addition to Nurse Jackie, which will kick off its fourth season next year, Facinelli recently directed Superhero Auditions, a series of short comedy films for Collegehumor.com, and wrote, produced and stars in the upcoming indie feature ‘’Loosies.’’

Right now, though, he realises that people are still intensely interested in Twilight. He’s ready to meet screaming fans at a couple of more glitzy premieres and willing to look back at his final days on the Breaking Dawn set.

‘’The last day was bittersweet,’’ the actor says. ‘’It was sad in some ways and joyous in others. There was a celebration there that we did five of these films. We did five of them in three years. I think a lot of us were shocked and stunned that the ride was over, but still jubilant that we got through five films.

‘’The funny thing was, when we wrapped, a lot of us actors still had another two weeks of second-unit shooting to do,’’ Facinelli says, ‘’and I was one of those actors. The main unit was wrapped, but we still had another two weeks. When we wrapped again, there was another sense of completion and we knew, that time, it was really over. Actually, I think Elizabeth Reaser and Kellan Lutz were the very last ones to finish, but I got my sense of completion when I finished my final scene.

‘’And then I spent some time at the beach.’’

IHT-NYT News Syndicate
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