Team Carlisle anyone? Peter Facinelli’s suave doctor and vampire was the patriarch of the Cullen family in the Twilight Saga. The actor played the character created by Stephenie Meyer to a tee, but his road to nabbing the role was not as clean cut as Carlisle appears on screen. Facinelli likes to joke he bought the role because of one unique gift he decided to send director Catherine Hardwicke at the right time.
Peter Facinelli was not initially interested in making a “vampire movie” when his agent called, but then he decided to crack open Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. While speaking on podcast On the List With Brett Gursky, he shared that he read the book in one night and jumped at auditioning for the role of Carlisle. At first, he didn’t get the role, as he shared:
Peter Facinelli was in his early 30s when Twilight was in production, but at first, it was decided to make Carlisle Cullen a bit older so he'd feel like more of a father figure. It was not book accurate, but the role was obviously meant for Facinelli. In his words:
Now call that luck or destiny, but Peter Facinelli really earned his role on Twilight with that perfect gift for Catherine Hardwicke ahead of the making of the film. He’d been in a waiting room when the coffee table book caught his eye and reminded him of the role he’d lost. Of course, it’s possible he could have earned it without the $30 book, but as he explained, it really allowed him to set himself apart from the other actors up for Carlisle Cullen.
Carlisle Cullen is the nearly 400-year-old vampire who becomes the founder of the Olympic Coven consisting of Esme, Emmett, Alice, Edward, Jasper and Rosalie. Unlike most vampires, he works with human blood on a daily basis as a doctor and encourages his family to become “vegetarians.” The character is the voice of reason in the Cullen Clan and has a pivotal arc throughout the Twilight films.
Years later, Peter Facinelli is proud of his role in Twilight, sharing his interest in returning to the role following the release of Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun book (yet, also acknowledging the age problem). He also recently did a cameo for a music video that recreated the iconic baseball scene.
This past year has seen a huge resurgence for the vampire property, namely with an entire side of TikTok being devoted to fans of the Twilight books and movies. Peter Facinelli’s most recent project is The Vanished, now streaming on Netflix.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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