Exclusive: Peter Facinelli On Horror Movies, ‘Nurse Jackie’ & ‘Twilight’

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Actor Peter Facinelli talks about his first horror movie 'The Damned,' the possibility of a new 'Twilight,' leaving 'Nurse Jackie' and his new NBC show.
Actor Peter Facinelli talks about his first horror movie ‘The Damned,’ the possibility of a new ‘Twilight,’ leaving ‘Nurse Jackie’ and his new NBC show.

Peter Facinelli is all over the place. Chances are you know him best as a doctor — Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the “Twilight” movies and Dr. Fitch Cooper on Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie.” He’s also Rupert Campion on “Glee,” Gregory Malina on “Damages” and Jimmy on “Six Feet Under.” His Twitter bio reads, “I pretend to be other people. In real life that’s considered a personality disorder. If you get paid to do it it’s called acting.”

TheBlot Magazine caught up with the striking, accomplished actor who also has a great sense of humor. We got the scoop on where and when we’ll get to see him next. First up is his horror movie, “The Damned,” which opens in theaters Friday, Aug. 29 and has already shot up to No. 1 on iTunes.

Dorri Olds: Do you watch horror movies?

Peter Facinelli: Horror movies scare me, so I’d never really watched them much. This was the first horror movie I’d done. I’d done a lot of genres including comedy, drama, science fiction, and fantasy, but not horror.

What was it like to watch it?

I wasn’t as scared as I might’ve been because I knew what was going to happen. I knew the script, and I knew where the scares were. Since I knew what was happening, I wasn’t sure if it was really scary. But when people watched it, I saw they were really scared.

I got scared.

Great! The movie takes place in Colombia, so I went there for the premiere. When I talked to fans afterwards and on Twitter, they said they found it scary. So, I’m glad it works.

Peter Facinelli in ‘The Damned.’ An IFC Midnight release. (© Tweeq Investments Inc. Photo by Carolina Cardona.)
Peter Facinelli in ‘The Damned.’ An IFC Midnight release. (© Tweeq Investments Inc. Photo by Carolina Cardona.)

How do you keep up with your 2 million Twitter followers? Do you do your own tweets, or do you hire someone to do that?

I do all my own tweeting. I think it’s fun to be able to connect with the fans. I wouldn’t want to pass that off to somebody else. Then it wouldn’t be genuine.

I read that you’re leaving “Nurse Jackie.” I’m crushed.

Well, I’m going to do four episodes, and that’s almost half the season. I’m excited to do as many as I can before I start “Odyssey” on NBC.

You’re the lead in that, right?

Yes, it’s actually a three hander, Jake Robinson, Anna Friel and me. It’s kind of like “Traffic” because there are three lives happening simultaneously and all those worlds eventually collide.

Do you think there will be another ‘Twilight’ movie?

You know, if they’re going to do it, I hope they do it soon because everybody is getting older, and vampires are not supposed to age.

You were great in “Freezer.”

Aw, thank you. I got a call that they wanted me to do it. Dylan McDermott was in it, and I’m a fan of his, so I signed up. It was fun. Usually with movies, you’re acting for two and a half minutes at a time because a scene in a movie is usually two and a half pages. When you do a movie like “Freezer,” where it all takes place in one space, the takes were 10 to 12 minutes long. It’s nice because when you’re acting for longer periods it feels like you’re doing a play.

How was it working with Glenn Close on “Damages”?

I was just telling a friend the other day that it is such a treat to work with her. She is one of my favorite actors. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great actors, like Edie Falco, who’s amazing on “Nurse Jackie.” When you’re playing opposite a scene with Glenn Close, your heart just stops. She’s so intense, and she just peers at you with those blue eyes, and when she talks you can’t help but listen.

How hard is it to live your life in a fishbowl?

It can be very difficult sometimes. For example, I still get uncomfortable when there’s a paparazzi photographer hiding in the bushes. It’s startling. If they just came up and said, “Hey, can I get a picture of you?” then they could take a picture. When fans come up and ask to take a picture I don’t mind at all — you stop, you meet somebody new, you take a picture. But, if you can imagine, when somebody jumps out at you and takes pictures, it’s quite jarring. I’ve never gotten used to that. If you look angry at the photographer, all of a sudden it looks like you’re a miserable, angry person in the paper. People don’t understand why you look so bewildered in some photos, but it’s because some guy just jumped out of the bushes and surprised you. But all that comes with the job. You’ve got to just smile and go with the flow.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at A7SLE Films, the entertainment production company Facinelli has with business partner Rob DeFranco.  


“The Damned” opens in select theaters on Friday, Aug. 29. It is now available on iTunes and On Demand. Rated R. 88 min.

Watch the trailer:

Dorri Olds is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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