PETER FACINELLI- ORIGINAL CLASSICNovember 9, 2019
Born in Queens, New York, he made his television debut at the age of 22 in an episode of Law & Order. Three years later, he played big man on campus Mike Dexter in the iconic high school comedy Can’t Hardly Wait.
Best known for his role as Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight series and the vain yet insecure Dr. Fitch Cooper on the HBO series Nurse Jackie, Peter Facinelli was most recently seen on CBS’s S.W.A.T. and in Running With the Devil. Facinelli received Screen Actors Guild nominations for his work on Nurse Jackie and Six Feet Under, and had key roles on Damages and Fastlane.
Facinelli was 10 when he realized he wanted to be an actor one day. He was watching an episode of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and thought to himself that Paul Newman and Robert Redford were having the time of their lives and decided right then he wanted to do the same thing as them. He told his parents, and they laughed at him.
He didn’t decide to pursue acting until college. While studying pre-law at St John’s, Peter took Acting 101 as an elective. “It was very freeing for me because I could be somebody else. I could do anything, and I wasn’t shy – there was no reason to be because it wasn’t me.” Peter transferred to N.Y.U. to study theater and told his parents the acting classes would make him a better lawyer. “You have to get up in front of judges and jurors, and I’m timid.”
Making a living as an actor since 1995, Peter is doing precisely what he planned. Facinelli has had success with his production company, Facinelli Films, which launched in 2010 with its first feature film, Loosies. Hour of Lead is a film that Peter wrote, directed, and acted in. Peter describes it as a whodunit, Hitchcock-like thriller. A family of three goes to an R.V. park, and while there, their daughter goes missing. Peter chose to embody the minor role of Deputy Rakes since he was busy directing the film. Writing the screenplay came naturally to him, taking only three weeks. Since the debut of Hour of Lead, a film written and directed by Facinelli; he is aiming to direct El Chico Blanco, a modern-day Scarface, also written by himself. Peter never studied filmmaking; he learned everything he knows from working on sets as an actor for the last 25 years.
“I think I started writing because I was constantly reading scripts that I didn’t like. It’s like you’re sitting there as an actor waiting for someone to give you something and being disappointed. It’s kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack. I started thinking, ‘What kind of stories do I want to tell?’ If this stuff that I don’t like over here is getting made, then maybe I can make something better.”
As an actor, writer, director, and producer, he’s a multi-threat proven in front and behind the camera. Peter’s latest project is a movie, The N.X.I.V.M. Cult: A Mother’s Nightmare, about the cult, N.X.I.V.M. Run by a man, Keith Raniere, N.X.I.V.M. is basically a self-help program for women.
Keith, who started this program, also launched an underground division asking women to be a part of some sort of sex-slave cult. The movie is based on actress Catherine Oxenburg and her daughter, India, one of N.X.I.V.M.’s sex slaves. “When I’m preparing for a role, I have to research that job or lifestyle. For my role in Nurse Jackie, I shadowed doctors at a hospital and watched their daily routine and demeanor. I’m given a chance to try different jobs and experience what it’s like to have done that. You have to focus more on the essence of them, how they move, things that you pick up, mannerisms, and speech patterns. You can’t always play the hero riding in on the horse. Sometimes you play other parts too. That’s sometimes scary, because who wants to play someone with no redeeming qualities? It is scarier to play characters that people hate.”
In his free time, Peter likes to take long rides down the P.C.H. on his Triumph Bonneville. “I have this bike. It was my first bike, and I loved it – a Triumph. When my friends get their license, I offer to sell my bike to them, and eventually, it always ends up back with me. They get their own build and no longer ride it. It is a special bike because it always comes back to me.”
This fall, you can watch Peter in the films Running With the Devil and Countdown. The first is a crime drama that also stars Nicholas Cage and Laurence Fishbourne. Countdown is a horror film with a premise of three high school students struggling with unrealistic expectations, stress, and an uphill battle against time.
Follow Peter on I.G., Twitter, and Facebook:
@PeterFacinelli, and Don’t miss Hour of Lead,
Countdown and The N.X.I.V.M. Cult: A Mother’s Nightmare.