Peter Facinelli (born November 26, 1973) is an American actor, perhaps best-known as the star of FOX's 2002 television series Fastlane. He plays Carlisle Cullen in the film adaptations of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and the upcoming Breaking Dawn.
Facinelli grew up in Ozone Park, Queens, the son of Italian immigrants Bruna, a homemaker, and Pierino Facinelli, a waiter. He attended St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, NY. He studied acting at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School in New York City; his teachers there included William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Giancarlo Esposito, and Camryn Manheim.
Facinelli met his wife, Jennie Garth, on the set of An Unfinished Affair, a 1996 made-for-TV movie. They married on January 20, 2001. He and Garth have three daughters together: Luca Bella (June 30, 1997), Lola Ray (December 6, 2002) and Fiona Eve (September 30, 2006).
Career Facinelli made his feature film debut in Rebecca Miller's Angela in 1995, and came to the attention of critics in the TV-movie The Price of Love later that year. In 1996, Facinelli played opposite future wife Jennie Garth in An Unfinished Affair. Other TV roles followed, including a part in After Jimmy (1996) and a college dropout in Calm at Sunset. Facinelli co-starred in the 1997 AIDS-themed drama Touch Me (1997), and co-starred as a high school student in two 1998 features, Dancer, Texas Pop. 81, and Can't Hardly Wait.
Facinelli appeared in the sci-fi film Supernova starring James Spader in 2000. He made appearances in Riding in Cars with Boys in 2001 and Scorpion King in 2002, followed by a leading role in the Fox drama Fastlane. Facinelli had a recurring role in the HBO series Six Feet Under in 2004, and a role in the FX original series Damages beginning in 2007. Facinelli starred in Hollow Man 2 with Christian Slater.
After wrapping up Finding Amanda, Facinelli played Carlisle Cullen in the film adaptation of Twilight. He reprised his role in 2009's New Moon, and will appear in 2010's Eclipse. He costars as Dr. Fitch Cooper in the dark comedy series Nurse Jackie.
When his agent first asked him about the role, he said no, assuming a movie about vampires meant it was about blood and guts. His agent told him that Catherina Hardwicke was directing and got him to read the novel. He says "I loved the love story set in this world of vampires, but more than that, I liked that it's about vampires exploring humanity rather than just being a vampire." He auditioned but was considered too young for the part. "They wanted an older actor. Carlisle is young in the book, but visually I was told they wanted his character to look a lot older than the kids."The other actor had another role that conflicted with Twilight's filming and quit. Hardwicke didn't know who to cast as Carlisle until she received a gift basket from Peter Facinelli. "I basically bribed my way into Twilight," laughs Facinelli during an interview.
Facinelli chose not to do an English accent for the character of Carlisle. He explains "I never thought of doing that because he is English, but a long time ago, over 300 years ago. I thought he would have adapted to his surroundings. I wound up doing a more standard American accent."He goes on to point out that he was happy that Stephenie Meyer agreed with him because he didn't ask her about it until after filming had started.
Peter Facinelli, named P-Fach by twilighters, is well known to be a joker on set. In interviews he has referred to many instances where he has played practical jokes on other cast members. In this interview at Twi-Con 2009, he spoke of a funny moment on the set of New Moon where he found a card that said "You are not what you do. Even though you're going through troubled times, know you will find a job that is right for you" so he bought it and gave it to Rob Pattinson as a joke. He then encouraged Rob to give it to Kristen Stewart who "got mad at him". He also gave the card to many of the cast member and also New Moon director Chris Weitz.