the deep dive with Twilight’s Peter Facinelli

By Samantha Yardley

Peter Facinelli, best known for playing Carlisle Cullen in the blockbuster Twilight trilogy is no ordinary Hollywood hotshot. Immersing himself in the entire creative process, from writer to producer, actor to director, he is the ultimate paradigm of the artistry of filmmaking.

“They’re all different facets of storytelling to me” muses Peter, his passion for his craft evident with his contagious fervor. “I’m an actor, but I am also a director, and I produce and write scripts. I like to tell stories… I’m a storyteller.

“As a writer, I’m writing the world of the story. When I’m producing, I’m putting together a team of people to tell that story. When I’m acting, I’m telling the story with my body and my voice through a character as one facet, one cog, in the wheel of the story. And then, as a director, I’m lifting the words of the script and making it into a 3D visual story, which to me, is the ultimate form of storytelling because you’re collaborating with so many people, the actors, the costume department, the makeup department, the lighting, and the camera department. Then you’re editing it and putting music into it, so you’re building the whole entire world.

“If you came out of the pandemic unchanged, you didn’t lack time, you lacked discipline”

“It’s been fun to kind of play all these different characters and live all these different lives in one lifetime. Acting is like the cruise ship of life. I go to each of these ports, and I get to hang out there for a little bit. I’ll never know what it’s like to live there, but I get a taste of that city, and then I get back on the boat. I play a character; I could be a fireman, a vampire, or a lawyer and I get a taste of what it’s like. I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be that person, but I get a taste of it. For myself, I gotta get back on my cruise ship and go to the next port.”

True to form as an instinctive overachiever, Peter used the extra spare time over lockdown as a catalyst to not only get in fantastic shape, but conceptualize several exciting new projects, including new film The Unbreakable Boy, the moving story about a father and his challenges raising an autistic son.

“I think people went one of two ways with quarantine, they were either like: ‘this is the end of the world. I’m just gonna eat my way into oblivion’ or, like me, I had time and thought, ‘look, if I don’t do this now, then I’ll never get in shape because I have no excuses’. I read a quote that said: ‘If you came out of the pandemic unchanged, you didn’t lack time, you lacked discipline’. I really got hit hard with that, because I thought I have all the time in the world right now, so there’s no excuses.’ I still wish I did more” he reveals. “I beat myself up because I should have learned a language and played my guitar. I could have come out of lockdown a concert pianist. But, I chose to get in shape and produce The Unbreakable Boy, it’s so beautiful, a real feel-good movie. I think the world needs that right now.”

With all this superhuman productivity, I can’t help but ask if Peter ever gets any downtime! Does he even find time to watch the TV? “I don’t turn the TV on because I just don’t have time” he says “I’d rather spend my time creating stories than watching stories.

“I envy people who aren’t hard on themselves, honestly, if I take a nap I feel like I’m missing out on something. But, I think self-care is important, a nap is just as important as going to the gym. Exercising the mind is as important as exercising the body. I took a course on hypnosis, just because I’m fascinated with the mind. Everybody can be hypnotized, it’s just a matter of slipping through the bouncer at the front door of your consciousness. You either put the bouncer to sleep or keep it busy to go around the back and get into the subconscious mind. NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programing) is part of that too, it’s a fantastic way to self-correct things in yourself, you only have to change a few elements, and all of a sudden, your perspective changes.

“Everybody can be hypnotized, it’s just a matter of slipping through the bouncer at the front door of your consciousness”

“The mind and body are tied together. So, if you don’t have a strong mind, you don’t have a strong body. In lockdown, I didn’t have a gym to go to so I ordered these gymnastic rings, and every day I would do pull-ups and hang upside-down kind of like when I was 12. I like things that feel like less of a workout. I’ve found ways to exercise that I enjoy like racquetball, spin class, or yoga; I try to mix it up” he explains. “Consistency, eating right, and finding something you really like to do is important. You’re either in the habit of being fit, or you’re in the habit of being fat.

“I could have come out of lockdown a concert pianist”

“I sound like the old man on the mountain giving all this wisdom, but it’s difficult for me too. Every day, I fight, going into this subconscious pattern, it’s about being aware of yourself. It’s almost like a study of yourself, you start to really see what this person that you call yourself does all day long. And you start to realize, ‘oh, he goes for M&Ms, or he goes for the peanut butter, and you can start to observe, that’s the first step of being able to make changes. I believe that we’re vibrational beings, not in a religious sense. But in a spiritual sense.”

 

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