Forget Team Edward or Team Jacob. It’s all about Team Peter…As in Peter Facinelli, the 1000% hypnotic, charming, and all out hysterical actor/producer/writer/director/awesome dad. Born the son of Italian immigrants, the super talent grew up in Queens, New York, before hitting Hollywood. Facinelli quickly nabbed big roles in movies like Can’t Hardly Wait (viva Mike Dexter!) But it was his spellbinding portrayal of Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight series that rocketlaunched him to superstar international fame. Boom! Facinelli has powered on to enchant audiences in a million projects. Right this millisecond, Facinelli stars as the delightfully funny and oh so endearing “Dr. Fitch Cooper” on the crazy popular Showtime series Nurse Jackie.
How can Facinelli get even cooler? Uno, he’s married to Jennie Garth – that qualifies for triple coolness alert. And two, both he and Jennie just had their house get straight up Wonka-fied! AKA They let the WONKA team deck out their stunning Santa Ynez, California home with Nerds, Gobstoppers, and a whole lot of Laffy Taffy to celebrate the “32 Days of Wonkaween.” So, it’s a fact, the Garth-Facinelli home will be the number one house on the planet to trick-or-treat at this year.
Facinelli took a time out from getting Wonka-fied to talk about making costumes with his three daughters, whether he could be “Dr. Carlisle Cullen” in real life, and where he’ll be the night Breaking Dawn comes out. Are you freaking out yet? It’s time.
MM: Does your house look like one big, foggy Butterfinger?
Peter Facinelli: Spookier than that! There are devilish looking oompa loompas lurking. And there’s fog everywhere! I just got home, and when I pulled up to the house, I thought it was on fire because of all the fog. Really just a huge fog machine.
MM: How will you keep from gnawing on your candy house?
PF: I’m thinking that the kids are going to go to town tomorrow. Maybe the gobstoppers will stop them.
MM: Sorry to hear that one of your daughters went home from school sick today. How’s she doing?
PF: My youngest daughter left school this afternoon with a stomach ache and now she’s eating Laffy Taffy. Much better [laughs].
MM: How exactly did your house become Wonka-fied?
PF: Wonka came to me and wanted to Wonkify my house and I said “Great!” Usually, it’s just me on a ladder hanging spiders [laughs]. Could use some help! What’s cool about Wonka is that usually Wonkaween is 31 days, but this year Wonka is adding an extra day. And on November 1st, you can go to WONKA shops or IT’SUGAR candy stores to trade in any trick-or-treating candy you don’t like for WONKA candy…Like Nerds, Laffy Taffy, and SweeTarts. Wish I had it when I was a kid.
MM: Growing up in Queens, did you have any fun Halloween traditions?
PF: Back in my day…[laughs] …We had plastic costumes that would rip half way down the street and the rubber masks that would snap off. We’d been taping them in the middle of the street. Now that I’m older, we like to celebrate in style. I get to dress up all year long, so dressing up with my kids for Halloween is something I love. We make costumes, and go trick or treating.
MM: You and your wife are colossal stars…So is it a thrill walking around in cognito on Halloween with your girls?
PF: I love it. I’ll put on disguises and go to people’s houses and they have no idea it’s me. We try to do fun things. One year, my daughter went as Little Red Riding Hood and I dressed up as Grandma Wolf. Guess I was cross dressing that year [laughs].
MM: Feel like I should call you “Dr. Facinelli.” You play a doctor in both the Twilight series and Nurse Jackie. Do you feel like you could perform a medical procedure in real life?
PF: Feel like I might be able to but might get sued [laughs]. One time I was on an airplane and they made an announcement that somebody was sick and asked if there was a doctor on board. I sat there thinking “What should I do?” Then, they made a second announcement asking if there was a doctor on board. I was about to say “OK, I’ll help. What is it?” [laughs] But I really didn’t want to get sued.
MM: Whitey alert! You’re producing a new movie about the legendary Boston gangster. Did you have any Whitey sightings in LA?
PF: Never saw Whitey! I’m excited about the project though. We’re looking for a director and it will be up and going next April. The movie is based off of a book called “Street Soldier.” I really like this book because it’s about Whitey through the eyes of Eddie MacKenzie. Eddie was a victim his whole life, then stopped being a victim and worked as an enforcer for Whitey. Reading the book is like watching “Jaws” – you don’t see the shark in every scene, but when you do it’s scary. Whitey is the shark [laughs].
MM: You recently played a hysterical superhero in a College Humor clip. What real life power would you want?
PF: Wouldn’t want it to be like superheroes on the clip…They turn into water and animals, that’s lame. I’d like to be able to fly and beam myself to a destination. I’m always on the other side of the country. Tomorrow I’ll be in New York, then back in LA, then back in New York the next day.
MM: One of your new projects, Loosies, is about a dare I say “charming” pickpocketer. Did you get into character riding the BIg Blue Bus?
PF: No, I wrote that movie because I was inspired riding the subway in Manhattan. I worked with magicians and pickpocketers to learn the “trade.” If my day job goes south, I can pickpocket [laughs].
MM: You have a red hot owww career and seem like a superstar dad. What’s your secret to balancing both?
PF: Candy helps…I like Nerds [laughs]. I love bonding with my girls, I traveled with them all summer. Because of my work, I can’t be here in quantity, so I try to make it up for in quality. I’m big on holidays and try to make them memorable. This is one of them. They’ll always remember the year that the house got Wonkified.
MM: Breaking Dawn is coming out dangerously soon (Nov. 18th!) Where will you be that night? Please say.
PF: I’m in New York shooting “Nurse Jackie” until December 1st, but I’ll probably go to the “Breaking Dawn” premiere. I’m never sure where I’ll be [laughs]. I could be sitting in the theater next to you.