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Peter Facinelli: 'Twilight' and Beyond

Between raising children and raising money for Alex's Lemonade Stand, Facinelli has built up a varied body of work, from "Can't Hardly Wait" to the "Twilight" series.

In third grade, Peter Facinelli saw "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and thought he would enjoy acting.

"I said, 'Those guys look like they're having fun and I want do that'," he said. 

But he didn't take a stage until college, and broke onto the screen in 1995. Today, the 39-year-old is raising three children, raising money for cancer research and starring in the Showtime series "Nurse Jackie."

And not everyone at autograph signings recognizes him from "Twilight."

"I'm always surprised at the DVDs that they pull out," he said, including "Dancer, Texas Pop. 81"; "Can't Hardly Wait"; "Scorpion King" and "Supernova."

At first, Facinelli was interested in the "Twilight" series because he did not want to act in a gory vampire film. Then he read the books.

"I was thinking blood and guts. It was a love story against a vampire backdrop," Facinelli said.

"It's been such a fun thing for me. I can't believe we shot five movies. I'm actually excited to see the final one," he added. "It was such a fantastic time in my life. I had so much fun playing my character."

Facinelli particularly enjoyed filming "Twilight: Eclipse" because of the action scenes.

He recalled how the running scenes were filmed in the movies. Meyer's vampires have superspeed and super strength.

"They would have these treadmills that were pulled by trucks," he said. "It's kind of scary."

While the actor enjoys action films, he prefers variety. When he's finished doing a dark movie, he wants to do a comedy.

Facinelli recently finished shooting a horror movie in Colombia, and has gone behind the camera and formed his own production company. He's written three screenplays, one of which starred Jaimie Alexander and Michael Madsen called "Loosies." 

Still, he doesn't mind recognition from any of his films. "I always hoped that when you do a film it stands the test of time," he said. "If a movie makes an impact, you're flattered."

He gets a lot of recognition from his jock character Mike Dexter in "Can't Hardly Wait" in addition to "Twilight."

He made "Can't Hardly Wait" in 1997, five years after his high school graduation. "It wasn't that hard. High school still scars people for years to come."

He's also enjoying his latest project, "Nurse Jackie" on Showtime. "I get to work with Edie Falco, who's wonderful."

Facinelli also admires actors who can jump between movie genres, such as Gary Oldman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp and Woody Harrelson.

While he enjoyed making "Twilight," he said he doesn't want to be typecast as a vampire.

"I was thankful that I had a body of work before 'Twilight,'" Facinelli said. 

The actor, meanwhile, wants to pursue more behind-the-scenes work in addition to screentime.

And finally, he answered one burning question probably on the minds of many science fiction fans: Who would win in a battle between vampires and zombies? 

"They're both kind of dead, so I don't think there are any winners," he said.

The final installment of "Twilight" opens Nov. 16.

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