How Twilight: Eclipse will showcase 'Carlisle Cullen'

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Peter Facinelli, who has played vampire patriarch Carlisle Cullen in two Twilight movies, said he'll have a lot more to do in the upcoming third installment, Eclipse.

"Yes, he does a lot, a lot more than I think the first two films, for sure," Facinelli said in a group interview Saturday in Pasadena, Calif., where he was promoting his TV show Nurse Jackie. "What I like about the third movie is you get to see a side of Carlisle you haven't seen before. You actually get to see what his vampire capabilities are, because there are some great battle sequences. It's my favorite book."

The Vancouver shoot for Eclipse coincided with the second season of Nurse Jackie, which shoots in New York. Facinelli said that the schedules overlapped for a month but that flying back and forth invigorated him. Also, since he had to look like Dr. Fitch Cooper each week, he relied on wigs, rather than bleach, to become Carlisle's shade of blond.

"Yes, the third movie, because I was doing both projects at the same time, I wore a wig," Facinelli continued. "There were days where I was literally running for hours in the forest, and then I'd jump on a plane, and then I'd be on the Nurse Jackie set. I was going from Vancouver to New York every three days."

Facinelli added that he embraces the Twilight fan base, especially when he hears how far people travel to see him. "When you go to an event and people have flown in from other countries just to take a picture with you, that's a loyal fan base that you can't even imagine having," Facinelli said. "I'm thankful for all of them, and that's why I try to get back in connecting with them in some way."

Of the two doctors he plays, Carlisle Cullen is probably better at his practice than the human Dr. Cooper. "Carlisle, because he's been around for so long, I think he's very well educated," Facinelli said. "What I love about him is he has a real love for humanity. People always ask me, 'What kind of research did you do to play a vampire?' I said, 'I did very little to play a vampire, because I'm playing a vampire who's trying to be human.' My research was more about what it is to be human and why he loved humanity so much that he wanted to hold on to that, because when you look at something like Twilight, the good vampires aren't necessarily good. They're just eccentric. The bad vampires are just doing what they're born to do, made to do. It's kind of like domesticating a lion. So you have these good vampires, and so for me, Carlisle is just holding on to that humanity. He doesn't want to be a vampire, so he's just really holding on to that humanity."

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opens June 30.

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