The actor, who played Carlisle in the film franchise, jokes he "bought that role for $29.99."

By Lauren Huff
April 26, 2021 at 09:57 PM EDT

The Cullen clan almost looked a little bit different.

Speaking recently on the podcast On the List With Brett Gursky, Peter Facinelli says he almost didn't play the vampire family's father figure, Carlisle, in the Twilight franchise.

Recalling his audition for the first film, which he says he was excited to do because he was a fan of director Catherine Hardwicke's previous work, Facinelli explains, "I went in and read the baseball scene and the scene at the end of the movie where Bella is bleeding out and I have my hand around Bella's thigh. And I'm reading with Catherine."

He continues, "Catherine likes to get in there. She just jumps in. So I have my hand around Catherine's thigh like she's Bella. I'm just kind of bent over. I'm like, 'If somebody walks in right now, this is gonna look really awkward.' I've got my hands on the director's thigh." That awkward moment aside, the actor says he felt the audition went really well, until he found out they made an offer to someone else. "I was bummed. I was like, 'Man, I thought I was gonna get that one,'" he says.

Things with that actor eventually fell through, unbeknownst to Facinelli, who was at a different audition when he encountered a book titled 50 Years of Vampire-Making in Hollywood. He says he decided to find a copy of the book and send it to Hardwicke with a note. "And I said, 'Hey, sorry it didn't work out. Hopefully, we'll work together on something else. Hope this inspires you to make a great vampire movie.' And I sent it to her," he recalls. "Little did I know that the actor that fell out, on the same day that he fell out, she got my book. And so the producers were like he can't do it, either his deal fell through or maybe he got another job or something, and they said who do you want to go to next? And she was like, 'I don't know, what about Peter Facinelli?' So I always joke with Catherine that I bought that role for $29.99."

Facinelli would of course go on to play Carlisle in the 2008 film and its sequels, all of which were massive box office successes. On the podcast, he also spoke about how the cast's fame changed from the first movie to the second.

"It was a very intimate set [on the first film]. Sometimes we'd go to grab a beer, and Rob [Pattinson] would grab an open mic, and he'd start playing a song, and nobody knew who he was. That all changed after the first movie," Facinelli recalls. When working on the sequels, he says no one could leave their hotel rooms or go to the lobby without causing a scene. By the fourth film, Breaking Dawn: Part 1, the actor says he couldn't even get ahold of his own on-camera son, played by Kellan Lutz. "We were in Canada, and they had given us Canadian phones, but I didn't have Kellan Lutz's phone number, his new Canadian phone. So I went down to the lobby, and I was like 'Can I have Kellan Lutz's room?' and the lady was like 'Yeah, I can't give you that number,'" he says.

He continued, "I was like, 'No, no, you know I'm in the movie with him.' 'I'm under strict orders; we're not allowed to give room numbers.' 'Alright, well, can you call him?' 'I'm not allowed to say if Kellan Lutz is staying here.' 'I walked in the door with him; I know he's staying here! I play his dad!' 'No, I know you play his dad; we're not allowed to.' I was like, I can't even get in touch with the actors, this is crazy."

Ultimately, after five films and the fame and complications therein, Facinelli has a sense of humor about it. He says, "Everybody was so in the bubble of stuff because you're just getting pulled at from a million different sides, so it was just funny to see that progression."

The full interview with Facinelli, in which he also discusses his new film The Vanished, his big break in Hollywood, and more, is available now.

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