How Peter Facinelli Stacks Up Against His Perfect 'New Moon' Character

The actor isn't flawless like Carlisle Cullen -- he even admits to skipping school -- but we think he comes pretty close

It's still hours before the midnight release of the New Moon DVD in New York City, and fans are lined up around the block. Of course, they're not just waiting to own a copy of the film they've, no doubt, already seen (at least once) in theaters. They're also desperately hoping for a chance to meet Peter Facinelli -- also known as good-hearted vampire Dr. Carlisle Cullen.

After joining the Cullen clan, the 36-year-old father of three skyrocketed from successful working actor to international sensation. But he remains modest about his newfound popularity. "Every time you do one of these, you're hoping people show up," he says. "So I'm always humbly surprised that people come, and excited that they're excited to actually meet me and watch the movies."

With a large coffee in hand, Facinelli sat down with iVillage before his fan meet-and-greet late Friday night to dish about the upcoming Twilight sequels, his home life with wife Jennie Garth and their three daughters, and why he wishes he could've bared his chest for a shirtless scene.

Twilight has a huge teen fan base. What did you go crazy for when you were a teenager?
You’re asking me to think back a long time ago! The last movie I remember standing on a line to go see I think was like Rocky 3 or Rocky 4. That franchise was pretty big in its day, and I remember standing in a line that wrapped around the corner. So I know what it’s like to have fan excitement for something.

Did you skip school for that?
I never skipped school to watch a movie. I skipped school to go to an opening day Yankees game.

Did you get caught?
No, I don’t think so. Sorry, mom!

What do you think about the rumors that Breaking Dawn might be made in 3D?
Right now we’re just focused on New Moon and Eclipse coming out. I hear a lot of rumors, but I don’t think this is the type of movie that would warrant 3D. But I leave it up to Summit. They’ve done a really good job up to this point, and I’m just happy to come in and play my role and leave the rest in their hands.

Think it would be weird to see yourself on 3D?
I’d love to do a 3D movie. I actually have one in development. I just think it’d be kinda creepy to see the baby come out in 3D. I just don’t know if this type of movie warrants it.

We get to see a lot of Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner's abs in the first two films. Can we expect any shirtless scenes of you coming up?
No, they won’t let me take my shirt off! I don’t know why! You know, we did so much working out and physical training for Eclipse, I wish we could’ve all taken our shirts off, because everyone was so physically fit. But we all had these jackets and clothes on. So I think they leave the shirt-taking-off to Taylor and Rob.

What do your daughters think of the films?
I have a 12-year-old [Luca Bella], a 7-year-old [Lola Ray] and a 3-year-old [Fiona Eve]. They’re all fans of the movies. But the first time my 3-year-old saw me onscreen for Twilight, she thought I was on Skype. So she was trying to talk to me. She was like, “Daddy’s not talking back to me. Why is he playing baseball?” It was kinda cute.

Are they on Team Edward or Team Jacob?
They have to be Team Edward. It runs in the family.

Carlisle Cullen is portrayed as this perfect character. Is that hard to live up to?
Oh, no, it's easy! [Laughing.] There are certain qualities I share with Carlisle -- I like to think I have his compassion and love for humanity. I don't know what to say about the perfect part.

But I’ll tell you a funny story. I was at my daughter’s soccer game, and I had on a baseball cap and I had like three days’ beard growth. And some 6- or 7-year-old came up to me and her sister said, "He’s Carlisle from Twilight." And she said, “You play Carlisle? But you don’t look perfect like him.” I said, “You’re not perfect either, you little brat,” and I kicked her. No, I’m kidding! It’s a joke! I didn’t actually kick her.

Do you ever feel outnumbered living with all women?
For sure. Just the other week my wife had her cousin over and she has three daughters. So it was six girls, and then my wife, her cousin and my nanny… and we have two female dogs, and I think all the birds are female, too. It was just a lot of estrogen, so I had to leave. I said, "You know what? I’m gonna go play some poker," and I took off.

Is there anything people might be surprised to know about you?
You know, my life is pretty much an open book at this point. When we were doing Eclipse, I dragged Kellan [Lutz] to yoga, so some people were laughing about that.

What do you and your wife, actress Jennie Garth, like to do on date nights?
We just signed up for some dance lessons. When you have date night and it’s a movie, you’re just kinda staring at the screen. You’re together, but you’re not even looking at each other or talking. So we thought that might be a fun thing to do once a week together -- ballroom dancing. Hey, there you go -- that’s something surprising!

So who’s the better dancer?
My wife, for sure. She always comes back with black and blue toes from me stepping on them all the time.

Plus:
-
New Moon Star Peter Facinelli Heads Home for the Holidays
- Watch our exclusive video interview with the actors who play the Cullen family in New Moon!
- PHOTOS: 12 Reasons to Join Team Edward

Who's your favorite character in the Twilight series? Chime in below!

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