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'Twilight''s Peter Facinelli Talks 'Eclipse' & 'Nurse Jackie'

ETonline, Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 1:50pm (PST)

It's been a busy year for 'The Twilight Saga' star Peter Facinelli who has been juggling his schedule between shooting 'Eclipse,' the next film in the vampire franchise, with his role as Dr. Fitch Cooper on "Nurse Jackie." ET caught up with the jet-lagged actor to talk about both projects and his addiction to Twitter.

ET: You have a huge following on Twitter. What made you start?

Peter Facinelli: I just enjoy what Twitter is because I can really connect with the fans. It is a great way to share information with them and it is a good way to entertain. I like being able to put a smile on people's faces and mix that up with sharing information with them. That's important. Also, letting them know what I am doing. I have had people come to me and say, "Will you tweet this out?" There is like paid advertisement stuff. I am not into that. I want to keep my Twitter pure. I don't want to sell my followers anything, I want to be able to have that base, so I can tell them what I am doing and entertain them

ET: What will we learn about Dr. Carlisle Cullen in 'Eclipse'?

Peter Facinelli: You get to see a side of Carlisle you haven't seen before. There are some great battle sequences.

ET: Any word on 'Breaking Dawn'?

Peter Facinelli: I don't know. Usually, the fans know before we do.

ET: Did you ever think that 'Twilight' was going to do so much for your career?

Peter Facinelli: The fan base has been so phenomenal. When you go to an event, people have flown in from other countries just to take a picture with you. That is a loyal fan base that you can't even imagine having. I am thankful for all of them. That is why I try to give back in connecting with them [on Twitter].

ET: You were filming both projects at the same time. How did you juggle?

Peter Facinelli: I have had a very crazy schedule. There was a whole month where I was shooting 'Eclipse' and "Nurse Jackie" at the same time. And I actually enjoyed it because I enjoy what I do, so when I show up for work, it's very invigorating, and I get energized by it. So there were times where I'd get off an airplane from a red-eye and have, like, three hours sleep and then go straight to work.

ET: Dr. Fitch Cooper is a different type of doctor than Carlisle. Was that part of the attraction of the role?

Peter Facinelli: It was actually really fun for me to do such contrasting roles because Carlisle is such a calming force; he's a rock, and he's a foundation of this family. And Coop is none of that. He runs around like he's had four cans of Red Bull. So to be able to do those two contrasting roles where, in one character, I'm very still and the other one, he's very energized, was a lot of fun for me.

ET: Did you wear a wig to go back and forth?

Peter Facinelli: Because I was doing both projects at the same time, I wore a wig. There were days when I was literally running hours in the forest; then, I would jump on a plane and be on the "Nurse Jackie" set. I was going from Vancouver to New York like every three days.

ET: Is it hard to switch gears?

Peter Facinelli: For me it was invigorating. In the first two episodes of "Nurse Jackie" [for the new season] where I was crying, it came out of me just being emotionally exhausted. It wasn't written that I was crying. All of a sudden in the middle of the scene, I broke down and started crying. It felt right for the scene. I did takes in which I wasn't crying. Because I had just been dumped by Jackie and there was all this heavy emotion going on, it worked for the scene. I think it was me just getting off an airplane, having three hours sleep and just being that vulnerable that it hit me that hard.

ET: How dangerous is Dr. Cooper? Is he a better doctor than we think he is? Is he a worse doctor than we think he is? Should we be scared to have doctors like him?

Peter Facinelli: The interesting thing to me is you go to hospitals or you go see your doctor, and what you see is the white coat. And so you want to believe that they have all the answers, and you want to believe that they have more knowledge, but you don't know what they're doing in the back room. You don't know what their personalities are without that white coat. It was interesting because when I did 'Twilight,' I went and met with a doctor, and I hung out with him at the hospital. And his demeanor at the hospital was completely different than when we went and had dinner together. And so I think when Coop is with patients, he puts on a very doctorly -- there's a very doctorly side of him, and people have confidence in him. Is he a good doctor? I say it depends on what day of the week it is. He could, you know, cure you of some crazy disease that no other doctor could, or he might kill you with an ear infection. You just never know what you're going to get with him. That's part of the fun in playing him. But I think he tries. And I think he's an interesting character because he also doesn't have the confidence, so he tries to put on a persona to cover that up and tries to be overconfident at times. And Jackie (Edie Falco) just sees right through him.

ET: What kind of doctor is Carlisle?

Peter Facinelli: Carlisle is the head of the hospital. He is great because he has been around so long, he is very educated. He has a real love for humanity. People always ask me what kind of research I did to play a vampire. I said I did very little because I play a vampire who is trying to be human, who loved humanity so much that he wanted to hold on to that. When you look at something like 'Twilight,' the good vampires are not necessarily good; they're eccentric. The bad vampires are just doing what they're born to do. So for me, Carlisle is just holding on to his humanity; he doesn't want to be a vampire.

The second season of "Nurse Jackie" premieres Monday, March 22 on Showtime. 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' flies into theaters on June 30.

Related stories: 'Nurse Jackie''s Surprising Season Climax! 

 Julianne Moore vs. Edie Falco: 'Nurse Jackie' Repeats Moore's Style at SAG Awards 
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