Students at St. Francis Preparatory School got a glimpse of Hollywood up close and personal as Prep alumnus and current “Twilight” star Peter Facinelli came back to the Fresh Meadows school and spoke to students.
Facinelli, who plays Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the “Twilight” movies, addressed two student assemblies – one filled with seniors and a second of performing arts students – on Wednesday, December 16 about his career and TV and movie business overall.
The students, one of whom held up a “Peter, marry me” sign during the assembly, snapped photos of the star and asked him questions about his career and the acting business in general.
“He came to us a professional and not as a celebrity,” said St. Francis Prep sophomore Nora Martini, who is a performing arts student at the school. “He talked to us about the business and how this was his dream to become an actor.”
“It’s wild, but I know that St. Francis Prep offers you so much to do, and I knew there were a lot of successful people who have graduated and will graduate from here,” Martini said.
St. Francis Prep principal Patrick McLaughlin said that Facinelli recently reached out to a teacher at the school and said he would like to come back and talk to students.
“He really did a great job,” said McLaughlin, who taught Facinelli when he was a student at Prep. “When something like this happens, just having him walk back into the school sends an important message to every student in this building that there’s someone who walked in your footsteps and is now very successful.”
Facinelli, who was born and raised in Ozone Park and graduated St. Francis Prep in 1991, has been in films including “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Finding Amanda,” as well as a number of TV shows including “Six Feet Under,” “Damages,” and “Fastlane.”
However, Facinelli, who is married to former “Beverly Hills 90210” star Jennie Garth, may be most well known for his recurring role as Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the “Twilight” series including the third installment Twilight Saga: “The Eclipse,” due out in 2010.
Facinelli, who just finished shooting for the second season of Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” where he plays Dr. Fitch Cooper, said he was honored to come back to his alma mater and share his experiences with current students.
“It’s a school that has planted the seeds of who I am today, and I was grateful to be able to give back in some small way. Wherever I go, I will never forget where I came from, and even though I left Prep many years ago, the values that I acquired there have never left me.”