Peter Facinelli Wasn't Meyer's First Pick For Twilight's Carlisle Cullen... Or Second

Peter Facinelli Wasn't Meyer's First Pick For Twilight's Carlisle Cullen... Or Second
Image credit: FX, Summit Entertainment

Who would you cast as the vampire patriarch?


  • Stephanie Meyer was actively involved in the initial casting for the Twilight film series.
  • She had candidates for every major character, including Carlisle Cullen.
  • However, all of her suggestions eventually fell through, and it worked out best for the movies.

When it was decided to turn Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga into a film series, the most important task of all was choosing the right actors to play Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, their families, friends and enemies. Meyer, who had been leading the massive Twilight fandom for years, knew this better than anyone.

On-screen dynamics and chemistry could make or break the adaptation, so the author dove into the casting process with her sleeves rolled up. She had a Hollywood candidate for every major character in the story.

However, none of Meyer's first choices worked out, for various reasons. And when it came to Carlisle Cullen, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because Peter Facinelli wasn't the author's first or even second choice.

Two Candidates

For Stephanie Meyer, the question of who should play the main heartthrob of the series, Edward Cullen, was never really a question. The author has always had her heart set on Henry Cavill. And for the role of Edward's adoptive father, the vampire patriarch Carlisle, she fancied Charlie Hunnam.

Peter Facinelli Wasn't Meyer's First Pick For Twilight's Carlisle Cullen... Or Second - image 1

However, the creative team behind the adaptation had reservations about these candidates. Both felt age-inappropriate for their intended roles. Cavill seemed a little too old to play a 17-year-old teenager frozen in time by the vampire curse. After all, he was approaching 25 when the saga hit theaters.

And Hunnam, in contrast, felt too young, just six years older than Robert Pattinson, who eventually got the lead role. Plus, rumor has it that Hunnam wasn't interested in vampire gigs back then and would have turned the project down anyway.

So Meyer turned back to Cavill, who was apparently a sort of her A-list crush. This time, she wanted Cavill to don Carlisle's fangs, but the actor declined the opportunity, which proved to be a blessing in disguise for the films.

Cavill was even younger than Hunnam, which would have inevitably made the Cullen family dynamic messy and uncomfortable. Sure, Carlisle could have been turned into a vampire at a young age, but he's the ultimate father figure in the story. So, having a larger age gap between him and his adopted kids felt more fitting. And Facinelli fit the bill perfectly.

Peter Facinelli Wasn't Meyer's First Pick For Twilight's Carlisle Cullen... Or Second - image 2

Best Carlisle

Even after two of Stephanie Meyer's top choices fell through, Peter Facinelli wasn't immediately cast as Carlisle. Initially, an unknown actor was in the running. But luck was on Facinelli's side when the mystery actor decided to pass on the opportunity (he must have been biting his nails for years).

Facinelli, eager to sink his teeth into the role, pulled out all the stops. Legend has it, he even sent Meyer a vampire-themed book after his audition, hoping to woo the author. And it worked! The actor landed the role that launched his career into the stratosphere, and joked that he practically bought it for $29.99.

And let's be real, Facinelli brought a depth to Carlisle Cullen that was hard to match. He embodied the father figure with such finesse that it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role, even the alternatives Meyer initially had in mind.

Would you choose Henry Cavill to play Carlisle Cullen?