Peter Facinelli Hopes ‘Twilight’ Fans Can Change the World
The actor, who plays vampire patriarch Carlisle Cullen in the ‘Twilight’ films, is raising awareness with Cookies for Cancer to fund research for the disease. As part of the effort, Glad products has teamed up with Cookies and the actor.
Facinelli talks to PopEater about his role in the initiative, and how he wants fans to help.
“When you put all these [‘Twilight’] fans together [for the films], it’s a very powerful thing. I think if we can spin that towards other areas like pediatric cancer and bring that kind of camaraderie toward a specific event or group or cause, I think we can help change the world.”
The ‘Nurse Jackie’ star also tells us about the bake sale competition he will compete in for the cause, and what his plans for the Fourth of July are.
Tell me a little about your work with Glad to Give and Cookies for Cancer?
I’m excited to be working with Glad products because they are teaming up with Cookies for Cancer, a non-profit organization. We’re trying to support research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer through doing these bake sales. How I got involved is, I do a lot of charity work for pediatric cancer through Alex’s Lemonade foundation. They came to me and asked me if I’d want to be a part of raising awareness for this as well. They are essentially doing the same thing. Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease of children under the age of 18. But half of the drugs used to treat children with cancer are 20 years old. They have new research technologies, but they don’t have the money for it. What we’re trying to do is just help raise awareness, help fund this research, so we can stamp out cancer in children.
How can anyone get involved?
It’s a big campaign that extends all the way through the holiday. Right now, when you buy specially marked Glad products, you can enter a code online and Glad will donate a dollar to Cookies for Cancer, up to $100K. If they want to find out more information, they can go to Glad.com and learn all about the promotion and host their own bake sale. What we’re going to be doing in November, there are three celebrities — myself, Joan Cusack and Jayma Mays — and we’re going to do a celebrity bake-off competition. They are going to stream these bake sales live and the fans can donate money towards Cookies for Cancer. But also, we’re going to be selling these cookies live in these bakeries, so the celebrity who comes up with the most money wins the competition.
What are you going to bake?
I have no idea yet. I’m for sure going to be going to my wife, Jennie [Garth], because she is the baker in the family. I’m going to be hitting her up for some recipes.
Do you think I’ll win?
Whatever I compete against, I always try to win. I don’t know if you ever saw the bet I did with my friend Rob. [Editor’s Note: Facinelli bet Rob DeFranco that he could get 1 million Twitter followers. Upon Facinelli’s win, Rob had to dance around in a bikini on Hollywood Boulevard, singing ‘Single Ladies.’]
Yes, I did.
Yeah, I don’t like to lose. Even if it’s something like baking, I’m going 100 percent.
What sweets are your favorite?
I like chocolate chip cookies, sometimes too much.
On a more serious note, do you feel lucky that you can use your celebrity to bring attention to causes like these?
Here’s how I feel — I don’t think you need celebrity status to get things done or be a part of something. One person, to me, as clichéd as it sounds, can make a difference. If you look at the people who founded this company, Cookies for Cancer, they were parents who were inspired by their young son’s ongoing fight against cancer. If you look at the people who founded Alex’s Lemonade, they were just parents, who again, were inspired by their daughter’s disease. These people weren’t celebrities, they started these programs to make a difference. But it definitely takes a village. It does. For me, being able to use my name in order to spread that awareness and spearhead this village in the right direction … because I feel like people want to help, they just don’t know how. They want to be able to say, “Listen, I’d love to be a part of stamping out cancer, what can I do?” For me to be able to use my name to get their attention, to say “this is what we can do,” just as simple as buying some cookies, I’m ecstatic to be able to do that. At this point, because of what I’m doing, because of ‘Nurse Jackie,’ because of ‘Twilight,’ people might look at what I’m doing and so my name might get some attention, so I can bring awareness to a cause or project. That to me is important, in order to be able to give back.
I didn’t know where you were going with that.
Well, congrats on ‘Eclipse,’ you must be an old pro at the hysteria surrounding it.
I don’t know if I ever get used to it. I can say it’s a very powerful feeling when people all come together for a common cause. And in this situation with ‘Twilight,’ I’m coming together as well, because I’m a fan of the books. And these Twi-hards are coming together as a fan of the books. When you put all these people together, it’s a very powerful thing. I think if we can spin that toward other areas like pediatric cancer and bring that kind of camaraderie toward a specific event or group or cause, I think we can help change the world.
I think the ‘Twilight’ fans and your Twitter fans would follow you anywhere.
I’m just asking them to eat some cookies, it’s nothing too painful.
Do you have any Fourth of July plans?
I’m going to be in Hawaii. What are you doing?
I’m going to Lake Erie.
Are you camping out?
I was so jealous for a second. I love camping. You’re not going to stay in a hotel are you?
No no no.
You should pitch a tent or something.
We’ll sleep on the beach.
That sounds like a plan. If I wasn’t in Hawaii, I’d be there.