Twi-Moms playing hooky from work let out a sigh when Peter Facinelli strolled onstage at the Grand Ballroom theater in the Westin O'Hare around 3:30 p.m.
"Did you see his eyes?" one lady said to her friend. "D-a-y-a-m."
The actor popularly known as Dr. Carlisle Cullen from the "Twilight" series was in Chicago for the Official Twilight Convention from Sept. 10 to Sept. 12. His castmate Alex Meraz had already warmed up the crowd during a public Q&A session at 12:45 p.m., and the two actors had a private Q&A session with ten selected "Twilight" fans at 2:05 p.m. After the Twilight Saga Yes/No Trivia Game and "Eclipse" press kit footage from the full cast in Los Angeles, the audience was amped to see their favorite father vegetarian vampire.
Loud clapping and cheering was heard after he was introduced from "The Hillywood Show" cast members. As surprised as they were to see him, Facinelli was more surprised to see a couple guys in the crowd along with a packed theater of girl teenagers and grown women, many wearing "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" clothing.
Dead and alive actor he'd like to work with: "I always wished I'd worked with Paul Newman. He's the reason I got into acting. Current actors I'd like to work with are Sean Penn and Gary Oldman."
Spending time in Chicago: "I never get to do much. I'm always working when I come here, but I heard the pizza is good."
Favorite upcoming scene in "Breaking Dawn": "The birth scene where I'm not there. Carlisle? Where are you? I'm on the twelfth hole golfing. I thought I was going to get to deliver a baby. Not!"
Bloopers while filming: "I heard what Alex said. He screwed up his line and tried to blame it on my wig. I'm hoping in the next film the wig is better so I don't look like Ronald McDonald. Since I'm filming 'Nurse Jackie,' I have to wear the wig. But all the cast wears wigs. I'm outing everybody! Rob is really bald. No, he has a receding hairline. Just kidding. Seriously Rob's hair is goldish (sic) so during the film he dyes it red."
Wildest or most embarrassing comment from a fan: "I don't really have any crazy fan stories. Well, there was this one woman who wanted to take a photo with me. I was on the phone and asked her to give me a minute so I could finish my phone call. Then I turned around and she'd walked away. I felt bad about it so I caught up with her and asked her did she still want to take the photo and explained that I was on the phone. She said, 'No. I wanted you to take the photo with my dog.' I don't know if she wanted to have her dog with me like I was a vampire. That one was creepy. It still keeps me up at night trying to figure that one out."
Fan question from Indiana, Peter remembers being pulled over by the police: "I was pulled over by the police in Indiana. I was doing 90 in a motorhome. When the police pulled me over, I told them I wasn't trying to outrun them. Then, I asked him, 'You want to come in for coffee?' He didn't laugh. I never paid that ticket. I'm wanted in Indiana! Wait, what was the question again?"
Getting used to wardrobe: "We have plenty of sweaters. In 'Fast Lane,' I had to break in some leather pants. I showed up at my kid's school wearing leather pants and looked like I was going through some kind of mid-life crisis."
Dr. Carlisle Cullen's accent: "I was worried about how I was going to play the part of Carlisle when I don't look old enough to be their father. I studied up on the time period he was in 350 years ago. I knew more than the cast about that time. I didn't want to do a full-blown English accent because he's been gone from England for over a century. I told Stephenie Meyer I didn't want to do an English accent and she said, 'Why would you?' If he had an English accent in Forks, everybody would be asking him 'Where are you from?' everyday. People always ask me did I give him an accent in 'Eclipse,' but it was the same accent in the other two movies. I just talked more in this one so you noticed it. I wanted him to sound very calm and compassionate."
Film or TV job preference: "We shoot a lot faster on television. On television, we shoot about six pages. On film, you shoot two to four pages. On film, there's a lot of down time where you're just sitting around waiting. I like the pacing of television because they don't have the luxury of waiting. I'm doing the same job so it doesn't matter. I like working with a small cast because you become a family if it's like 50 or 60 people. You don't get to know the cast when there are 300 people."
Wearing vampire contacts: "The contacts always hurt for four or five minutes, and they're thicker than regular contacts. I have contacts but I never wear them. I need them for driving and watching television. I probably should wear them more. But the (vampire) contacts are like looking through a peephole. You can't see peripherally. When I was sitting with Elizabeth (Esme Cullen) during the graduation scene, we were supposed to be proud parents. I wanted to look at her lovingly when Edward graduated, but since neither of us could see out of our peripheral vision, it didn't work. I'd look at her, and she'd be looking straight. Then she'd look at me, and I wouldn't know it. So since the cameras were only filming us from the chest up, I told her I'd just tap her leg when I wanted her to look at me at the same time I was looking at her."
Rivalry between vampire movies and TV shows: "I don't watch 'Vampire Diaries' or 'True Blood'...or even 'Grey's Anatomy.' I don't watch the shows so I don't get affected by comparisons. Actually Carlisle was voted the worst vampire in Rolling Stone by Peter Travers. (Audience boos.) No, don't boo him. (Carlisle) is a humanitarian. Very compassionate. I like him. But other vampires even look at him like, 'Dude, what are you doing?' He's a vegetarian vampire."
Getting involved with Alex's Lemonade: "Someone sent me the link on Twitter, and I read about the family. I contacted the parents to see how I could get involved. They made something positive out of it, and they're looking for a cure for pediatric cancer. They just need the money for the cure. I recommend having a glass of Alex's lemonade."
Hobbies outside of acting: "I like writing. It's like playing God. You have these characters and get to control what they do. Sometimes I just let them do whatever comes off the page."
What to enjoy about acting: "Do I enjoy acting? Of course. I've done 30 films. I wouldn't do it this much if I didn't enjoy it. When I'm acting, I get to have many lives in one lifetime. It's like Taster's Choice to have that occupation and that life."
Ready to shoot "Breaking Dawn": "Yes. I'll be shooting 'Nurse Jackie' and 'Breaking Dawn' at the same time. It'll be bittersweet because ('Breaking Dawn') is our last film."
Dealing with scheduling while being a father and a husband: "My family is incredibly patient. It's hard to constantly have to say 'goodbye' to them. After I leave here, I'll go home for a day and then be gone for six months. But when I get days off I go home. I'll miss them and fly home for dinner. I fly a lot."
Who he hangs with from "Twilight" cast: "We all hang out together. It's not cliquey like that. If five people hang out and then three hang out later, the other two aren't going to feel left out. In 'Twilight,' we'd go out a lot because no one knew who we were. Rob would be downstairs playing his guitar, and there were only a few people down there. Then with 'New Moon,' it got a little more difficult to hang out. By 'Eclipse,' we were literally prisoners in our rooms because there were always photographers or people waiting for us wherever we went."
After the Q&A session was complete, Facinelli got a loud round of applause. He signed the banners hanging from the monitors that will be auctioned off this weekend. Then, he turned to the crowd, threw up the deuce sign and posed for pictures. At 5 p.m., fans had the opportunity to pay for photo ops to pose with Facinelli and Meraz for the "Vampire vs. Wolves" theme. At 5:30 p.m., the two actors signed autographs for Gold Weekend and Preferred Weekend Patrons.
Fans who wanted to hang around to see Michael Welch (Mike Newton) at the Friday Night Twilight Karaoke Party stayed at the hotel for the 9 p.m. party.
Check out more "Twilight" content below:
1. "Alex Meraz, Paul from 'Twilight' series visits Chicago for The Official Twilight Convention"
2. "Applicious Shimmering Hand and Body Lotion from 'Twilight' hand model Kimbra"
6. “Photos: Official Twilight Convention in Chicago featuring Peter Facinelli and Alex Meraz”
7. "Scavenger hunt for Twilight perfume in Chicago supports copycat Nina perfume bottle controversy"
8. "Ten Reasons Why Jacob is Better Than Edward in 'Twilight' Series"
9. "'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' back in theaters, Twilight convention in Rosemont"
10. "'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' Re-releases on Sept. 10 in Honor of Bella's Birthday"
11. "'Twilight' Movie Star Taylor Lautner Labeled 'diva' After $300,000 Trailer Confusion Leads to Suing McMahon's RV"
12. "Why 'Breaking Dawn' Would've Been Better Had it Been Written like 'Midnight Sun'"