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    Golden Globes

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    Peter and 'Twilight Saga' co-star Robert Pattinson attend the Golden Globes in Los Angeles.

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    Queens Tribune

    May 2006
    Kid From Ozone Park On Top Of The World

    Peter Facinelli
    By JEFF FEINMAN

    On his latest project, "Touch The Top of the World," actor Peter Facinelli was taking up quite an adventure in portraying the first blind mountain climber to ever scale Mt. Everest. Special contact lenses were placed upon his corneas to impede his vision. His physique underwent a whirlwind as he dropped 15 pounds to portray the character at a young age, only to gain it back again. It was not your everyday movie role.

    Parts such as these, however, are what Facinelli had in mind when he set out from Ozone Park to pursue acting. The 32-year-old Queensite, known for his roles in Hollywood films like "Can't Hardly Wait," "Supernova" and "The Scorpion King," as well as television stints on "Six Feet Under" and "Fastlane," has based his career on versatility.

    "I never want to get stuck in one specific genre, partly because I get bored so quickly," he said in an interview with the Queens Tribune. "I like to surprise myself and try to push myself to play roles that are far from who I am. That's the fun for me."

    With a blend of machismo and on-screen charisma, Facinelli became a familiar face in the 1998 teen comedy "Can't Hardly Wait." Since then, he has acted with the likes of Drew Barrymore, James Spader, Angela Basset, Kevin Spacey, and Danny DeVito.

    "I've been very fortunate to have worked with a lot of great actors. It's like tennis; when you're playing with someone who's really good, it makes you raise your game." On working with Spacey and DeVito in "The Big Kahuna," he said, "What was really inspirational to me was that both of them came on board and weren't bossy. They didn't tell the director where to put the camera or tell me how to act, they were ego-less."

    Married to "Beverly Hills: 90210" babe Jenny Garth, Facinelli has become a family man, with two daughters, Luca Bella and Lola Ray, and a third child on the way. Living in California, he coaches his daughters' soccer and baseball teams. In fact, while shooting "Hollow Man 2" in Vancouver, he would fly back each weekend to catch games.

    Before living under the California sun, Facinelli was running around the streets of Ozone Park. "Queens was a great neighborhood to grow up in because, at the time, you could go out and ride your bike on the street without your mom having to worry," he said. "My neighborhood was on the Brooklyn- Queens border, sandwiched between two cultures (Cubans and Italians). That was pretty fantastic. To this day, some of my best friends are those Cuban kids I grew up with."

    Facinelli attended St. Francis Preparatory High School in Fresh Meadows, though he did not become interested in acting until college. After a year at St. John's University, he transferred to NYU to pursue his dreams in acting.

    "Touch The Top of the World" will air on A&E June 11, and an indie project titled "The Lather Effect," co-starring Ione Skye and Eric Stoltz, is due out Sept. 15.



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