October 11, 2021

Peter Facinelli aka Doctor Carlisle Cullen


“Paging Doctor Cullen, you have an interview with Zack and Becca, writers for the blog From Gardners 2 Bergers. Report to Forever Twilight in Forks (FTF), Washington, STAT!” 

“I’m on it!” Peter Facinelli says, as he takes his seat under a pine gazebo at the Pacific Inn Motel, in Forks, Washington. 


Peter is here signing books and taking pictures at the Forever Twilight in Forks Festival. He's incredibly genuine. Friendly and easily approachable. To the west, the sun is setting and the colors are breath taking. To the east, the clouds have lost their place in the gray sky. They settle into the towering evergreens that crowd the rolling hills behind Peter and add an eerie effect. We are literally sitting down with a Vampire in his home town. He is wearing an Aviator Nation sweatshirt. He pulls his hoody over his head and asks, “so what do you do?” 

Zack: “My wife invented a wood stain that turns raw wood into barnwood.” I expect Peter to show zero interest. 

Peter: “Really? You take raw wood and it kind of ages it?” Peter asks with way more interest than I expected. 

Becca: “It’s an all-natural process, you just apply the stain to raw wood and you can see one hundred percent of the wood grain,” Becca says as she’s said in hundreds of interviews. 

P: “What’s the name of the company?” Peter asks. 

B: “Weatherwash.” Becca answers. 

The interview has taken an unexpected turn. Peter is interviewing us, instead of us interviewing Peter. What’s going on here? 

P: “How long does it take to get that old look?” Peter wonders. 

B: “Takes about ten minutes and it’s ready for a topcoat. Your whole project can be done in under an hour. It’s a tannin-based reactive stain, earth-friendly and VOC free!” Becca beams, super proud of her creation. 


P: “I love doing woodworking. I grew up doing carpentry with my Uncle. I did that during the summers. I could build anything out of wood. I could build this gazebo. Recently, I did a birdcage with a sliding door,” Peter leans forward. He’s holding the birdcage between his empty hands, somehow, we can all see it. As he goes on, we learn that he’s quite the woodworker and a knowledgeable finisher. “You know this is a billion-dollar idea right?” 

Bec smiles and nods, “We did just get into Walmart!” 

Z: “You know Peter, you’re an extraordinary guy who seems remarkably ordinary,” I say, as we settle into our woodworking comfort zone. 

P: “That’s great! It’s good to be ordinary.” He says as he scrolls through our portfolio, he friend-requests Rebecca. 

She accepts. They’re "fast" friends. 
 
Z: “Ok, so you’re going to be our celebrity endorser?” I ask. 
 
P: “Maybe!” Peter smiles and winks. 
 
Z: “Great! So you’re a finisher in real life, a vampire doctor, a human doctor, a special forces operator, a Sheriff in the old west, and many other things in the make-believe world of Hollywood.” 

Peter nods. 
 
Z: “What does nine-to-five look like for you?” 
 
P: “Constant change. Lots of preparation. Tons of research.” 

Z: “So you’re from Queens, NYC.” 
 
P: “Yes!” 
 
Z: “You have three siblings. Where do you rank?” 
 
P: “I'm last.” 



Z: “Three older sisters? That's more Barbies than G.I. Joe's. #Roughbro. Your parents are from Italy?” 

P: “Yep.” 

Z: “Your mother is from, Spormaggiore, how do you pronounce that?” 

Peter annunciates the town without missing a beat. Even though I speak Italian, I butcher it. Curse that double ‘g.’ 


Z: “Your father is from Trentino?” 

P: “Yeah.” 


Z: “It’s pretty cool that they were so close to fair Verona when they fell in love.” 

Peter nods, “I never thought about that. But yeah, both of their towns are right there in Val Di Non Valley, Northern Italy.” 

B: “We visited Verona, so we got to see what the countryside looks like.” 

P: “It’s a beautiful country.” 
 
Z: “Take us back to high school at Saint Francis Preparatory, what was your best moment in high school.

Peter shuffles. His face wrinkles as though he’s just licked a lemon, “high school wasn’t a good time for me. I was incredibly shy and I didn’t want to eat lunch with the other kids. So, I found a quite place where a woman sold pretzels and orange juice and that was my, uhm… my lunch every day for three years.” 

‘Peter shy? Are you kidding me?’ I think. 


Z: “Did you play a sport?” 

P: “Baseball.” 

Z: “That’s ironic.” I’m thinking back to the Twilight baseball game. 

P: “There was this one game, I quit the high school team because the coach was a jerk and so I played for another team. There was this one play where the bases were loaded, there was only a few minutes left on the clock in the last inning and I hit a home run. We were tied up and that home run won the game. The old coach saw the play and realized his mistake.” Peter smiles. 

B: “We saw a game with the Rangers and Red Sox just like that. It was nail-biting.” 

Z: “Who is your favorite sports team?” 

P: “Yankees.” 



Z: “Who is your favorite player?” 

P: “Babe Ruth. He would point where he was going to hit the ball and then hit it there. That was incredible.” 



Z: “So you’re in high school, headed to college at New York University. At what point did you decide to become an actor?” 

P: “For me it was much sooner. It was when I was thirteen, the topic of career came up with my family and I told my parents I wanted to be an actor. They didn’t discourage me, in fact, they encouraged me.” 

Bec and I look at each other, completely shocked. Why? When I told my Mom I wanted to be an actor she said, “go to college first and act on the side.” 

P: “I never had a back up plan because I was taught that if you have a back up plan, that becomes the plan.” 

Peter is right, Momma! I ended up using my degree and not acting >:-/ 


Z: “When Bec and I lived in Italy, all these Italian fathers had interesting sayings for their sons. One that we liked the most was, ‘better to buy a suit than a glass of water.’ Does your Dad have any cool sayings?” 

P: “No. Not really.” 

B: “Your parents must be incredibly proud of you.” 

P: “Actually, that’s the funny thing, my Dad and I are on this plane with all these actors that have lesser roles than me at the time and he’s like, ‘do you think Peter will make it?’ My parents are immigrants, so they just don’t get how far I’ve come. In fact, my Dad was like, ‘Peter, if you don’t make it in Hollywood, that’s okay. I love you and I will always have a room for you in my home.’” 

Bec and I look at each other. We’ve never met this man, but we love him! 

Z: “Well there you go Peter. You’re Dad’s Italian saying is, ‘There’s a room for you in my house, son.” 


B: “So you studied acting in college. Was there one specific method that you preferred over another?” 
 
Peter has a lot to say about this. If any of you thought acting was just memorizing lines and shooting ten second scenes, think again. There’s voice training. Stage acting. Camera acting. And the two are not the same. Peter lists a dozen books and several methods that contribute to his “craft”. Clearly his education at NYU has paid off. His performance takes audiences to a different world. A world where admittance is belief. He’s so passionate about his craft, he spends forty minutes talking about it. By the end of his answer Bec and I are blown away with how much mechanical aptitude it takes to create a convincing character. 

B: “So I recently watched ‘The Vanished,’ how did you come up with that idea?” 

P: “A couple of years ago, I got into RV-ing. I took my family across America and we stopped in all these really cool little towns. One of the towns we stopped in, this guy at the counter let me know that the prison nearby had a convict escape and a manhunt was under way. For a brief moment, I lost track of one of my kids, and found them, but I thought, ‘what if this man had found my daughter and kidnapped her? That would be terrifying.’ I didn’t get much sleep that night because of the fear I felt and I couldn’t shake the feeling so I caught it on film.” 


 Z: “You had a lot of success with that. How many people viewed it on Netflix?” 

 P: “Two hundred million.” 

 B: “TWO HUNDRED MILLION? That’s two thirds of the nation’s population. What was the budget?”
 
 P: “One and a half million.” 

 Z: “You got two hundred million people to watch a film you wrote, directed, and acted in on a one and a half million-dollar budget?” 

 P: “Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?” 

 Z: “Yeah! I’d imagine you’re a hot item in Hollywood. Directors like you are like snow leopards.” 

 P: “What do you mean?” 

Z: “Snow Leopards are rarely seen, but they exist. Well look at Spielberg for example. He almost didn’t have a career because he kept going over budget. If it wasn’t for George Lucas bringing him on for Indiana Jones, Spielberg’s career might have died early. So, a guy that can generate that kind of viewership with a small budget must be rare, but exist.” 

 P: “We’ll see. It’s all kind of fresh still,” he says relaxed and un-phased. Like I said, an extraordinary man that seems abnormally ordinary. 


 B: “Can we talk about Twilight now?” 

 P: “Of course!” 

 B: “How did you get the part?” 

 P: “That is a funny story. I auditioned and so did this other guy, Henry Cavill, and it looked like he got the part of Carlisle Cullen. As I was doing my research, I stumbled on a book titled, “History of the Vampire.” Since I didn’t get the part, I thought I could help Catherine Hardwick out and maybe network for the future. I wrote a quick note in the book and sent it to her. When the part didn’t work out with the other guy, she got my note and called me. So I got the part because I gave Catherine a $29.99 book.” 


Z: “Cool! Can you do that with my book?” 

P: “Maybe, what’s your book?” 

Z: “Harvest Moon.” I hand him a copy. 

P: “I’ll see what I can do.” 

Bec and I high-five. 

B: “How did you prepare for the role of Doctor Carlisle Cullen?” 

P: “I did a lot of research. I even kept these journals and that’s all part of the craft right? When I prepare for a role, I want to know as much about the character as I can. Learning about what doctors do wasn’t so hard, but what required a little more intense research was what a doctor might wear throughout the years. As I was doing my research, I kind of felt like Carlisle would have had an interest in scarves. I traced the fashion of scarves back to his era and incorporated those scarves into my character. I was using it as a thread through time to tie in the history of his life together through out the film.” 



B: “Can we shop Doctor Cullen Scarves?” 

P: “That’s an interesting idea, I’ll have to think about it.” 

Z: "You should post the journals online. I know a lot of fans in the Facebook groups would love that." 

P: "I'll look into that. It would be nice for them to experience more of 'Twilight' right?"

B: “Are you still in touch with the cast?” 

P: “Yes! Definitely! We all keep in contact with each other. Nikki and I just worked on a project together, and we all text each other often. We kind of grew up together in Hollywood, you know.” 

B: “What’s your favorite story about your son, Edward?” 

P: “When I first met Rob, he had all these hair extensions. For some reason, they wanted him to have long hair. And I noticed he was kind of pulling on them. The next day, he had pulled all of his hair extensions out and he was like, ‘I’m not doing it, okay! I’m using my natural hair.'” 

B: OMG, this reminds me of when Anna Kendrick called him "the hair," in Breaking Dawn Part 1. 

Z: “In your own words, how would you describe Twilight?” 

P: “It’s the modern Romeo and Juliet, right?” 

Z: In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, 'if only we could rewind the clock to Juliet’s house which is actually in “fair” Verona, Italy, not far from Peter's parents home towns. I’m wondering if Peter's ancestors knew he was in a modern Romeo and Juliet love story, what would they think?' By the way 'Trivial Pursuit' readers, Capulet was a real family name! (Below you can see some pictures of her balcony that we took in 2019.) 



P: (Continued) Twilight is a great love story that incorporates forbidden love between a vampire and a young girl that every girl wants to be. But the best part of this story is that it brings fans together from all across the world. They form these relationships that they otherwise wouldn’t have and it was such a great experience to be a part of it.”

B: I’m not sure if Peter has seen the map in the Fork's Visitor Center, but people from across the world have placed a pin on the map and you can see below just how many people have been affected by "Twilight". Keep in mind, they traveled from these states and countries to physically place their pin. 



Z: “If you had an unlimited budget, what movie would you make? Who would direct it? Who would star in it?” 

P: “Oh that’s easy, I’d do a gangster movie. Something like Scarface. I would star in it. I would direct it.”
 
B: “Are you excited about fashion?” 

P: “I’m not a snob or anything. I like form and function. Comfort is ideal."

Z: “Do you have a favorite artist?” 

P: Rene Magritte. 



B: “Do you have any cool Dad sayings for your kids?” 

P: “Believe in yourself and follow your dreams!” 

Z: “You’ve been to Italy and across America, do you have a favorite architect?” 

P: “I like Spanish style. I like how architecture changes across the country. Even the brick color changes. I like Modern, too. I like Frank Lloyd Wright. I really like Frank Gehry, he did the Disney Concert Hall in L.A. I love what he does.” 



Z: “Halloween is fast approaching. What scary movies are you watching and what are you dressing up as?” 

P: “I don’t watch scary movies. They give me nightmares. The costume is a hard one for me. I feel like I have ideas of what I’m going to dress up like and then Halloween comes and I never know what I’m going to wear. Can I get back to you on that one?” 

Z: “Wanna do a scary picture together?” 

P: “Sure!” 

Z: “Let's do wolf claws! Roooaaarrr!” 




Z: “Hey Peter! I did wolf claws, what are you doing?” 

P: “Smoldering wolf claws.” 

B: “Do you have a favorite movie that you’ve been in?” 

P: “I have really enjoyed all the films I’ve worked in. I love them all. I can’t really pick one over the other.” 
 
Z: “What’s your favorite app?”

P: “I like Instagram. I have a love hate relationship with TikTok. It’s so entertaining, people do the stupidest things on there, I just can’t stop watching it. There are such quick little segments you could just scroll forever.”

 


Z: “What’s your favorite video game?”

P: “I don’t play video games. I grew up on Atari. But Oculus goggles in VR is pretty cool. You feel like you’re there.”




Z: “What’s your favorite tech?”

P: “Crypto.” 

Z: “What do you do for a workout?”

P: “Honestly, I do P90X. It requires very little space and they mix the work outs up so you don’t get bored. I love the Kenpo Karate. Now I work with a trainer though.”

Z: “Your arms are looking pretty big bro, got any tips on beefing up biceps?”

P: “Ha! Ha! No, I actually have to tell my trainer to tone it down. Honestly, it’s all genetics. I have 'guido' arms. I have those Italian American arms and like, I have to be careful not to work out my biceps too much because if I wear a button up shirt they puff up and fill out the shirt. It’s just genetics, I don’t have to work them out.” He shrugs nonchalantly.


B: “Who is your celeb look alike?” Now this cracks both of us up. Peter literally buries his face in his hands, and for the first time during this interview, I see the shy kid he was talking about in high school. When he looks up, he’s literally blushing and so flustered he can’t speak. 

P: “I don’t know man, I used to get Tom Cruise. Who do you think?”

Z: “Ethan Hawk.”

P: “I’ll take it.”

Z: “What do you think, Becca?”

B: “I don’t think you look like anyone. I think you have a very unique look.”

P: “I like that better!” 


With that, the interview is over. The weather has shifted and true to its reputation, Forks is the wettest place in America. The temperature drops. Cold rain dumps on us. Two hours of friendly conversation has made us all cold ones and fast friends. Bec and I jump in the car, crank the heater, and wonder how exactly three Italians ended up on the farthest western point of North America. But that’s the beauty of Twilight. 


To Peter’s point Twilight brings people together from all parts of the world and they make connections they otherwise wouldn’t have. This happens in book lines. Movie lines. FTF lines. It’s the spirit of Twilight that Peter helped build. And twelve years later the bonds are still being forged. Even with fans and actors. Thanks, Peter, for the interview and thanks to Stephenie Meyer for an awesome love story!
Ciao!! 
Zachary & Becca

Us talking with fans in line at FTF. 

July 11, 2021

Short Film: St. Agatha, Martyr


“I will not sacrifice,” are the words a 22-year-old Christian girl used, to defy ancient Rome. 
When Agatha refused to sacrifice to Rome’s pagan gods and prove her loyalty to the empire, she was raped, tortured, and killed for her new faith. This is Agatha of Sicily A noble woman whose legacy lives on today. 
I first learned about Saint Agatha on a tour of a live volcano, Mount Etna, situated one hour north of Catania, Sicily. The tour guide stopped at a tiny chapel to explain how lava flow once threatened a nearby town. A priest brought Agatha’s shawl to the lava and plead with heaven to stop the lava flow. It worked, and as a result, the town built this chapel to honor their protector, Saint Agatha. 


    A few years later, a new eruption threatened the church. The Priest promised people that nothing would happen to the village. They were under Saint Agatha’s protection. The lava literally pressed up against the wall of the little church, cracked it, but did not go any further. The Priest’s words held true. 
    I couldn’t help but ask myself, “who was Saint Agatha? What was her story? What does it mean to be a Saint?” What I learned shocked and inspired me. So, I shot a short in Italy. This is her story. 


Zachary Lovelady

May 22, 2021

Shooting in a Short Film in Agrigento, Italy


When Becca and I were in Sicily last year, we were deeply inspired by the story of St Agatha, the patron Saint of Catania. I have been working on a screen play for Agatha ever since and in June we started filming a short film in the most gorgeous location, Agrigento, Italy. 




Here's the scoop on St Agatha. She is a truly incredible woman and was an early Christian martyr from 251 AD. She was a beautiful 15 year old young woman who consecrated her life to Christ. However, the Roman prefect, Quintianus, believed he loved her. He pursued her all over Sicily and when she turned him down he became enraged. He had her thrown into a brothel to remove her virtue. When she still refused his overtures, he had her tortured, removed her breasts with pinchers, and thrown in jail without medical treatment. 


That evening in her jail cell, she was visited by the Apostle Peter who healed her wounds and restored her breasts. Restored, Agatha was brought in front in Quintanus once more. He flew into a rage and determined she would be tortured by rolling her over hot coals and glass. When this evil act ensued, Mt Etna began to roar and caused an earthquake. The people pled for Agatha to be released. Badly injured, Agatha prayed her spirit be released. You can see the photo above from the artifacts room, that houses relics and is dedicated to Agatha in her cathedral. 




On February 3-5 each year 100,000 people travel to Catania to celebrate St. Agatha, her sacrifice and her miracles. They often partake of this Minne di Sant'Agata, a typical Sicilian sweet desert shaped as a breast, representing the cut breasts of Saint Agatha. Her actual remains are in a church just across the town square. You are left with an impression that these people lived and walked where I am living and walking! You will love Zack's film on Agatha's life and I am thrilled to be involved. Can't wait to share updates, as this project moves forward! 

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Zachary Lovelady

February 5, 2021

RH Cerused Driftwood Gray Table



For this week's project, we're back to my roots! Which means we're creating knock off Restoration Hardware colors today! This project is easy peasy, just apply to wood and watch the magic happen! You're going to love this tutorial to easily achieve the Reclaimed Gray Oak look.

Materials


July 24, 2020

Corporate Bullies?



Hello architects, designers, industrial designers, contractors, painters, DIY-ers, weekend warriors, and close friends. We had a very interesting week. Not sure how you're all handling COVID, but three of our employees tested positive. As if that weren't dramatic enough, we received a "cease and desist" from Sherwin Williams!

May 13, 2020

RH Style Balustrade Coffee Table & Bologna, Italy


Take a walk down this Bologna restaurant alley with us!! It’s packed with tourists, fresh food, people eating, & rad details. πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜ I’m crazy obsessed with these colorful buildings- they’re all shades of red, orange and yellow. πŸ’›πŸ§‘❤️ It’s looks so warm and inviting. πŸ€— Bologna was such a wonderful surprise. We did an overnight here and toured the famous spots!



April 15, 2020

Family Life Centers Around a Great Table & Baby Angel Art, Florence



All the baby angels!! In Italy, these angels are called Putti. πŸ‘ΌπŸ» πŸ‘ΌπŸ» πŸ‘ΌπŸ» The ones I shared in the below post are all from larger portraits in the Uffizi - found in Florence, Italy. I love the ones with colored wings. I hope you will friend me on Facebook, so I can see what you like to do, too! 



This project is so heartwarming. The kitchen in the center of the home today and this one is no exception! Let's see how to get the look of their gorgeous table!


Materials



Directions

1.] SAND
For this project we used alder, if you're using a different species check out this color chart for weathered wood options: Color Chart. Sand the boards and with 80 grit sandpaper and now they're ready for you to apply stain. 

2.] STAIN
If you want a pure gray, you should use Reclamation, if you want a gray with brown in it, use Salvage. Using a wide brush or sponge brush, apply heavy coat of stain. Like in the above video, the wood will absorb the stain as it dries. The color will change from raw wood to stained. 


3.] LIGHTEN
To lighten the wood, use White Maintenance Oil Topcoat. This will lock in that light driftwood look and protect the wood. It's a wipe on and wipe off application. Use a brush or rag to apply and a clean rag to immediately take it back off the wood. The longer it stays on the wood, the whiter the wood will get.

4.] PROTECT
To seal the wood, use Weatherwood Polyurethane. This will lock in that light driftwood look and protect the wood. Just brush on 2-3 coats. 


You can save 10% on Weatherwood products, like you saw here, with code WELCOME10. 
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