Though he could have easily fallen into a "nice guy" Hollywood stereotype, clean-cut actor Peter Facinelli refused to be pigeonholed in one set category or type of role; that very versatility, in turn, became one of Facinelli's trademarks. He grew up amid a large Italian-American family in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, NY, studied at St. Francis Preparatory High, and then enrolled at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School in Manhattan, where his mentors included Giancarlo Esposito, William H. Macy, and Felicity Huffman. By the mid- to late '90s, Facinelli made a beeline for the West Coast and, in seemingly no time at all, began to build a hefty resumé of acting roles, occasionally in a lead capacity.
Early projects included the 1998 slice-of-lifer Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 (as a wealthy young man eager to leave his Texas town with his buddies and start over in L.A.), the 1998 teen-oriented romantic comedy Can't Hardly Wait, and -- as largely a showcase for Facinelli's acting chops -- the stagy ensembler The Big Kahuna (1999), with Facinelli, Kevin Spacey, and Danny DeVito as industrial lubricant salesmen sharing a hotel suite. In that film, Facinelli played a born-again Christian who threatens to alienate his colleagues when he inadvertently lets their prize client slip through his fingers.