Forget Team Edward and Team Jacob. I want to start a Team Carlisle.
When I first saw Peter Facinelli as Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the original "Twilight" movie, his looks kind of horrified me. All the vampires have pale skin, but combined with Facinelli's bleached-blonde hair, Carlisle especially stood out as really odd-looking. I had trouble buying him as a respected doctor in a small town.
But as the movies went on, he grew on me. I'd liked the character very much in Stephenie Meyer's books — even more so than moody, possessive Edward, Carlisle was the true center of the Cullen family.
He was the one who saved Edward's life as the teen lay dying of influenza in 1918, and he later brought Esme, Rosalie, Alice, Jasper and Emmett into the bloomin' Brady Bunch of a family. He managed to fight the vampire bloodlust and turned himself and his family into "vegetarians," surviving off animal blood. He kept the peace between the vamps and the Quileute shape-shifting wolves, and somehow managed to keep his family low-key enough that the citizens of Forks didn't discover them and try to run them out of town with pitchforks.Story: Know a baby Bella? 'Twilight' may be reason
In "Breaking Dawn," it's Carlisle that Bella and Edward turn to when she becomes pregnant with the human-vampire baby who could take her life. He's dependable and fair, the moral center of a morally very weird universe. And he has will power to beat the band. Jasper almost kills Bella when she gets a paper cut, but Carlisle is a doctor, so presumably he's drenched in human blood all day long, yet never once do we get reports of him eating his patients.Story: 'Old-fashioned' Edward carries Bella over threshold
To top it all off, a 2009 Forbes article declared Carlisle the richest fictional character of all, topping even Santa Claus and Mr. Burns of "Simpsons" fame. The Forbes mock interview with him is pretty hilarious, as they report his age as 370 and discuss his private island and $3 million home, pointing out that 300+ years of compound interest and a daughter who can see what stocks will do in the future is a pretty good recipe for wealth.
Team Edward fans have their moments, and Jacob is undoubtedly filled out, but for this "Twilight" viewer, the doctor is definitely in.
Anyone else a Carlisle fan? Or speak up for your favorite lesser-known vampire or wolf on Facebook.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is TODAY.com's movies editor.
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