The Twilight star is showing off his new physique in a campaign to raise awareness for prostate cancer

By Nicholas Rice
September 01, 2020 12:00 PM
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Ben Cope

Peter Facinelli is loving his healthy new look.

The 46-year-old actor says that he is "physically in better shape than I've ever been," and opened up about losing weight while quarantining amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Everything's kind of shut down right now and I wanted to focus on myself," Facinelli tells PEOPLE exclusively. "So I did a lot of meditating, a lot of reading and a lot of growing personally and just wanted to physically see if I could get as physically fit as I could."

Crediting his weight loss to healthier eating and eliminating sugar and takeout food, the actor — who directed, wrote and starred in the recently released film, The Vanished — adds that he didn't feel overweight before, but did feel "sluggish."

"Now I feel leaner, I feel more cut, I feel I have a lot more energy," he adds.

Peter Facinelli
Ben Cope

Post-slimdown, Facinelli decided to team up with The Prostate Cancer Foundation and men's customized underwear brand Nic Tailor to raise awareness for prostate cancer during the month of September.

While he didn't lose weight specifically for the fall campaign —  he calls it "good timing" — Facinelli was ready to pose in nothing but a pair of Nic Tailor underwear.

The #NicTailorNoPants social media campaign encourages men to post a selfie in their underwear and tag three other male friends on social media to call attention to prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in men behind skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.

"The goal of the campaign is to get men talking about their prostate health, something that doesn't really come easily to a lot of people, and in this kind of fun way," Facinelli says. "It doesn't have to be sexy. It could just be you and a work shirt and underwear and you [tag] three of your guy friends."

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Facinelli was inspired to take part in the campaign because both his father and uncle had prostate cancer.

"It's not a comfortable conversation for men, " he says. "It's a vulnerable thing to go to the doctor and check in on your prostate and have tests done, but it's important."

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According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.

Prostate cancer is more likely to develop in older men; about 6 in 10 cases are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older. Having one or more close relatives with prostate cancer also increases a man’s risk of developing the disease.

"As I'm getting older, I'm starting to think to myself that I need to get yearly checks," Facinelli adds. "It's not something you think about when you're younger."

"I'm hoping that this [campaign] sheds a light on it and saves some lives."