Shawn Carter Peterson started his career at a Baltimore middle school in green tights. He hit the stage for the first time during a Friends School production of Peter Pan, as Mr. Pan himself. In the years since, the actor has leapt from role to role, climbing his way up the acting ladder. On March 29, Carter Peterson will hit the big screen in The Host, alongside Saoirse Ronan and Diane Kruger.
The Host is an adaptation of a Stephenie Meyer novel, also the author of the Twilight saga. It takes place in the future when aliens have invaded Earth, trying to erase the human race. Human bodies act as hosts to parasitic alien souls, transforming them into shiny-eyed machines. The few humans left fight to stave off the aliens, while love, jealousy and anger threaten to thwart their battle. Carter Peterson, now in his thirties, plays Wes, one of the humans.
“Wes is a pretty cool character. He’s one of the guys who is always around, he’s always there to help out,” Carter Peterson says in a phone interview with Blast. “He’s a supporting character.”
The character displays his dependability in one of Carter Peterson’s favorite scenes that he shot, in which Wes and Ian (Jake Abel) rescue Kyle (Boyd Holbrook) from drowning. The producers didn’t make it easy on the cast, setting up an actual underwater river.
“It was hard! We had to really go for it, Carter Peterson says with a chuckle. “It was fun, yet stressful, yet scary, yet fun.”
Despite Meyer’s sparkling characters from Twilight, Carter Peterson says no one in this movie glitters. He does, however, hint at some pretty cool visuals.
“It was pretty awesome to see,” Carter Peterson says of the movie set. “This is big kid playtime! I felt like I was playing Star Wars.”
Rather than adding the effects in post production, the producers made the set as close to what would appear on screen as possible, including the metallic eyes of the hosts.
“We saw most of [the set]. The silver chrome cars and helicopters and motorcycles were all real,” he says. “The hosts actually wore silver contacts.”
Recently, Carter Peterson appeared on the hit television show, Castle. He played murder suspect Barry Bavetta, who has a risque alibi. The two leads, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, interrogated his character, which proved satisfying to Carter Peterson as an actor.
“We [shot the scene] ten to fifteen times but each time was different,” Carter Peterson says. “I was volleying with them and that was really fun. It made me feel like all the years of hard work were worth it. ”
In addition to movies and television, Carter Peterson directs music videos and webisodes for his company, Maestro Entertainment. He doesn’t see himself slowing down anytime soon.
“I like being able to juggle different things. One thing? I get bored doing just one thing,” he says. “I like to switch it up.”