Twilight's Fang-tastic Villain: 'I Love Pain'

11/13/2008 at 12:20 PM EST

Twilight's Fang-tastic Villain: 'I Love Pain'
Talk about having a high tolerance for pain.

Twilight star Cam Gigandet was enjoying a waterskiing vacation with his family last summer when he crashed into a buoy. Injured, he continued to ski, "so my parents wouldn’t freak out," he tells the new issue of Men's Health. He even drove 18 hours back to L.A. before doctors told him he had a cracked fibula.

Ouch!

But, just like his villainous vampire character James in the upcoming movie (which opens Nov. 21), Gigandet, 26, is used to pushing through the pain – from tough workouts to career bumps.

"I love pain," Gigandet says.

Getting fired from the soap opera The Young and the Restless earlier in his career stung in a different way.

"To be let go from a soap opera is the most embarrassing confidence basher in the world. It's like, 'Oh, if I'm not good enough for that, I’m not good enough for anything," says Gigandet.

But Gigandet, who later appeared on The O.C., didn’t let his firing get him down.

"You learn that none of that stuff matters,” he says. "You keep pushing forward."

For more on Gigandet, check out the Sexy Man of the Week story in the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Nov. 14

Who's your Favorite Star Under 35? PEOPLE.com and the People's Choice Awards are counting your votes! Click here to vote now!

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