Worked as a dock worker in San Pedro, California prior to getting his "big break".
Attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Worked as Domino's delivery boy while at Macalaster.
Peter grew up in Chappaqua, New York and attended a private high school in Watertown, Connecticut.
Is a second cousin of writer Buzz Bissinger, who wrote the book Friday Night Lights (Peter later directed the film based on the book). Buzz's paternal grandmother, Gertrude Louise Winkler, and Peter's maternal grandfather, Robert Eli Winkler, were siblings.
Appeared in local theater productions while attending college in Minnesota.
Moved to Los Angeles in 1985.
Attended the Guthrie Theater Drama School, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He and three others were ambushed and robbed in the Brazilian jungle while doing research for The Rundown (2003). They were held for 15 minutes and lost cash and a laptop computer. Nobody was injured.
His best friend and roommate from Macalester College, is his agent, Ari Emanuel, inspiration for Entourage (2004)'s "Ari Gold".
One of 115 people invited to join AMPAS in 2007.
Guest-starred in a two part Alias (2001), episode where he played Jennifer Garner's ex-boyfriend. Based on this experience, he decided to cast and direct her in The Kingdom (2007).