Peter is the son of an American mother and English father. He was brought up for the first few years in Botswana before moving to the USA where his father attended Indiana University to train as an opera singer. After his parents divorced in 1981 he lived in Tennessee with his mother but later joined his father in Scotland. He returned to the USA for a period but in 1990 went to live with his father and step mother in London. He attended Mill Hill, a private school in north London and completed his education to sixth form in 1998. Deciding to take a "gap year" in order to follow his desire for an acting career he was successful in breaking into TV commercials and thereafter followed his first steps into the movie business.