Soaps.com Interviews General Hospital’s Ryan Paevey on His Character and Daytime Emmy Award
“I was totally born in the wrong century.”
Soaps.com spoke with “General Hospital’s” Ryan Paevey to get his thoughts on his Daytime Emmys red carpet interview, and to dish on his character, Nathan West. The actor talks about the huge changes in Nathan’s life, the possible identity of Nathan’s father, some scoop on what’s ahead for Nathan and Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and much more. Also, find out what surprising tidbit he shared about himself, and why he says he’s a total geek.
Soaps.com: You recently attended the Daytime Emmy Awards and were interviewed on the red carpet by the social media girls. You handled yourself very professionally in light of their comments, which many found disrespectful, even unacceptable. What was that experience like and what was going through your mind?
Paevey: At the time I think my level of surprise was relatively low. I knew that they had hired some social media people who were not really hosts; I knew that the lady who was speaking to me was a Vine person. So just knowing the medium a little bit – she’s going to be a comic, she’s going to say some things – they’re going to get people’s hackles raised a little bit. I think I was surprised that the ‘r’ word [rape] flew out of her mouth a little bit, but I think it was in the spirit of joking, and while I don’t condone the topic as a subject of humor, I understood that the exchange was intended to be a humorous one. So I walked away from it, honestly, not really thinking anything of it other than, “It was an odd interview, at least it’s over, I’m going to go sit down and have dinner now.” I came to realize, obviously, the next day that it was perceived slightly differently.
Soaps.com: It was pretty controversial.
Paevey: I do think that the interviews on the red carpet were not handled professionally. Nobody really knew anything about the shows that we were on, or who we were, or anything like that. Not a single question was asked about why we were there that night. But I still enjoyed the evening. I got to spend time with the people I cared about, I liked to watch – it was my first experience; my first red carpet event. I don’t think the interview took away from the positivity of the night for me.
Soaps.com: So you’ll walk the red carpet next year?
Paevey: If they’ll have me, of course.
Soaps.com: Switching gears to “General Hospital,” are you surprised at the popularity of your character despite the complaints that there are too many characters and storylines?
Paevey: I have been surprised. When they bring you on a show obviously you’re going to keep your fingers crossed that your character is popular because that’s good for everybody. But I have been surprised at the response – it’s been really overwhelming, truthfully, both from people reaching out on social media and fan mail. So, I would say I’ve been very surprised; pleasantly so.
Soaps.com: What has it been like working with your ‘mothers’ – the talented Kathleen Gati (Dr. Obrecht) and Donna Mills (Madeline)?
Paevey: Oh they’re both awesome. When I went to the Emmys I ran into Donna Mills and I hadn’t seen her since we shot our last scene, so it was nice to get to talk to her for a little bit. I look forward to working with her again. They’re both awesome to work with; they’re both fantastic actresses. Anybody who’s watched TV in the last thirty years has probably caught Donna Mills on something and if you were watching the Nurses’ Ball you saw Kathleen Gati – that woman can act, she can sing… I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of very spectacularly talented people.
Soaps.com: So, Nathan has had quite a bit to deal with – his mother was revealed to be his aunt, which made Dr. Obrecht his mother, Britt (Kelly Thiebaud) his sister, and Nina (Michelle Stafford) his cousin. Also, he discovered it was Madeline, not Silas (Michael Easton), who put Nina in the coma. How has all of this changed him?
Paevey: I think he’s just a little dumbfounded. So much of his personal family life has just slid sideways. His sister, whose relationship with him he’s held kind of sacrosanct [is now] his cousin. I don’t know that that’s necessarily going to change the nature of their relationship; the caring is still there, but I think his level of trust in everything has been changed. His understanding and definition of his world – everything is different. People are lying to him…I think it’s going to be difficult for him to trust people, it’s going to bring some walls up a little bit. I think there’s also just that element of being dumbfounded. There are other things going on in his life right now; and these big changes he still has to process. Like we do sometimes, it’s kind of getting pushed to the back a little bit when he has to deal with his job, or the situation with his love life, or things like that. I think there’s a bit of numbness to the magnitude of these changes.
Soaps.com: It seems Nina is definitely ready to cause some trouble. Will this affect Nathan or their relationship?
Paevey: It will at some point, I’m sure, because Nina is going to cause some trouble. But Nathan doesn’t know her as that, and I think it will be a complicated reveal because in Nina’s life, Nathan is the one good thing; the untouchable thing, but she’s going to hurt him, I think. Not intentionally, but there is going to be some pain, there is going to be a reveal of betrayal and this perfect image Nathan has of Nina in his mind will change again. Another slide sideways for Nathan – this person that he thought was one thing is actually another.
Soaps.com: What about Nathan’s father. Do you think we’ll ever meet him and do you have thoughts on who his father might be?
Paevey: I think we’ll meet him. If I had to venture a guess, I would probably have to say that he’s going to be a Cassadine.
Soaps.com: Nathan was prepared to commit perjury for Maxie, that’s huge. The fans are clearly rooting for Nathan and Maxie to get together – do you see that happening anytime soon?
Paevey: On a timeline scale, I have no idea, but I think it’s going to happen eventually, of course. I think Nathan and Maxie are good for each other; I think it’s going to happen at some point, but Maxie made her decisions when she went on her Eat, Pray, Love journey around the world, a little bit of soul-searching and personal renaissance, and she’s still in that. I think Nathan is not the type to try and step into her life and make decisions for her. I think he feels confident that at some point it may happen. He feels his chances are good, but Maxie’s a grown woman and can make her own decisions. [It will happen] when it’s right.
Soaps.com: Let’s talk about Levi (Zachary Garred)…Nathan can’t stand him. It's been fun watching Nathan taunt him, but it’s become more serious what with Nathan believing he ratted him out to the judge. What would Nathan like to see happen with Levi if he had the chance?
Paevey: I think aside from the obvious distaste Nathan has for Levi, which could appear superficial, I think legitimately something tells him this guy is no good. It’s not just a jealousy over the girl thing, there’s more to it than that. He feels something is wrong with this person and we’re starting to get inklings of, you know, what was once irritating behavior is going into a whole new realm of something more serious; nefarious behavior like ratting Nathan out to the judge, sabotaging Maxie’s [case] – it’s going to legit bad guy behavior here. I think that trend is going to continue and probably intensify.
Soaps.com: If it doesn't work out with Maxie, who do you think would make a good match for Nathan?
Paevey: I have no idea, truth be told. There aren’t really a lot of free agents, if you know what I’m saying, left in Port Charles, and I’m no writer; I wouldn’t be able to write the drama. In my mind, I’m pretty cut and dry, if somebody’s not available, you know, somebody’s not available.
Soaps.com: Who would you like to work with?
Paevey: I have yet to have a scene with Lisa LoCicero (Olivia). I would love it if that could happen. I think she’s the only character on the entire show aside from Anthony Geary's (Luke) that I've not worked with.
Soaps.com: In this week’s promo, Nathan is telling Maxie her eyes are beautiful under the fireworks, and there is a car crash in which it appears Nathan was driving. What can you tell us in terms of teasers about what’s coming up?
Paevey: I can tell you that Maxie and I are going to spend a lot of time in close proximity all week – physical proximity – there will be a couple of 'oh my God' moments I’m sure. Fireworks, walks in the park, lots of eye-locking and walking close together… It will make more sense when you see it [laughs]. Spending a lot of time close together…
Soaps.com: According to your Twitter account you are an actor, adventurer, and a thinker…you also recently mentioned that you were 'off to study'. What are you studying?
Paevey: These days it’s all about acting. My 'school' school days are over. These days if I make any mention of studying it’s typically because I have a few coaches that I go to, to talk about upcoming scene work or just to stay sharp. I feel like as an actor you’re much sharper when you’re hungry, so to speak. You don’t have a job and you’re motivated to constantly improve because you need a job. When you get a job, I think it’s easier to slip into a comfort zone, and I don’t want to do that. I don’t watch myself on the show all the time, but periodically I’ll watch scenes to kind of see what I’m putting out from a content standpoint and self-diagnose a little bit. It helps to coach every so often, so if I’m studying, it’s usually so the next time you watch me on TV it’s going to be a little bit better.
Soaps.com: Do you have any other projects on the go right now, or are you just focusing on "General Hospital?"
Paevey: Just focusing on "General Hospital," and then if I have any downtime I am adventuring, which is probably what I’ll be doing all this week – I’m going to drop off the grid here for about a week. I’m going to go do a combination of backpacking, rock-climbing and kayaking in and around Lake Tahoe.
Soaps.com: Tell us something about yourself that your fans might find surprising.
Paevey: I am pathologically terrified of dancing [laughs]. That was my Kryptonite growing up. I remember the day I walked in and they told us we were going to be doing the Nurses’ Ball thing. I was like, "Oh my God, you don’t even know…" [laughs]
Soaps.com: You also like to attend Renaissance Fairs – that surprised me.
Paevey: Oh, I’m a fanatic. I’m such a geek. I go to a bunch of them a year. I love that stuff – I was totally born in the wrong century. I go all the time. Anybody who has been to any of the fairs in Southern California has probably run into me.
Soaps.com: Do you dress up in period clothing?
Paevey: Oh yeah. I have a closet in my house dedicated to my collection: swords, armor, period garb…all sorts of crazy stuff. I’ve got quite a collection. It’s funny, it sounds cool until you get over here, and then people start to see it and they’re like, "Wow you have a lot of stuff…how much money have you spent on this?" [laughs] Anyhow, whenever Halloween rolls around I never have to get a costume – I spend the whole year collecting them!
Get the full story on the Daytime Emmy Red Carpet Train Wreck and read some of the tweets from that night, and then check out Soaps.com's GH Daytime Emmys Red Carpet Interviews to find out which actress said, "Oh my gosh. I have no idea who I'm wearing."
- Candace Young