Ryan Paevey talks Christmas Movie Home & Family Hallmark
Credit: Hallmark

“I don’t think fans realize the power that they wield.”

General Hospital fans will be forgiven if they find themselves hoping that life will imitate art while watching Ryan Paevey’s new Hallmark flick, A Little Daytime Drama. After all, the plot of the movie — airing Saturday, August 21, at 9/8c — revolves around a soap trying desperately to lure back into the fold a handsome actor it now regrets having let go.

“Darin was a major player on Forever Is a Long, Long Time,” says Paevey of his character. “He left to pursue a career in theater and on the stage, and it’s been disastrous. People are getting up and leaving in the middle of the show, so he’s sort of licking his wounds.” Enter the soap’s headwriter, Maggie (played by Days of Our Lives’ former Theresa, Jen Lilley), who has been tasked with convincing Darin he should return to the soap.

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“The ratings took a huge dip after I left,” previews Paevey. “So despite the fact that Maggie and I were once involved, she somewhat reluctantly agrees to try persuading me.” The rest, as they say, is history. And if this sounds like something that could unfold in the real world of daytime television, that’s definitely by design.

a little daytime drama event ryan paevey and jen lilley hallmark

Above: “She brings a great energy to the set,” says Paevey of leading lady Lilley. “Working with her is always a blast.”

Credit: Allister Foster/Crown Media

“They actually used Jen, myself and Linda Dano — who of course outranks us all when it comes to daytime, because she’s done so many shows — as sort of consultants,” he reveals. “They wanted to make things as accurate as possible, so they would check with us before filming. ‘Is this what the scripts look like? Is this how things are done? How may pages a day do you shoot?’”

The plot itself is, of course, not an unfamiliar story to soap fans, who’ve seen many an actor leave a show only to return down the line. Could Paevey see himself returning to General Hospital, whether as a not-as-dead-as-believed Nathan or another character? “I mean, that’s something that we would have to discuss,” he says coyly. “You know, my life has changed quite a bit since I left, and it would be tricky to balance everything out.”

GH Maxie Nathan ryan storms

Above: Given how swoon-worthy Nathan was, it’s not surprising his portrayer has become one of Hallmark’s go-to leading men.

Credit: Sean Smith/JPI

That said, he’s not opposed to the idea. “We don’t have any plans at present, but I’m always open to work,” he admits. “I don’t know if anybody’s picked up on this yet, but I a little bit of a workhorse. I don’t sit still very well.”

One thing that might make the prospect of returning even more appealing? If Nathan were to be given a little room to grow. “I laugh about this a lot, because usually on soaps, you have a good guy, but there was that one time he maybe murdered somebody or cheated on his wife. Everybody has a bit of a checkered past. But Nathan was just kind of a good, nice guy.”

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While in the real world being a nice guy is something to strive for, Paevey says that playing a character like Nathan is “kind of single-faceted. You’ve got to have a little something in there to mix it up a bit.”

One thing he’s appreciative of is the fans who have followed his career and continue to show their support. “I don’t know if they realize the power that they wield. But if you don’t watch what we do for a living, we don’t get to do it for a living anymore. I care about what I do. I don’t know if I’m any good at it, but I know that I try really hard. Not a day goes by that I don’t look around on a film set and think, ‘I can’t believe this is what I get to do for a living.’ And that’s because of fans.”

As we contemplate the various ways in which Paevey could be brought back to Port Charles, why not peruse the below photo gallery in which we discuss a slew of other General Hospital characters who, like Nathan, should never have been killed.