Ryan Paevey at arrivals for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Winter 2018 TCA Event, Tournament House, Pasadena, CA January 13, 2018. Photo By: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection
Credit: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection.

Not all superheroes wear capes.

Hard as it is to believe now, when Ryan Paevey first joined General Hospital back in 2013, the audience didn’t immediately embrace the actor who’d eventually become much loved as Maxie’s ill-fated husband, Nathan.

“So when I got on General Hospital, which I’m sure soap Twitter with its long memory will remind you, I wasn’t super good at it,” he revealed to Soaps.com in a recent interview. “They were so quick to remind me on a minute-by-minute, daily basis about what a terrible actor I was.” This probably isn’t completely surprising, given that he readily admits that he was greener than Kermit the Frog, having so far mostly toiled as a “construction worker/bartender, who dabbled in commercials.”

More: Paevey speaks out on Nathan recast

Although excited about his big break, Paevey told us,  “I didn’t really know what I was doing.” Fortunately, that’s where a Port Charles leading lady swooped in to save the day. As it turned out, Nathan worked at the police station, meaning his portrayer spent a lot of time alongside Finola Hughes (Anna). He thrived off of her “very calming presence” during moments when it was a struggle for him. “She’s very reassuring, especially [when] faced with someone like me,” he joked.

GH Nathan Alex Anna's sister arrest

Above: “This is how you show your appreciation?”

Credit: Chris D'Amico/JPI

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Paevey emphasized that he “wanted to do a good job” and “wanted to do right by my castmates and the people who hired me” — and to also silence his social media critics. So that’s why he appreciated Hughes’ grace and generosity in helping him succeed on the show. “She took me aside almost on a daily basis to impart something — even if it was just to say, ‘You’re doing great.’ I was really fortunate to get to start with her,” the Hallmark star recalled to us. “I don’t know if I’d have gone very far had I not. I look back in gratitude for that.”

Paevey shared more with us about coming back to General Hospital and how he would feel if Nathan was recast with another actor, plus the one acting skill he never gets called upon to use in Hallmark movies. Check out the entire interview above, then visit the gallery below where we take a stroll through Finola Hughes’ best photos as Anna Devane over the decades.