Soap Notes Q&A: Ryan Paevey Talks Marrying Mr. Darcy, General Hospital and Brooklyn Nine-Nine
WARNING: Marrying Mr. DarcyÂ and General Hospital spoilers
It’s another fairy tale ending in the books for Hallmark Channel.
Last weekend, 2.7 million viewers watched Donovan Darcy and Elizabeth Scott tie the knot in the premiere ofÂ Marrying Mr. Darcy,Â the sequel to 2016’s Unleashing Mr. Darcy.
The adorable duo withstood Aunt Violet’s machinations and moved past any misconceptions and miscommunications with each other to come together in Holy Matrimony.
In part two of our interview with Marrying Mr. Darcy‘s Ryan Paevey, the actor tells us his favorite moment from the film and talks about his decision to leave his popular daytime gig on ABC’s General Hospital. In fact, he reveals what it was like to watch his TV character â€” Det. Nathan West â€” die on screen.
TV Goodness: Why do you think Unleashing Mr. Darcy originally connected with audiences?
Paevey: Everybody likes to see the cold, cool, dark, brooding guy like Darcy melt a little bit for love. Everybody likes to see that somebody whose walls are up and has thick armor can be softened by love. And, also, we have a little bit of a Pride and Prejudice aside as well. So there was that. I think everybody likes to believe that love changes people. And I think that’s what the first one showed.
TV Goodness: What’s your favorite moment from Marrying Mr. Darcy and why?
Paevey: [Elizabeth and Donovan] get married twice in the film. The second wedding â€” Elizabeth’s version â€” was great. That was probably my favorite moment of the film. The whole film was fun but that was more in line with what I would have chosen between the two weddings. It was cool to kind of get to live that.
TV Goodness: It feels like the movie possibly set up a sequel. Would you want to do another one of these Mr. Darcy movies?
Paevey: We are definitely hoping for, you know, “Honeymoon with the Darcys.” We opened that one up. Come on, now! Some world travel. I know Hallmark’s been to Romania before. And Africa. I mean, obviously, they’ve got no qualms about traveling. Let’s do it! I’m an excellent adventurer. I don’t know about Darcy but Ryan is a really good world traveler, I’ll show him how it’s done.
TV Goodness: You’ve been gone from General Hospital for a few months now. How are you feeling about your decision to leave?
Paevey: Life’s never been better. It was always the decision to leave. From the day I signed. I love what General Hospital brought into my life. It taught me a lot. I knew nothing when I stepped foot on that stage. I was as green as you could possibly get. I didn’t even know what the word “downstage” meant. It taught me everything. And I will forever be grateful to it for that.
I met some great people there, many of whom I’m still in communication with. Many of whom I still hang out with. But, we had our time together and our time together has come to a close and that’s okay. That’s life.
TV Goodness: Did you watch the day that Nathan died?
Paevey: I watched everything. I watched the entire death arc.
â€” General Hospital (@GeneralHospital) February 5, 2018
TV Goodness: What was it like for you to watch it?
Paevey: Truth be told, it’s the only time I ever watched the show, was my death. Not really to watch my performance. I was really blown away by how the show mobilized everybody on the canvas, to accomplish my exit.
To be candid, Nathan was not a major character on the show. I was 50% of a couple that everybody really loved. But as a standalone character, I didn’t really bring anything to the table. I took off my shirt a lot. I stood there a lot. I got a bunch of nicknames on Twitter like “Robocop” and “The Tree” and “Woodpile.” Because I’m wooden. I just kind of stand there. I wasn’t often given a ton of stuff.
My contribution to the show was…I was part of “Naxie [Maxie and Nathan’s supercouple name].” I was part of this couple and everybody really responded to Naxie. But I didn’t feel like I was much of anything on my own. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’m not bitter. I’m not s–tblocking the writers or anything like that.
I just mean that when it came time to accomplish my exit, I wasn’t expecting this grandiose machination that was set in the motion where almost every contract character, many of whom are decades-or-more veterans, were mobilized to accomplish my departure, you know?
And the actors who play them, the performances that they gave, were mind-blowing. Everybody brought their A-game. It really blew me out of the water. It really did. I was quite taken aback. Not just in terms of the pages that were delivered. But what everybody did when they got on stage.
I’m not trying to be presumptuous and saying that they did it for me. I just happen to be the lucky beneficiary of what I thought were spectacular performances by really talented actors, really talented artists. And those performances happened to be surrounding my departure and my character and it really gave me a hero’s send-off that I feel a little bit undeserving of but lucky to have received.
TV Goodness: Maxie just had her and Nathan’s baby (James Malcolm West). What are your thoughts on that? I know you tweeted some thoughts.
Welcome to the world, little one….itâ€™s a scary place sometimes, and i so wish i could have been there to show you all the good stuff. Your mother loves you,and will take care of you and teach you….watch out for her her for me will ya? pic.twitter.com/tbtS5z1rNa
â€” Ryan Paevey (@RyanPaevey) May 22, 2018
Paevey: And those are my thoughts. You know, I love kids. I hope one day I have buckets of them. But in the meantime, I sent some words to my son and I’m happy. I always wanted a boy, anyways. Actually, I want one of each. I want a boy and a girl. I think there’s a unique set of experiences that go along with parenting both and I want it all.
TV Goodness: Speaking of experiences, let’s talk about your recent guest star appearance on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Paevey: I was there for a whole six seconds. (laughs)
TV Goodness: Did you shoot more than that, or was that the whole thing?
Paevey: No, no, no…you know, I laugh about all this stuff. A lot of people don’t understand how things in Hollywood work. There are a handful of showrunners (series regulars) on the show and then everybody else is a guest star or an extra. One of the two. If you get to speak, you’re a guest star.
On a show like that, that success is largely contingent on the personalities of the showrunners…if you’re in a scene with them, don’t expect to be there very long. Don’t expect to talk very much. It’s just not how it works.
I almost laughed my ass off when I first tweeted. I was like, yeah, I booked a guest star on yadda yadda. And everybody was like ‘Oh my god, congratulations on your new role!’ And I was just like, I’m gonna stop you right there. It’s not a new role. And in all likelihood, I’ll probably have five lines or less and be on screen for less than ten seconds.
That being said, It was super fun. I got to hang out with Joe Lo Truglio (Det. Charles Boyer) a little bit in between shooting stuff.
He was awesome. Made me feel super welcome. Super funny guy. Down to earth. Great guy. And I had a blast.
I’m not whiny or anything like that that. I was on the show so briefly. At this point, I’m five years, a little over five years deep. I knew what it was going to be. And I was stoked to get a chance to do something. Unfortunately, I played the serious guy again. I seem to do that a lot. I seem to be the serious guy.
TV Goodness: Why do you think that is?
Paevey: I don’t know! I’m kind of a smart ass in real life. In this town, you take the work that you get, if that’s what they want to hire you to do…I’m not at a point yet where I can really say no to a lot of stuff. If you want to hire me to do that? You know what? Why not?
TV Goodness: That’s a great credit to have on your resume, regardless.
Paevey: It was just cool to be part of a different machine. It was nice because it was my first audition after leaving General Hospital.
TV Goodness: You also have a website called Fortunate Wanderer. What’s it all about and how does it satisfy you creatively?
Paevey: I grew up in construction. My whole life I’ve always worked with my hands. I’ve always been someone who works in the physical realm. Acting is relatively new to me. Like I said, when I got on GH I was as green as you can possibly get.
My last job before that, aside from nighttime bartending gigs, was a shop job where I made copper manifolds for a radiant, heating and air conditioning company. I was a torch man. I used to stay in the back of the shop with a blow-torch. An oxy-assembling torch and a s–tload of copper, listen to classic rock all day and make manifolds and eat burritos. I like working in the tangible physical realm.
And so I got on this soap and I was kind of auto-piloting there for a while. It’s a cushy gig, once you get the hang of it. It’s easy for me because I’ve always kind of been a nerd. I don’t know about the acting part but I can memorize the hell out of some stuff so…that made me well-suited to soaps.
That was what kept me from getting fired in the beginning. And then once I found my paces, I found myself with all this downtime and wanting to work with my hands again. So I started making arts and crafts and stuff like that to bring to meet-and-greet fan events for the show, as gifts. Posting it on my social media, the word kind of got around.
Lo and behold, I kept doing it and I started a website, started selling it, and a year-and-a-half later it’s become a pretty successful business. I think my skills have increased quite a bit since I first started doing it. I made some stuff this past weekend that I’m really proud of. I really enjoy doing it. It’s part art therapy â€” it’s more of a therapeutic exercise than a business for me.
I never considered myself an artist growing up. And I’m still relatively reluctant to apply that word to myself now. But the more I press into that, the more I feel it opens up and activates part of my brain that I never worked before. And I think that working this stuff creatively benefits me in my other creative endeavors. I think that making these things can make me a better actor. The more time you spend working in a creative fashion, the easier it becomes to create.
Marrying Mr. Darcy repeats on Hallmark Channel all month long including Saturday afternoon, June 9 at 5/4c.
Paevey’s season five episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine — “Show Me Going” â€” can be found on Hulu.
And make sure to head over to his Fortunate Wanderer website for more info on his jewelry and gear.
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