Detective Nathan West is turning in his badge. His portrayer, Ryan Paevey, is leaving General Hospital — and in this exclusive interview he tells us why.
The actor says it was always his plan to stay for four years and then move on.
“My contract came up,” Paevey explains. “There are other avenues I want to explore. It’s an amicable parting. Our time together has run its course.”
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He’s exiting Port Charles with nothing but gratitude. “I will forever be grateful for my time at GH, what it brought into my life, and what it taught me. It has opened my eyes to a whole new world.”
Paevey says he’s especially grateful to Frank Valentini, executive producer, and Mark Teschner, casting director, for “seeing something in me. Once I was on board, Kirsten [Storms, Maxie] was great in buoying me. Finola [Hughes, Anna] really took me under her wing and helped me learn the fundamentals.
“GH was my very first acting credit ever,” he continues. “It was my first time on a set. I had my own dressing room and I knew the security people. I had my own parking space! I got a taste of the life and worked with creative people daily.”
The actor’s decision to leave, he says, is part leap of faith given he doesn’t have much lined up outside of a sequel to his Hallmark movie Unleashing Mr. Darcy.
“I’m going out into the wild blue yonder,” he says, “I have to try.”
The actor’s been taking stage combat classes the last few years and says his dream role would be to play a Marvel superhero. He realizes anything is possible — including a return to GH.
“Michael Easton was Silas Clay when I first came on the show. Now, he’s Dr. Hamilton Finn. I’ve seen people come back!”
The actor wants to thank his fans for “supporting a newcomer like myself, who had a learning curve [ahead of him].”
A chuckling Paevey adds, “Not that I’m claiming any mastery now! I came into a world where I had no experience. There was such an outpouring of support from the fans. I don’t know that I’d be able to have done this without some semblance of support.”
Paevey takes with him many skills. “I’m comfortable on a set and with cameras. I know how to take direction. I know what ‘downstage’ is.”
Now that he’s wrapped, the actor has no intention of taking a vacation, but instead he wants to be ready for new opportunities. “I want to hit the ground running.”
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check local listings for airtimes.