Ryan Paevey’s latest post-General Hospital venture is a starring role in the new Hallmark film, A Little Daytime Drama. He spoke to Soap Hub about the project, working with fellow soap alums Jen Lilley and Linda Dano, and so much more.
Ryan Paevey In A Little Daytime Drama
In this new project, Ryan Paevey plays Darin, an ex-soap opera star who is lured back to his old stomping grounds by Jen Lilley’s (ex-Theresa Donovan, Days of our Lives) Maggie, the show’s head writer and Darin’s ex-girlfriend.
Soap Hub spoke to Ryan Paevey about reuniting with Lilley, working with Linda Dano (ex-Vivian Alamain, DAYS; ex-Felicia Gallant; Another World; ex-Rae, One Life to Live), who co-stars in A Little Daytime Drama, the parallels between his Hallmark character and the life he had as a cast member on General Hospital, and much more. Read on for some intriguing insights from the amicable actor.
The movie got a lot right about what it’s like to work on a daytime drama.
Ryan Paevey: I hope. Once we got on set, we were able to make a few amendments so the story would be true to form. With Jen, Linda, and myself, they had plenty of soap opera consultants.
What input were you able to give to make the film more authentic?
Mostly simple stuff. We talked about how scripts are structured. I don’t know if they were aware of the massive amounts of pages that are shot each day [on a soap opera]. We take long pauses at the end of scenes [on soaps] while we wait for the director to call cut so they can edit the scenes. We’ve all experienced things like that on sets.
There are parallels between Darin exiting his soap and you having left General Hospital.
Shooting certain scenes felt like a trip down Memory Lane, very nostalgic. We haven’t talked about a return [to General Hospital for me] so there’s actually no parallel there.
You and Jen had worked together before in the 2017 Hallmark movie Harvest Love
Yes. We almost did another movie but the timing didn’t work out. It was easy to pick up with Jen again. We actually almost worked together at General Hospital. I came on as Nathan shortly after she wrapped up her stint [when she subbed for Kirsten Storms] as Maxie.
Linda Dano was last seen on soaps when she subbed for Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain on DAYS. What was it like working with her?
Working with Linda was awesome. We took an instant liking to one another. She’s super-sharp and fun. It was just great.
Where is Darin coming from when Maggie approaches him about coming back to the show?
He’s not at peace with himself. Darin had left the soap to do a play in New York only the show closed early. He really didn’t want to come back to the show because he had stepped away to pursue a career in the theater and it was a disaster. He played to a half-empty house and some of the audience left in the middle of the show. He’s licking his wounds and his ego is severely bruised. Based on the house he’s living in, one can presume he’s had a [financially] successful career.
So, does he return because he wants to reconnect with Maggie or because he wants to work?
It’s half and half. He wants to get back to work at this place that was his home and he wants to get back with Maggie. When he goes back to the show, he’s reminded that those feelings are still there. He also wants to go back to the place where he got his start. It feels like home.
There’s a point in the movie where Maggie has the option or not of jumping in during a fan Q&A session to help and protect Darin.
That is definitely a turning point in the film. We have a few of those moments. We go from being estranged to being aligned again. Darin’s confidence isn’t really that solid. He’s grasping for a lifeline. But the question is — will he throw one to her?
What were you reminded of about your time at General Hospital by doing this film?
It reminded me of what it’s like to shoot a scene on a soap opera. Jen and Linda are powerhouses, so it was a good feeling to work with them. The whole experience felt good.
Characters in the movie acknowledge some of the unique absurdities of the genre but the story doesn’t make fun of soaps.
The film pays respects to soap operas. It does not make fun of them. A Little Daytime Drama does its best to represent soaps accurately and to treat them with respect.
Maggie gives Darin a lot to get him to come back to the show. In those scenes, I couldn’t help but wonder if General Hospital or any other show would offer you a similar deal to return to daytime.
Yeah, we haven’t really discussed [a return]. I have nothing against returning. There is a parallel there with Darin and me but, as of now, there are no plans for me to return [to General Hospital or to daytime]. That doesn’t mean there never will be.
A Little Daytime Drama premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Saturday, August 21 at 9 pm. ET. General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.