Ryan Paevey felt right at home on the set of his latest Hallmark movie, A Little Daytime Drama. During a Facebook Live event to promote the film, Paevey said it is a frighteningly accurate portrayal of the soap opera world.
“It will really give you guys almost like a primer on what a day in the life of a soap star is kind of like,” Paevey
The movie, which co-stars Jen Lilley, will debut Saturday, August 21 on Hallmark Channel, as part of the network’s Summer Nights lineup. It tells the story of soap opera writer Maggie (played by Lilley), who is tasked with asking the show’s former leading man, Darin (played by Paevey), to rejoin the cast in the hope of boosting ratings.
Maggie’s mission is particularly difficult because she wrote him out of the show after they had a nasty breakup. Darin doesn’t help matters when he tries to win Maggie back amid the chaos.
“You are going to see a little bit of my character try to rekindle something,” Paevey said. “That was pretty fun to shoot.”
Soap opera history
Both of the movie’s stars are veterans of the soap opera General Hospital. Lilley portrayed the character Maxie Jones from September 2011 to August 2012 while actress Kirsten Storms took an extended medical leave. Paevey played detective Nathan West from December 2013 to February 2018.
The two characters ended up dating, but only after Lilley had left the show and Storms was once again playing Maxie Jones.
“This kind of felt like rectifying a ships in the night moment we had on General Hospital,” Paevey said.
Because both actors had experience in the soap world, they acted as informal consultants on the film. The results were so accurate that being on set gave Paevey flashbacks to his time on General Hospital.
“It was kind of surreal,” he said. “Like life imitating art.”
Learning on the job
A native of California, Paevey was spotted and signed by a modeling agent when he was a teenager. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, he said that, after high school, he was doing a few shoots and tending bar to makes ends meet when he landed the role on General Hospital.
“My managers were like, ‘Quit your day job. You got a thing,’” he said.
Paevey said he learned about acting on the job. When his run on General Hospital came to an end, he didn’t know what he would do next. That’s when Hallmark stepped in.
The actor had appeared in the network films Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016) and Harvest Love (2017), in which he starred opposite Lilley. Hallmark offered him a contract to make more movies. A Little Daytime Drama will be his eleventh with the network.
“Hallmark has been really, really good to me,” Paevey said.
He said the network continues to grow in popularity because it gives viewers what they want.
“Hallmark is really kind of keyed into an equation that really works,” he praises. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. If repetitive and overly sweet are the worst things that can be leveled against you, I think you’re doing okay.”
A Little Daytime Drama will air Saturday, August 21 on Hallmark Channel at 9/8c.More: Hallmark Channel, Jen Lilley, Ryan Paevey