What Ryan Paevey Loves About Working With Hallmark

"It's happy programming," said Ryan Paevey when asked by Just Jared why he loves working with the Hallmark Channel. This simple three-word response, though, is not his final thought on a subject near to his heart. Paevey, who has regrets about his modeling days, showed unexpected depth when he explained exactly why uplifting stories are important and inspire him. 

The actor, born on September 24, 1984, is well-known for his work on the perennial soap opera, "General Hospital." Yet he's also made more than a dozen movies with the 24-hour cable TV network owned by the greeting card company. Such a long and enduring alliance means he fully understands how the channel is viewed by others, both critics and fans alike. 

"You get some people who accuse the network of being a little bit repetitive, and perhaps there's a seed of truth to that. But I don't think that's the worst thing in the world to be accused of if the thing that you're repeating is happy endings," Paevey stated.

Hallmark ending?

Ironically, Hollywood is seemingly no longer the place for a true Hollywood ending, observed Paevey. "There's lots of stuff that you can watch in Hollywood, and I watch it. We all watch it. Action movies where stuff blows up, and there's gun fights, and there's knife fights, and there's all that action stuff. Then, there's dramas where people get sick, or they cheat, or they die. There's lots of that. There's plenty of that in Hollywood."

The search for something different and less common is what drives Paevey's passion for the alternative "happy" sensibility featured in his movies. 

As described on the Hallmark Channel website, "Harvest Love," co-stars Jen Lilley as a widowed surgeon wanting to revive her relationship with her young son by visiting her family's pear orchard. There she meets the farm manager, played by Paevey, who teaches the struggling-to-relate surgeon that real connection and true intimacy can be found in an unexpected yet familiar place. Another film, "Unleashing Mr. Darcy," stars Elizabeth Scott as a participant in a professional New York dog show. She fears her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will not be well-received by the rude competition judge played by Paevey. Despite early misunderstandings, the unlikely pair eventually discover each other's true nature and find their own passion unleashed.   

A necessary dose of happy

Clearly, wistful romantic movies are Ryan Paevey's bread and butter as an actor. Though his other career might surprise you, he takes pride in wearing his heart on his sleeve for the Hallmark Channel. "It's cool to tell those stories, especially during a time when people could use a little extra dose of happy," said Paevey.

In fact, the former music video actor believes that it's "really rare" to find a network whose specialty is the opposite of all the unhappy stuff found in more typical Hollywood movies where plots revolve around scenes of violence, anger, and misery. "Hallmark provides a species of programming that I think is kind of necessary on the entertainment landscape," he explained. "You don't have to worry — nothing happens to the dog. The kid doesn't get sick. The two people that you're kind of rooting for to get together, they're going to get together." 

Uplifting stories with positive outcomes must come naturally to a network whose parent company evolved from a tiny business venture started in 1910 by a hopeful, teenage entrepreneur. At age 18, J. C. Hall left school and traveled from Nebraska to Kansas City, Missouri, with not much more than a couple boxes of postcards and grit. Hallmark Cards, Inc. continues in this joyful spirit, with family members on its board of directors, and more than 20,000 employees worldwide producing billions in annual revenues through greeting cards, Crayola crayons, real estate development, and, of course, movies starring Ryan Paevey.