GH's Nathanyael Grey Is Nothing Like His Character Behind The Scenes

Actor Nathanyael Grey has enjoyed his bad guy role as Mason Gatlin on "General Hospital," especially as he's made a career out of playing villains and ne'er-do-wells. Back in 2016, he played Royce, the leader of a group of vampires called Nightwalkers, in "Dead South" aka "Vampire Wars." Four years later,  he starred in the film "Anonymous Killers" in which he plays Emaramus, a mysterious man who kidnaps five killers, forcing them to confront their pasts as well as decide which among them gets to live or die.

He started playing the menacing Mason on "GH" in June 2022 and completed his run in November 2023, despite the fact that the role was initially only intended to last for three episodes. As a result, Grey expected to be killed off early on, but in a November 2023 interview, he told Soap Opera Digest that executive producer Frank Valentini liked his work and wanted him to stay for a bit longer. "[Frank] told me on my fourth episode that he really liked what I did as an actor and he wanted to use me more. So I was like, 'Okay!'" 

Despite Mason doing some heinous things on screen, the actor is the complete opposite in real life. After exiting the sudser, he shared a screenshot of Mason in a November 20 Instagram post with the caption, "It was a fun ride. Mason made it out alive which is amazing to me."

Unlike Mason, Grey is a team player

Nathanyael Grey continued his Instagram post by sharing his gratitude for being on "General Hospital": "Thank you for all the love the GH family gave me. It was a privilege to work with you all. From the cast to the crew. You're all top notch." Mason's trademark prop was always having a lollipop on hand, and the actor humorously quipped, "Now do they have lollipops in jail[?]" 

On the August 10, 2023 episode, a fight broke out at the Highsider bar in Port Charles, when Mason became physical with Olivia Quartermaine (Lisa LoCicero), not taking "no" for an answer. Ned Quartermaine (Wally Kurth) intervened and a fight broke out until Carly Spencer (Laura Wright) smashed a bottle on Mason's head. LoCicero discussed the stunt work involved with Soap Opera Digest on October 9, and praised Grey for being a team player, stating that "He's a lot of fun to work with, really game, and we finessed [our interaction] a bit so that it came across believably, not like he was just some caveman at the bar." While Mason doesn't play well with others, Grey can't say the same.

On November 9, Soaps in Depth shared an article about Grey's same-day SOD interview on Instagram, and the actor responded, "I love you all. Thanks for watching." Clearly, he's a gracious fellow. If he were really Mason, he probably wouldn't have commented so politely.

He loved working on General Hospital

On an episode of the podcast Met Radio, posted in August 2023, "General Hospital" star Nathanyael Grey discussed his career and went into detail about his approach to portraying Mason Gatlin. "I tried to steer the character a certain way on how I wanted to play it, and the writers, they took to it. So, If you look at the evolution of my character, you'll see I started [as] a very heavy-handed thug and have become more nuanced as we've gone on." He felt that he would have continued on until the show killed him off or kept him as a regular, noting, "Either way, I promise you it's been a great ride."

In a November 8 Soap Opera Digest article, Grey explained that while he plays bad guys, it affects him in real life. When portraying a bully in the film, "Jack Frost" (1997), he felt bad and apologized to his scene partner repeatedly. He stated that while on the set, "I always try to be nice to everyone and when I turn on the character, it's more like going to the gym — it's just a quick rush and you just commit, and when it's over, I just jump right back into me and I'm like, 'Hi, everyone!' " He further explained that he often goofs off behind the scenes and is always smiling, unlike the ever-scowling Mason. 

Hopefully he'll return one day to further delve into Mason's past!