Interview With Actor Paul Greene, “When Calls the Heart”

By Ruth on February 18, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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A little over six months ago, I had the distinct privilege and honor of interviewing one of the top leading men in the Hallmark network, and that interview has reigned at or near the top of my posts on this site for almost all that time. I always look at Paul’s interview from this past summer as a sort of game changer, and I’ve never forgotten his graciousness, his easygoing style, nor his phenomenal charity work. When I learned that he joined the cast of When Calls the Heart for season four, I’ll be honest–I was certain I was misinformed. The man who almost bears the moniker “Mr. Hallmark” himself was now on one of the top fan-rated shows! Recently, he agreed to yet another interview with me, and having the supreme opportunity to chat with one of my favorite people on the planet yet again was almost like a dream come true.

RH: So nice to get the chance to talk with you again, Paul.

PG: Glad to have the opportunity. Thanks for reaching out.

A lot of the questions, of course, are about When Calls the Heart. The fans are very happy that you joined the cast. Are you able to tell us how many episodes your character will be on?

No, I’m not ’cause that blows the whole suspense of the entire season. If I tell, it will ruin the whole story. In fact, if people know how many episodes my character is on, it will get rid of the plot.

So is there anything you can tell us about your character?

I’m trying to think if there’s anything I can share that I haven’t already shared. I know it’s really lame because that’s what everyone wants to know. Trust me, the fans really don’t want to know about my character. If they do know, it’s like sugar. It might feel good for a moment, but afterwards, you’re going to feel crappy. If I share, it just interrupts too much of the good story that is coming. But my character does have quite a past, and when my character comes to town, the people don’t know what my story is. Am I good? Am I bad? A typical character that might come into Hope Valley at first. The people start wondering, “What’s going on? Who is this person?” And I have to say that the writers gave my character, Carson, a really fantastic story to draw from and work with. It’s really complicated and interesting–my backstory and why I end up in this town and what I end up doing in town. It’s definitely a surprise. It’s not your normal, “Is he a good guy or a bad guy?”  There a lot more to it.

It sounds like your character will add a lot to the story and the show. So you’re a man of mystery. We’ll figure it out. We’ll enjoy the process.

{laughs} Where my character starts and where he ends–the journey that I go on–is really quite an arc. I got in and worked with the producers, and I asked them to let me stay in the beginning place for awhile so we could really build the arc. Sometimes you get a character and you just have to design your arc and decide for yourself when you start to reveal everything. There’s an arc in this character that’s really nice. In other words, I really journey somewhere. {laughs} Some characters come on and stay in the same place in a lot of shows, and those are often the very forgettable characters. I’m really grateful that I have a huge arc. And some very high stakes things that I get to do that affect a lot of people.

So how did you end up joining the cast of When Calls the Heart? Had you watched the show?

Yeah, a few episodes. And my girlfriend watched it some. I had known about it because I know Erin {Krakow} from all the TCA’s. And I went to a taping of Fuller House because I know Candace {Cameron Bure}, and I met Lori {Loughlin} while I was there, and instantly, we hit it off. It was super awesome. And she and Candace are close friends. Daniel {Lissing} knew my girlfriend from Australia. There was a lot of synchronicity.

The writer of the book series, Janette Oke, is from the exact town that my grandma is from. They knew each other, and they know each other’s families. When I saw Janette at the Hearties Reunion, she asked, “What’s your last name?” I said, “Well, it’s Greene.” And she asked, “Did you know Wilfred?” So I found out she knew my grandpa and my grandma. That whole area of Champion where she’s from is where all of my family is from. She came into many of my aunt’s and great-aunt’s homes for these Christian book clubs. Knowing I was gonna be on the show, my grandma started rereading all of the books. Janette Oke has written at least seventy-five books. Janette Oke is a big star there in the southern area of Alberta. It was quite a serendipitous thing when I met her.

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KWIK KWOTES

From the Fans

Sharon Dorris: “Paul is my favorite hallmark actor.”

Elisabeth Pierce: “It was such a privilege to meet you at #HFR2 I didn’t get to talk with you long,but the time I did get you were a true gentleman and so nice to talk to. Love all the projects you’ve done with Hallmark and nervous,but looking forward to see who Carson Shephard is and how he fits in Hope Valley.”

 

Lisa Viera Colangelo: “Paul Greene has been so gracious with his fans on social media. We truly appreciate it. 💕”

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Speaking of the Hearties reunion, so many of the Hearties wanted me to be sure to tell you “hi” and how much they enjoyed meeting you there. What was that experience with the fans like?

It was really comforting. They reminded me of my family. They had so much personality and spirit that reminded me of my family. I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and Touched By an Angel, which is surprising because this show is very similar to those in its intention. I was surprised that were so many fans from so many different parts of the world. Some people made some incredible sacrifices to get there. I thought it was managed really well. We got a short time with people, but it’s a lot of people to go through–around five hundred. It was so cool. People were so supportive of me even though I haven’t been on the show yet. Some people had green shirts that read “Team Carson.”  I got welcomed very well.

Of course, there was the odd severe warning to stay away from Elizabeth, which I found quite funny. More than one person said, “Paul, stay away from Elizabeth.” I made it clear that we can only do what the writers tell us to do. Paul or Carson has very little to say about whether he stays away from Elizabeth or not. We follow the story. I’ve never experienced direct contact with fans that are so committed to a storyline. They were giving my character warnings and advice about the direction he should take in Hope Valley. Everyone on the show is very much aware that these fans are a big part of the reason the show continues. It’s because of them. It’s feels like a partnership with them. I’ve never experienced that on any other show. Not one that is this organized into a group. You might get a bunch of different letters or such, but not in a group like this.  And I think the way that the Hearties have organized themselves is really powerful and it’s a huge part of what keeps the show going. My experience with them was great. They really welcomed me into the show without even knowing if I’m good or bad or if I was going to tear things up. At least eighty-five percent of the fans I met had seen all the Hallmark movies I’d been in. And that was really neat too. To meet some of the fans that I had talked to about the movies and to get to see the crossover fans for the show.

And you just finished filming a Hallmark film, correct?

Yes, I did. It took us a little bit to convince Hallmark to let Danica McKellear and I do another movie together. We were like, “Hey, I’ve done three since doing one with her.” And then we tried to go back to some of the film noir stuff and say, “Cary Grant did two with…uh…” we were trying to go back and tell them every couple who worked together and how many times they worked together back in the day. And we said that fans loved our last movie together, so maybe they would like to see us together again. It was so great to be with Danica again. We’re good friends, and to be working together for three weeks on the same project was great. It’s such a cool story. They didn’t expect it to be snowing. It’s gonna come out for Spring Fling, but there was so much snow. It was very cold and very long twelve-hour days outside. That’s for sure.

In this movie, which is now called Campfire Kiss, Ali Skovbye played my daughter, which was awesome. I haven’t had a daughter yet on any of these Hallmark movies. In fact, this is my first child. It was just terrific. Ali and I get on really well. We have the same kind of humor, and it was a blast working with her. The movie deals with a lot of normal issues with teens. In the movie, my character is going through a divorce. So there are a lot of topics in this film that are going to be helpful for people going through divorce and how it affects the kids. There are some really great moments. And there’s a little bit of math with Danica. She helps my daughter who is struggling with math. Danica has a math book coming out around the same time. It is cool. It is all outside camping. Most of it is shot at night in the woods. Our DP/cinematographer, Kamal Derkaoui, does such beautiful work. He is absolutely amazing. We had the best time, and this movie is supposed to be coming out the end of March.

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KWIK KWOTES

From the Fans

Karla Mees: Paul Greene is a true gentleman.

 

Michele DeRose Mick: “Thank you, I had a great time meeting Paul.”

 

Lori Pearson: “Thank you, Paul Greene, for coming to the Hearties Family Reunion in December and hanging out with all us Hearties! You definitely have us intrigued about your character, Carson!”

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In addition to what we’ve discussed, do you have any other upcoming works you can mention?

No, not really. I recently met with a major studio to talk about their future projects. That’s always exciting. It’s more to talk about what they have and see if I fit. Those are great meetings. You get to meet with the executives, and it’s so they can put a name with a face. That way, when the shows come up, they might remember you and contact you for a role. It’s also pilot season.

I do have another film coming out. It’s an independent film, but they’re trying to sell it. And that one’s called An Inherited Life. That was a really great one. That one was with Heather McComb, and a lot of people know Heather. She was on Party of Five, the one Lacey {Chabert} was on. All these girls know each other. I have been so blessed and so fortunate to work with these women. They all know each other from being on television when they were kids. Like Lacey and Danica and Candace and Heather McComb. They all know each other. And they were all on TV when they were adolescents and teenagers. And I get the chance to work with all of them. It’s super cool.

A few of the fans keep noticing these music videos you’re posting, and they wanted me to be sure to ask about what musicians have influenced you the most.

I’m glad you brought that up. I am working with the post-production team and the composer of Campfire Kiss for a song I wrote to be included in the movie. It’s not a hundred percent certain that it will be in the movie, but it’s ninety percent that it will be. If it’s in the movie, I will be performing it, which is amazing. So there’s a good chance that this song will play over two of the scenes at a pretty defining moment of the film. I’m really excited. I wrote it just for that part of the movie.

I have always played music.  I played guitar and trombone early on, and I didn’t like them at all. And then I found the drums. I loved the drums. I went crazy with the drums. I played for around fifteen years. Then I met a girl who played guitar, and I had a crush on her. I was like eighteen years old. She taught me guitar. Funny story. This girl is also the girl that brought me a Bible when I was eighteen and that turned my life on a different path for the majority of my twenties. It was a big, defining moment. So I started learning all the worship songs from church. And then I started learning all the songs that I liked. I had an amazing guitar teacher in New York–like amazing–who taught me the most incredible music theory, and I fell in love with it. At a summer camp a few years later, I sat at a piano and music theory made so much sense. This piano player sat next to me and showed me the basic 1/3/5 and 1/4/5 chords, and it just made sense to my fingers. I was blown away. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I can play piano?” And it felt like in a weekend I was playing almost all the songs I loved.

My influences growing up were Johnny Cash. We really only listened to Christian music at home. So I listened to {Jimmy} Swaggart and all these old gospel singers. And Kenny Rogers. Country and gospel is what I heard growing up. I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything else.  But then once I got my own musical taste, I really fell in love with U-2 and stuff like that. And now I listen to everything. I’m a big Bob Dylan fan and I like the Beatles too. I like to try to learn all their stuff. And I write my own stuff too, but I’ve been in a phase of learning how to play some of my favorite songs. It’s been great.

I’ve just recently had a huge re-bursting of love for my guitar and piano. I got my piano tuned the other day. I hope to do more composing. And now I could be in When Calls the Heart in my trailer composing because I have a portable keyboard, and it’s such high quality. You could make it album quality. I could do it in my car. That’s how great technology is for recording. I see myself ten years from now having at least several albums and having scored several films. I like the idea of being completely fully in music as well as acting.  Music is as much my love as acting is. Performing for a small group of like twenty…I hope there’s an opportunity where I can a get a group of Hearties together, get my guitar and play to twenty to fifty to a hundred people or so and play a couple of my songs and some gospel they would all know and then take a couple of requests. I think that would be great. I think we have to make that happen somehow.

Wow. I’m sure the Hearties would love that.

{laughs} It would have to be at the Hearties Reunion, and they could book a little side room for some music time. And then we’d get Jack Wagner to come in and do a few too. I’ll talk to Brian {Bird} about that.

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KWIK KWOTES

From the fans

Ellen Pretorius: “Hello Paul Greene, all the way from the Emerald (green 😜) Isles!”

Nancy Kelchlin: “Paul Greene has heart and class, and is a true gentleman. From jumping right in and engaging with Hearties on social media, to taking time to spend with fans at HFR2 (even though he is a brand new character) …Paul has quickly become a pot-stirrer and Heartie fan-favorite. Welcome “Carson Shepard” to WCTH! 😊”

Renee Chin Hatfield: “Wow! Awesome! Paul thank you for all your wonderful Hallmark movies with Great actresses! Danica, Lacey, Candance to name a few actresses.on the Hallmark . Welcome from the Hearties to our favorite show.”

Carol Tolentino: “OH I LOVE PAUL GREENE I SAW ALL HIS MOVIES. LOVE LOVE LOVE HIM.”

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You’ve done a few fundraising events for ALS. Are there any fundraising events in the works for that?

You’re so awesome. Your segues are perfect. We’re doing a show down in Phoenix. My brother is leading it, but I’m helping him get some star power for the event. Danica and Candace are helping with that one too. I think that one will be in May. And there will be an online component so people can donate a little or check out the amazing art. My brother is such an incredible painter, and he’ll be selling a lot of his originals. Also, other great artists are going to donate their art to him for the show. And some the fundraising money will be sent to the lab in Boston, where they are doing precision medicine in hopes to find a cure for ALS, and some of it is going to the Arizona chapter of ALS Foundation. What’s so interesting is that art is becoming a big part of my life since my brother is an artist, and the art world is making a difference by raising money to find a cure for this disease. Which is beautiful. Thank you for asking. For more information on my brother and his work, be sure to check him out on Facebook. I am not putting this one on. I am just helping this time. I’m his media/publicist/celebrity liaison.

Here in LA I volunteer with the Greater Hollywood Food Coalition. I like to help out when I can. Sometimes I serve food, and sometimes I cook in the kitchen and help make the big soup that feeds a hundred and twenty people. I like to go every Friday when I’m in town, and my son, Oliver, goes too. They’re a really cool organization, and every day they feed a hundred and fifty homeless, and it’s really awesome food. From the time my son was five, he was in there with me. He got his knife skills up, and I have a video of him at seven years old chopping romaine lettuce, I think. It taught him really early on to serve and to even deal with the fear. Sometimes there are some pretty scary-looking, intense faces. Some are on drugs, and it’s pretty intense. I don’t take him to the line that much, but the kitchen is safe. But when he does see these people, he deals with it, and it just breaks his heart.  He wants to give them all a bed and a pillow. I work with them in addition to ALS.net.

It truly boggles my mind how much territory Paul and I always cover in his interviews. I’ve learned enough about him to know what things he is passionate about, and it is wonderful that he takes the time to thank me for directing the conversation towards those things that mean the most to him. What he doesn’t know is that one of my friends (Kathy Helms) attended the Hearties Reunion, and when she told me that upon mentioning my name to him, he knew who he was and to say “hi,” he absolutely made my day (maybe my whole week). 

I’ve easily interviewed close to two hundred industry professionals at this point in my fledgling career, and while I always do manage to find a connection with each and every person I interview, Paul is one of those people who makes my job practically effortless. He takes an active interest in me and where I am in the world. In fact, we were having so much fun discussing our kids (who are about the same age) that I had to remind myself that this was an interview, not a social visit. Now, it’s true that Paul is incredibly handsome, but I see so much more when I interact with him. Paul is one of those unpretentious actors who never seeks to draw attention to himself, and he is vigilant to highlight those with whom he works. (He would not rest until he found the name of the DP who worked on Campfire Kiss and he was affably insistent that I make mention of the amazing work that man does.) Paul interacts with his fans regularly, but he is one who wishes to know them on an authentic level rather than merely a superficial level. While that is not always possible due to time constraints, those who have interacted with him either online or offline are aware of just how special he makes each person feel just by his being himself. I believe his mind is consistently active concocting novel ideas for songs, movies, shows, and more. He immerses himself in every role with which he is entrusted, but he makes time for humanity which we observe in the charities he actively supports. I will forever be grateful to him for introducing me to the life and work of Rob Stewart, an amazing filmmaker/environmentalist whose project I supported because of Paul’s activism on his behalf. When his friend met an untimely end, my heart broke for the family and for Paul.

Be sure that you check out all of Paul’s links below, and I recommend following him on social media as Paul invariably posts about amazing projects, people, topics, and, of course, his current and upcoming works. Additionally, I invite you Sunday, February 19th, to tune into the Hallmark Channel and see if we happen to catch a glimpse of Paul’s character on the premiere of When Calls the Heart

FOLLOW PAUL

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BE SURE TO TUNE IN ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH, FOR THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF WHEN CALLS THE HEART ON THE HALLMARK CHANNEL AND WATCH OUT FOR PAUL AS CARSON!

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

3 Comments

  1. Amy Lama February 18, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for bringing us another fantastic interview! The more I learn about this man, the more I like, respect, and admire him. I am so intrigued and excited about his character on WCTH! I love a good character arc.

    • Author
      Ruth February 19, 2017 Reply

      Isn’t that the truth? Thanks for adding your comment to this Amy!

  2. Shanaine March 3, 2017 Reply

    Hi Ruth! The interview you did with him was overwhelming! It gave me more delight to know all those stuff about him. It makes me so happy to know that he grew up listening to gospel hymns and I really hope he’s a Christian in its truest sense. The more I get to know him, the more I admire the man. May he serve his purpose for which God calls him. God bless him. Thank you Ruth once again for bringing Paul to us closer through your interviews. 😊 Kudos to Paul for all the good works and intentions he is into. Kudos to you too.

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