Recently I had the pleasure of crossing paths with Hallmark actor Paul Greene when he was in New York City for a holiday performance at Carnegie Hall (see previous post here). From that chance meeting, I got the opportunity to interview Paul—and I took it!
It will come as no surprise to fans that Paul is gracious and quick to credit a community of people who have helped him establish himself, including luminaries in the entertainment industry such as Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette) and David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal, and Big Little Lies), who gave him his first big breaks in a film called Somewhere (Coppola) and on the television shows The Wedding Bells and Harry’s Law (Kelley). “Along this journey here [there have been] so many people who have believed in me,” Paul shared. “There have been these angels along the way that have really guided my career.”
It was while Paul was on the television show Bitten that Hallmark executive Bart Fisher noticed him and offered him his first Hallmark movie role in Perfect Match, starring Danica McKellar and directed by Ron Oliver. When Paul was cast, Oliver told him, “You’re my Everyman,” and gifted him a bunch of Cary Grant movies to watch and study.
Since Paul’s first Hallmark movie in 2015, the network has been keeping him busy, pairing him with all its reigning queens. In addition to Danica McKellar (Perfect Match and Campfire Kiss), Paul has starred opposite Candace Cameron Bure (A Christmas Detour), Lacey Chabert (A Wish for Christmas), Rachel Boston (Christmas in Angel Falls), Maggie Lawson (My Favorite Wedding and Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy), and Erika Christensen (Anything for Love).
Despite his success with Hallmark, Paul highlighted that throughout his acting career, he has auditioned for close to 600 roles and had a total of only 45 yeses. “I feel so blessed, but the road to getting here is filled with so many failures,” he said. “[But] without failures, there is no success for me. So many rejections and trials along the way that easily could have taken me out of the journey, easily, but I kept going and kept going.” Paul is grateful for his journey because he believes it allows him to appreciate success more deeply and compels him to offer help to others when they need it.
Thinking about others was instilled in Paul by his parents at a young age and is a driving force in how he organizes his life. He adheres to the tithing principle, which in scripture encourages reserving resources for God’s work. Paul has always set aside 10 percent of his income for giving. “Whether I have a lot or I have a little, no matter what, I have a percentage that goes to charity, and I get to choose the charity, which is so fun.”
When times are good, this principle is easy to adhere to, but the lesson Paul’s father taught him is that when times are tight, it is even more important to tithe. When he was a young teenager, Paul’s family experienced financial hardship. Money was tight, and as a family they were cutting back on luxuries like eating out and instead growing their own food. However, Paul remembered a time when he accompanied his father to a tire store where they encountered a youth pastor who was unable to afford to replace his worn-out tires. “My dad wasn’t going to let him have bad tires, so my dad bought all four tires for him. I remember watching this at such a young age, 13 or 14, and it impacted me so much. We are not eating out for dinner, we are going to go home and use garden food, but we are buying this guy tires, and my dad taught me by his example that you give your way out of a hard time.”
Paul lost his father to ALS in 2013. Carrying on his father’s legacy is important to Paul. “I’m always looking for ways that I can add value and have a bigger impact with whatever platform I have so at the end of my life I can look back and know that I gave it all…. I’m not just here to make money and experience fun things. I’m here to actually have my life impact others, and one of the other areas is fathers because not everyone had a dad like my dad.” In his spare time between his acting roles and emerging music career, Paul is writing a parenting book with the working title 52 Ways To Be The Dad You Wish You Had.
While many Hallmark Channel roles have contributed to Paul’s celebrity (not the least of which is the role of Dr. Carson Shepard on the Hallmark Channel’s original series When Calls the Heart), in Real Life, one of the roles Paul is most proud of is being a father. Fans are familiar with seeing Paul share news of his son, Oliver, on social media. Most recently Oliver got his driver’s license. This event is probably a full circle moment for many parents, but it was particularly nostalgic for Paul who connected with how it must have felt for his own parents to let him get a car and hit the treacherous roads of Alberta. “I was so proud that I could trust my son with such a huge responsibility.” At this same age Paul, inspired after watching Bloodsport starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and a reoccurring dream of himself in a movie, was driving himself to acting class every week after he got the keys to his first car.
Between being a father, acting, pursing music, and writing a book, Paul has a full plate (never mind the wedding to his fiancé, Kate Austin, that is in the works!). Despite his full plate, or maybe because of it, Paul meditates every day and constantly asks himself: “What is the one thing I can do right now that would make everything else either easier or unnecessary?” Paul does this in an effort to focus and be intentional about how he’s spending his time. Because he is someone who has many interests, if he’s not anchoring himself in the present, he could easily get distracted. “If you can focus your energy or your attention on one thing, you can accomplish anything.”
Organizations that are the focus of some of Paul’s energy include ALS Therapy Development Institute, which he became involved with after his father passed, and Variety the Children’s Charity. Paul will perform Sunday, February 9 on the 54th Annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon to benefit children with special needs in British Columbia. The broadcast will air on Global BC from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PST with Paul appearing and performing between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. For those outside Canada, you can catch Paul and the telethon via livestream at Globalnews.ca.
Fans should know that when they see Paul on screen or donating his time for a cause, that is exactly where he wants to be. “I only choose things to do that bring me satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy,” he says. In Real Life, we should follow Paul’s lead and do the same.