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Interview: Paul Greene

It’s pretty safe to say that the Hallmark Channel owns the month of February with its annual Countdown to Valentine’s Day programming event. This year, celebrate 16 days of romantic films, including 5 brand new original movies. One of those new original movies is Anything for Love starring Erika Christensen and Paul Greene. Anything for Love will premiere on Sunday, February 14th at 9/8c.

One of the stars of Anything for Love, Paul Greene, definitely isn’t a stranger to the Hallmark universe. He’s starred in the Hallmark Channel Movies A Christmas Detour and Perfect Match. He’s starred in the Syfy original hit series Bitten and also has appearances on series such as A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Newsroom, Harry’s Law, NCIS and The Client List to name a few.

The Canadian born Greene sits down with the Pop Culture Principle to talk about his latest project, what it was like working with his co-stars and his thoughts on technology and how it has impacted our lives.

Pop Culture Principle - What was it about the script for Anything for Love that made you sign on to the project?

Paul Greene – I really liked the journey. It reminded me of How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, where you see this couple who both have a secret and they are both lying. Barbara Curry, who wrote the movie, did a fantastic job. Their journeys were these parallel worlds where they didn’t think someone would be able to love them for who they really are. They struggled the entire movie to tell the truth about who they really are, and you ended up rooting for these characters. It was very familiar, but still had a fresh take on it. Also, I’ve never played a male nurse before, so that was a compelling, interesting challenge to play that type of character.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us the basic premise of Anything for Love and your character, Jack?

Paul Greene – Erika Christensen’s character, Kathryn, is a high-powered executive who thinks that men are intimidated by her because of her career. She’s persuaded by her friend to create an internet dating profile that says she’s an executive assistant instead of what her job really is.

At the same time my character, Jack, is creating an internet dating profile. My real job is a nurse, but what I don’t know is that my friend changed my profession from nurse to doctor, and I have no idea that he’s done that.

So, we are matched and fall in love with each other, the whole time hiding our true identities. Kathryn’s dad ends up in the hospital with me taking care of him and, as you can imagine, things start to get all tangled up and very complicated fast.

Pop Culture Principle – In what ways are you like Jack and in what ways are you not like Jack?

Paul Greene – I’m very much like Jack because I like taking care of people. I’m the guy people go to when they aren’t feeling well. Since I can remember I’ve been studying nutrition, health, fitness, and wellness. I am constantly making teas and little things to make me healthy and others.

We are not similar in the sense that Jack, at his age, hasn’t had many relationships or any real experiences with relationships. Jack has committed himself to his profession, and we’re not similar in that way. I’ve have my share of relationships, and a big part of my life is working through stuff with another person.

Pop Culture Principle – Many of your scenes are with co-star Erika Christensen. What was it like working with her?

Paul Greene – She was so unique as an actress. She listens so well in the sense that you feel heard and you forget that you are acting because you’re having a conversation with this person. That’s the best feeling when you forget where you are; you forget that you have to hit marks or worrying about lights and lines, and you are just having a real authentic moment with a human being. That’s the magic of this business, and it worked with Erika time after time. Erika is an amazing actor and a very cool human being. We got along really well for sure.

Pop Culture Principle – You also had some great scenes with veteran actor Tom Butler. What was it like working with him and did you learn anything about the craft, talking with him or just watching him work?

Paul Greene – Tom’s voice is incredible, and it just blew my mind that he hasn’t done voiceover work. The guy has literally been doing theater since he was nine, and it was mind-blowing to hear his stories because he is a great storyteller and very funny. We had some heavy moments between him and I that we really got to explore. He was awesome and I loved working with him. Whenever you get to work with someone who’s been in the business as long as Tom, it’s something.

Pop Culture Principle – This film brings up the idea of social and economic status and how that can affect someone choosing a partner. Do you think there will ever come a time when that won’t matter as much to people?

Paul Greene – There is a certain environment that people are in when they are in a social circle, earn a certain amount of money or have similar professions. It seems that people sort of date within their circles. So, if you are a lawyer, there is a pretty good chance you are going to date somebody within that realm of education. I think so much comes down to education and environment. There is of course the odd story where somebody meets someone from a completely different world. I think things will change because of the internet, where you can literally date someone in Ethiopia if you wanted to, and that has never been really available like it is now. Also, the way that people make money is changing so hopefully there won’t be the ninety-nine percent and the one percent. You can understand why people date within their worlds because it’s what they are exposed to.

Pop Culture Principle – Although Anything for Love is about romance and love, it does have its share of funny moments. How important was it to have the comedic element in the film?

Paul Greene – Well, with this film we had comedic license from Hallmark to go bigger and broader than they have ever gone. They took a risk and allowed us to play around. Both Patrick Gilmore and Ali Liebert were hilarious, and that allowed myself and Erika to be funny in our straight way.

Pop Culture Principle – How much improvisation where you allowed to do with the script?

Paul Greene – Yes, we did as long as it serves the story and the characters. We usually talk about it a little bit between ourselves, but there’s always improvements going on. The story remains the same and we stayed very close to the script on this one. The story was well-written and, when a story is well written, it’s easy to memorize and it’s easy to say.

Pop Culture Principle – What message if any would you like the viewers to take away after watching Anything for Love?

Paul Greene – Always tell the truth no matter what the cost. Be honest and be yourself, because this whole film you are kind of rooting for these people to just tell the truth. Just believe that you are enough and someone will love you for who you are. You don’t have to pretend to be something you aren’t and lie about it.

Pop Culture Principle – Do you think in today’s world of being connected to technology all the time that we may be losing who we are and losing real human contact?

Paul Greene – You know what, this is not a very popular response, but I actually believe the opposite. I understand the argument and I completely agree about the aspect of you looking at me and me looking at you. I think we are evolving in a way where we are learning how to communicate and connect in a different way. I really feel that the connectivity and the quantum leaping that technology does overweigh all the negatives of actually not connecting with the person in front of you. Now, that being said, I think you also have to design a discipline system where you don’t even look at your phone. When you are in conversation, your phone is not around and you can nurture both sides. I think that there’s a way that technology can connect us in a way that we never could without it.

It really requires developing a system where you are connecting with the flowers in front of you and the dog walking down the street. For me, that’s a discipline of mindfulness and meditation, and I purposely meditate every day to help with that.

Pop Culture Principle – You’ve worked with Hallmark before on projects such as Perfect Match and A Christmas Detour. How have you enjoyed being associated with the Hallmark brand?

Paul Greene – Working on these films feels really good, and that’s the reason I like doing them. The sets are very happy, the people you work with are amazing, and the content is deep but light enough that you aren’t depressed. I’ve done some challenging work where you take it home with you as an actor. You are constantly morphing into these different people and dealing with all their issues, and to actually have three weeks that is almost like a vacation is great.

Pop Culture Principle – Why do you think the Hallmark brand is resonating so much with its audience?

Paul Greene – I think it comes down to balance, honestly. Even if people watch shows like The Walking Dead, people are smart enough to know that their psyche needs to be healthy. If you watch enough of that, you are going to be in fight or flight, and you almost need that warm bath and hot chocolate to balance out all the craziness out there. I think Hallmark is like a warm medicine that people need and they want that part of them that still feels innocent in a world that doesn’t feel innocent anymore.

We would like to thank Paul Greene for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us. You can watch Anything for Love this coming Sunday, February 14th at 9/8c only on the Hallmark Channel. If you would like to keep up with Paul's latest news and projects, you can follow him via his official Twitter account @paulgreenemedia or visit the official Paul Green fan site here.

**Photos Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographers: Sven Boecker & Liane Hentscher**

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