Nathan West is a fictional character on the long-running ABC daytime soap opera, General Hospital, portrayed by Ryan Paevey. Created by head writer Ron Carlivati, Nathan was introduced on December 30, 2013 as a love interest for the recently reformed bad girl, Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms). Paevey's Nathan is eventually revealed to be the detective "son" of the wealthy Madeline Reeves (Donna Mills) investigating his "sister" Nina (Michelle Stafford)'s alleged murder at the hands of her husband, Dr. Silas Clay (Michael Easton). Nathan is shocked to discover that Madeline killed Nina's unborn child, and that Nina was actually alive. Nathan is also revealed to be the biological son of Madeline's estranged sister, the trechourous Dr. Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) and half-brother to the scheming Dr. Britt Westbourne (Kelly Thiebaud).
Throughout 2014, Nathan becomes a rival to Maxie's boyfriend Levi Dunkleman (Zachary Garred) when they are forced to live together. Nathan does not trust Levi whom he correctly assumes has been sabotaging Maxie's attempts at rebuilding her life. Levi succeeds in driving Nathan away after he frames Nathan for reporting him to immigration. Nathan eventually admits that he has fallen for Maxie and confronts Levi on his wedding day about his plans to steal Felicia Jones (Kristina Wagner)'s Aztec jewelry only for Levi to kidnap Maxie at gunpoint forcing Nathan to rescue her.
Casting and creation
Head writer, Ron Carlivati announced Paevey's casting on Twitter. The December 30th edition of Soap Opera Digest revealed that Paevey's first scenes were with Kirsten Storms, who played Maxie Jones. ABC Soaps In Depth confirmed the character's full name to be Nathan West. Paevey made his debut as a contract cast member. Though he was originally slated to appear on December 27, Paevey's first air date was pushed back to December 30, 2013, due to news coverage. During the audition process, he screen-tested opposite Storms and Chad Duell who played Michael Corinthos. Paevey revealed that when he first auditioned for the show, "there was no part. They just wanted some young blood on the show." The producers had the actor come to read dummy sides quite a few times. Of his casting, Paevey said, "This is my first series regular role, the first time I have a dressing room with my name on the door. I'm not an ego guy, but by the same token, I also kind of wanted to my best to fit in quickly."
CharacterizationIn an interview with Soap Opera Digest, Paevey described Nathan as a "good guy," who is "guided by a moral compass. He's a straight-shooter." Paevey described Nathan's demeanor as a cop as "hawklike focus." Ron Carlivati described Nathan as a "hard-nosed, buttoned-down, practical guy." Soap Opera Digest described Nathan as a "hard-driving cop character." Paevey told Soaps In Depth that Nathan's birth name, "James represents a part his family [and himself] that is restricted." This complicates things further because he loves his family very much and there are several aspects of that family that make Nathan who he is. Paevey said that during the audition process when the character was being formed, he noticed that he and the character had a lot in common. Since the character's introduction it has been very clear that "he's a law-abiding, true-seeking good guy." However, Soaps In Depth questioned if Nathan could show his "dark side" when necessary because of his genetics. Paevey immediately rejected the notion and said, "I don't think he's the type." Nathan is not "morally ambiguous" the actor stated. He doesn't have some deep dark sketchy past that he is trying to live down. Nathan is "straight and he's clear. My gut tells me that," Paevey said.
Soaps In Depth said Nathan's arrival would cause trouble for another Port Charles citizen. Nathan ruffles some feathers when he reveals that he is investigating the attempted murder of Dr. Silas Clay (Michael Easton)'s wife, Nina (Michelle Stafford). However, Silas's former mistress, Ava Jerome (Maura West) is also at the top of the suspect list. When Nathan teams up with Silas and his girlfriend Sam Morgan (Kelly Monaco) to prove Ava's guilt, things go very differently then they expect when they discover Nina's mother, Madeline (Donna Mills) is the guilty party.
The character's surname immediately caused speculation that he was related to Britt Westbourne (Kelly Thiebaud) and Paevey was shocked when that speculation proved true. During her prison stay, Madeline drops the "bombshell". Soaps In Depth said that Nathan is in a "rock and a hard place" with mothers like Obrecht and Madeline. Nathan must come to terms with the fact that "the murderer he thought to be his mother is actually his aunt. And the murderer he believed to be just another nutjob is actually his biological mother!" According to Paevey, Nathan is immediately put off by the revelation that he is Obrecht (Kathleen Gati)'s biological son and he is reluctant to have anything to do with her. While she is genuinely interested in building a relationship, he is not. Paevey expected an eventual reconciliation. However, Carlivati said that it would be a while before Nathan looked at Obrecht as a mother, especially after how Madeline has lied to him. Nathan also faces Madeline's dislike for his career choice because she thinks it is "below them." In an interview with Soaps She Knows, Paevey described Nathan as being "dumbfounded" by the change in his family dynamics. Though he still has a relationship with these people, Nathan struggles with trusting people because of all the lies. And because there is so much happening in his life at the time, Nathan's feelings about the situation get pushed to the side. For Nathan, his relationship with Nina has always been "sacrosanct" and he is that one good thing in her life which makes him vulnerable to her schemes. Paevey also hinted at Victor Cassadine (Thaao Penghlis) being Nathan's biological father.
Maxie and feud with Levi
Michael Fairman hinted that Paevey's Nathan could be a potential love interest for Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms), or another female on the canvas. When Kirsten Storms returned to the canvas as Maxie, the series also introduced Maxie's new boyfriend, Levi Dunkleman played by Zachary Garred and the conflicts between the two hint at the start of a triangle. According to Paevey, the two clash because they are complete opposites. The actor said that Maxie is very much Nathan's kind of girl and he'd have no trouble pursuing her if she were single. In an interview with On-Air On-Soaps, Ron Carlivati admitted that Nathan was always intended to be a love interest for Maxie and explained that he wanted to make sure viewers noticed the obvious attraction between Maxie and Nathan before Storms went on maternity leave. Of the pairing he said, "These two may be arguing, bickering, or sparring, but you can see there is a spark there." However, Levi takes every opportunity to exploit Maxie and Nathan's supposed dislike of each other. Throughout the summer, Maxie faces another hurdle in trying to regain custody of her daughter. Nathan and Levi's difference in opinion over how to handle the situation causes more tension. The friction between Nathan and Maxie stems from Nathan's belief that Maxie is allowing Levi to think and make decisions for her. Though Nathan shows up to support Maxie and the chemistry between them is obvious, Ron Carlivati said that neither character is ready to see it at that time. They have to get past several road blocks, and Levi is a major one. It is Nathan's willingness to commit perjury for Maxie during her custody hearing that allowed for fans to root for them as a couple. When asked about the potential pairing, Paevey explained that Nathan knows that Maxie has to make any kind of decision about a relationship for herself, he cannot make the decisions for her. When it comes to Nathan's dislike for Levi, Paevey stated that it was more than just jealousy over Levi's relationship with Maxie. Nathan's instincts prove to be right when Levi starts exhibiting "legit bad guy behavior" by sabotaging Maxie's custody hearing.
In mid July, it is revealed that Levi is town on an expired visa and Maxie urges Nathan to keep quiet, which he does. Levi drives an even bigger wedge between Maxie and Nathan when he frames Nathan for reporting him to immigration. Just as Maxie announces her intention to marry Levi, Nathan finally admits to himself that he has romantic feelings for Maxie. Paevey said the possible marriage makes the situation much more complex. Levi has already proven to be "self-serving when it comes to Maxie's interests," and Nathan knows that the marriage would just make things worse. Just when Nathan is prepared to tell his feelings to Maxie, he changes his mind. But when Nathan is confronted by a reporter claiming to have been robbed for an Aztec necklace, Nathan knows for sure Levi is the culprit, and goes to confront him. However, things go downhill from their. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, head writer Ron Carlivati revealed that there would be bullets and that Maxie's romantic future would be left hanging in the balance. To make matters more complicated, Maxie has a need to prove that everyone is wrong about Levi, including Nathan. Carlivati said that he enjoyed the slow build between Maxie and Nathan and said that the wedding sets the stage for Levi's exposure and the launching of another arc. Carlivati recalled, "When we saw Ryan [Paevey, Nathan] we thought, 'Oh, wow, he'd be really great for Maxie.'" The writer also said that Storms's temporary departure allowed for Nathan to be eased into the canvas, to establish the character to build anticipation for Maxie's return.
Detective Nathan West, was born James Nathan Reeves in New York City, and raised as the son of Madeline Reeves (Donna Mills). Growing up, Madeline makes Nathan carry a handkerchief because it is considered "good manners." At a young age, Nathan joins the NYPD and quickly makes a name for himself after he was born in Switzerland. Nathan always "gets results."
Nathan sublets Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms)'s apartment when she leaves town. Nathan puts Anna Devane's suspicions to rest by making her privy to his ongoing investigation and she hires him on the basis that he keep her updated on any developments in the investigation. Nathan later confronts Silas who has been dodging him at the hospital. In the meantime, Nathan comforts Lulu Spencer (Emme Rylan) much to the chagrin of his partner and Lulu's husband Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna). Nathan spends weeks harassing Silas about his involvement in his wife's attempted murder while Silas points the finger at his former lover, Ava Jerome (Maura West). Silas's girlfriend Sam Morgan (Kelly Monaco) convinces pharmacist Henry Nakamura to come to Port Charles thinking he can clear Silas's name. However, when Nakamura ends up dead, Nathan's case is left without a witness. Nathan is revealed to be the son of Madeline Reeves (Donna Mills) and Nina's brother working to get justice for his sister. After learning that Nina is already dead and that Silas has signed away his rights to her fortune, Nathan gives Silas the benefit of the doubt, teaming up with him and Sam to trap Ava, whom they assume is the killer. However, Nathan is shocked when Madeline falls into their trap. Nathan is forced to admit that he is Nina's brother and also must place his mother under arrest. He is relieved when Maxie returns home but immediately clashes with her new boyfriend, Levi (Zachary Garred). Nathan bonds with Britt Westbourne (Kelly Thiebaud) about their troubles with their mothers and he gives her a place to sleep. Nathan is shocked when Madeline reveals that he is adopted and that her sister and Britt's mother, Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) is also his biological mother. Nathan is forced to keep the secret of Nina being alive as Madeline is carted off to prison. Meanwhile, Nathan accuses Levi of manipulating Maxie and continues to reject Obrecht's attempts to reach out to him. Nathan later encourages Maxie to try and establish a relationship with her daughter. Nathan and Britt bond quickly and she convinces him to tell Silas about Nina. However, he is unable to do so not wanting to cause him anymore trouble. Nathan covers for Maxie during her custody hearing to sway the judge in her favor. Nathan shares a happy reunion with Nina when she finally makes her way to Port Charles. Nathan helps Anna fake the death of Ric Lansing (Rick Hearst) for a case and Maxie tries to assuage him of his guilt after his performance at the Nurses' Ball for the Magic Milo performance with his dance partners Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell) and Felix DuBois (Marc Anthony Samuel). When the judge accuses Nathan of lying and Maxie loses custody of her daughter again, Nathan suspects that Levi tipped off the judge which doesn't sit well with Maxie. Nathan and Maxie end up spending Independence Day together after he arrests her and Levi for trespassing on private property. The two end up handcuffed together and pass out on the couch. Later when someone tips off immigration about Levi's expired visa, Maxie accuses Nathan, and several other people before he suggest that Levi called immigration himself. Maxie kicks Nathan out of the apartment as Nathan tries to figure out if Levi was behind the call. Nathan is shocked when Maxie and Levi announce their engagement and confides in Nina who urges him to tell Maxie how he feels before he loses his chance. Nathan ends up confessing to her father Mac Scorpio (John J. York) but decides against telling Maxie. Meanwhile, Nathan's suspicions of Levi increase when her mother Felicia's Aztec necklace is stolen from its new owner. He confronts Levi who turns to the tables on him and ties him up. Dante frees Nathan and Nathan tries to arrest him only for Levi's accomplice, the immigration agent, Scribner (Jamil Walker Smith) to take Lulu hostage too. They are forced to let them go and Dante and Nathan discover that Levi has turned on Scribner who reveals Levi's true identity to be Peter Harrell, the son of Felicia's jilted ex-lover. Nathan and Dante locate Peter and the girls only to be kidnapped by the mysterious Victor Cassadine (Thaao Penghlis) who is prepared to kill Nathan until he learns of the connection to Obrecht; he instead takes them prisoner. After he and Maxie are separated trying to escape, Nathan confronts Victor threatening to kill him only to learn that Victor is his father. With Victor's help, Nathan rescues Maxie from Peter Harrell, Sr. and Maxie in turn saves him from a vengeful Peter, Jr. and they share their first kiss. Eventually, the pair escape from Crichton Clark along with the other captives, and Maxie and Nathan go on a date. However, during their date, Judge Walters, who was on a date with Monica Quartermaine, forbids Nathan and Maxie from seeing each other if she wants to gain visitation of her daughter, Georgie. When Nathan is shot by Jason Morgan in December, Maxie rushes to see him. He is supported by her, and after a short time, it is time for Maxie to go to her custody hearing. Judge Walters denies Maxie visitation, and she rushes to Nathan's side in tears. He comforts her and makes a promise that she and Georgie will be reunited for Christmas. When Maxie is summoned back to court and is granted visitation suddenly, it is revealed that Nathan enlisted the help of his mother, Dr. Obrecht, who got Monica to convince Walters to change his decision. Maxie heads to Portland to visit Georgie for Christmas, and she and Nathan make plans to spend New Year's Eve with each other, the first anniversary of the day they met. They do, and make love for the first time. Nathan moves out of the apartment and into Kelly's when Maxie says she'd like to take the relationship slowly. The couple is happy until Maxie aided and abetted Johnny Zacchara, which causes the first major fight between them. Damian Spinelli arrives with Georgie to visit Maxie, and it is revealed that Spinelli and Ellie Trout have broken up and he wants Maxie back. Nathan and Maxie exchange "I love you"s, and then Spinelli challenges Nathan to a "duel" (boxing match), with the prize being Maxie. Nathan reluctantly agrees, and as he knocks Spinelli out, Maxie walks in. She is furious with both Nathan and Spinelli, and Nathan breaks up with Maxie so that she can be with Spinelli. Maxie and Spinelli get back together go to the Nurse's Ball together, and Ellie and Nathan go together. Ellie and Nathan's relationship is made up to make Spinelli and Maxie jealous, and they fake romance all night. Nathan kisses Ellie as Spinelli and Maxie walk in, and Spinelli and Ellie get back together, as well as Nathan and Maxie. They have been together since then and are in love.
Carlivati's Twitter announcement garnered quite the reaction with fans wondering about Paevey and his role on the show. Shortly after Paevey's debut, a fan created a fake Twitter account, pretending to be the actor. Of the fan reaction, ABC Soaps In Depth said Paevey was an "instant hit on social media and the internet," and described as the "next big thing." Connie Passalacqua of the soap opera website, Marlena De Lacroix listed Paevey as one of the daytime four actors to watch in 2014. She said: "Paevey is quite good looking, can act well and plays a police detective quite believably." Soaps In Depth listed the character at number 5 in the "5 Things We're Loving" section in February 3, 2014 edition. Of the character's introduction, the magazine said, "We can't help but love a man of mystery, and that's what General Hospital's Nathan –– whom we've dubbed Detective Sexypants –– is to us right now."
One viewer praised the casting of Paevey and Ryan Carnes (Lucas Jones) and the fan mail was featured in Soap Opera Digest: "great job adding [Paevey and Carnes]; drop-dead gorgeous and they can act too!" ABC Soaps In Depth described the chemistry between Paevey's Nathan and Storms' Maxie as "instant."Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag.
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