Matt Cohen: As He Really Is …
While Matt Cohen was in Vancouver to appear at the “Creation Salute to Supernatural Convention” I was lucky enough to catch up with him. After we exchanged a few confusing text messages I headed up to his room shortly after he arrived in BC.
As soon as I knocked on the door I heard a muffled yell and then the door was flung open. The “do not disturb” sign went whipping off the door and there was Matt apologizing because he had just gotten off the plane and his shirt smelled bad so he’d taken it off.
He proceeded to tell me about how he’d seen Johnny Depp in an interview once. The interviewer had shown up and Depp had been halfway through a glass of whiskey and a cigarette, shirtless and a bit thrown together and Depp had simply told the reporter she was getting him as he really was. So, Matt added with a bright smile, “you’re getting me as I really am.”
AM: So everyone wants to know about your new film.
MATT: Well, nobody can see it right now; it’s only playing in LA. And, here’s the thing. A very talented director friend of mine, Matt Sinnreich he, uh, he wanted to kind of show his potential as a director. He’s 25 and he’s had some offers to do some big projects and he just cares so much about the work and the scripts weren’t as great as he wanted them to be and he passed on ‘em. So basically in about a week he wrote a 30 page script with his partner Lee Ehlers. In about 2 weeks he cast it and put it into production and we shot it in 8 days.
AM: Only 8 days?
MATT: Yeah, it would have been 6 days except I had to book 90210 and cost the Trigger Production 2 extra days. This movie we screened was basically a buyer’s screening. So, we had some pretty good people there and we’re hoping to develop it into a full length feature. You guys would love it! It’s a different – it’s just so different from anything anybody’s ever seen of me in my whole life and um… It kind of goes along this actiony crime-thriller. ..
We’re playing it 3 days in theatres this weekend for the simple fact that you can’t be nominated for an Oscar unless your film is in theaters for three days. Say we’re reachin’ for the stars or say whatever but we had Gavin Kelly as our director of photography and he’s an award winning guy. And just top to bottom, everybody cared so much and the screening showed it. We submitted to Sundance. I think we’re gonna sweep Sundance. We submitted a bunch of other places.
The object is to make it into a feature. If not the exact feature to develop it into something similar with me being kind of like this lead troubled action star, youthful sky.
AM: What’s the actual running time of what you filmed?
MATT: 33 minutes. And it’s – I cried three times in the movie. A movie that I shot. That I – and not so much on what I shot but Maxim Knight from “Falling Skies” plays a younger version of me 15 years earlier and when I lose my mother – or the younger version of my character, Ryan, loses his mother it’s just gut-wrenching. It’s edge of your seat, it’s got the cry factor, like it tugs on your emotions. I was so proud, I was so proud. I told the people at Boston, the last convention I did, I said “I haven’t been proud of any work as much as I’ve been proud of “Supernatural” until this.” And these are my two babies now.
I’d love to come back to “Supernatural” but you never know what’s gonna happen with that. I’m Campaigning.
I wake up this this morning, getting ready to fly out and I start reading my headlines and what’s the first headline I read? Eric Kripke is Executive Producing “Deadman” based on the comic.
Immediately I went to twitter and I went right to his twitter and said “Kripke, I wanna be your Deadman.” Now, me and Kripke have somewhat of a past. He wrote the characters for the first movie I ever did, “Boogeyman 2”
AM: You were good in that one…
MATT: well, thank you. My first movie I’ve ever done. And then, you know, he cast me in “Supernatural”. There was him and one other guy in the room really and that was it. They made me Young John which I’m forever grateful for and I’m 10 x more grateful to be Michael. It’s an actor’s dream to play two characters in one show. I wanna be Deadman. There’s a lot of other people that could be Deadman. It’s exciting. I know Kripke is gonna make something amazing out of that adaptation.
AM: So is that the kind of stuff you’d like to do?
MATT: I’d like to do anything. My … my choice of work as an actor is I don’t have a choice. I don’t know if you saw my little “Cowgirl Up” thing that I did….
AM: Yeah, I interviewed Nancy through email.
MATT: Did you? You know she’s my mother. I don’t know my real mother. She was out of my life when I was a baby and she’s just kinda done her own thing and my Dad raised me my whole life. And then finally, I got married three months ago and I brought my Dad and I brought Nancy and they got to meet for the first time. And you know Nancy is a lesbian woman and she has a partner. But as much as a straight man and a lesbian woman could connect and become family – it happened on that day.
She’s taken care of me for 7 years. We write together, we sit together, everything we do together, she’s my west coast mom.
AM: I actually didn’t know about the connection. I found Cowgirl Up because I’m a fan of Mandy’s (Musgrave – Matt’s wife) from “South of Nowhere”.
MATT: That’s amazing… Nancy and Tommy Lynch created and wrote that show. She was the heart and soul of those young teen lesbian characters. She really was. Tommy had this vision and Nancy told the story. I feel so blessed to have been cast, not only as series regular as my first acting job ever but has a message.
We’re fighting, we as a cast, there’s no cast in all of TV history that is as close as we are now. We’re talkin’ three or four years ago we’re done shooting. We are just together. We wanna make a film. “South of Nowhere.”
AM: It seems really timely considering some of the recent issues.
MATT: Oh my God with the bullying? It needs to happen. MTV should put this show back on the air. Five years later, what’s happened? The issues are so much more relevant now than they were when we were on the air. We had a lot of hate groups against us you know, like Churches, religious groups – what’s with the teen lesbian story line. We wrote history. We were the first show ever to have our main story line as a teen lesbian storyline.
We’re playing internationally, but different things have taken us off the air here. We’re not done with it.
AM: So you’re been really lucky –
MATT: – extremely lucky –
AM: You’ve hit on these two shows, “South of Nowhere” and “Supernatural” that have huge fanbases.
MATT: I’ve been so blessed. It’s an accident. When I get onstage and I talk to the fans. They always ask me who makes you star struck and I always tell them they do because I couldn’t do this without them. And so I give my ass when I come to these things. I enjoy it – this is a party with them. I’m Matt Cohen and I’m gonna party with these guys, everyone that’s here.
You have no idea what me and Richard have in store for Karaoke. We have some special guests showin’ up. I had to bring an extra suitcase for costumes.
AM: So will you keep doing conventions?
MATT: Absolutely. I’ll do ‘em as long as they invite me to ‘em. Forever. I love ‘em. I want to put together some SON conventions. There are some international ones. But I wanna do some domestic, try and put them together. The support is huge for the show.
AM: Congratulations on your marriage by the way.
MATT: Thank you so much! Three months now. Marriage is the most beautiful thing. I was just telling Sebastian downstairs, I conned her into marrying me. I mean, I’ve gotten so lucky to get this woman to be my wife. I don’t know if she understands. I wanna be as talented as her; I wanna be as loving as her. She’s everything that I want to be, everything. She’s not changed, she’s the same girl she was – she’s from Orlando – she’s the same girl. Success doesn’t bother her, LA, Hollywood, nothing bothers her. She’s the realest most passionate person you’ve ever met in your whole life. I learn from her every day. Five years older than her and she’s my teacher. It’s so crazy. I’m so, so fortunate.
AM: other than trying to do the SON stuff – you’re on a couple of episodes of 90210?
MATT: First couple. First two right now. I don’t know if my storyline
will evolve into anything or not. I play a love interest of a main character. It was great workin’ there. Honestly? I wanna come back to “Supernatural”. It’s a spectacular place to be; the writing, the crew, the city of Vancouver.
AM: Everyone connected to “Supernatural” says the cast and crew are great. Consistently.
MATT: They’re the best, it’s phenomenal. Everybody wants to be there. They want to turn out the best product possible. And you don’t get that always. Different crews might not like actors or actresses, but there’s no line between the actors and the crew on this show and that’s what makes for great TV. When everybody is on the same page and they morph together as one – and seven seasons later.
Think about it –seven seasons with basically just two male lead characters. That’s something special I mean, that doesn’t happen all the time. It’s phenomenal, it really is.
With that, we ended our interview and Matt began saying again how lucky he was as he urged me to take in the view of the setting sun. It’s hard to think of Matt as anything other than genuine. He’s got such a love for life and his career it’s contagious.
Oh, and Matt was right about the karaoke. It was off the charts.
Trailer for Matt’s film “Trigger”
This interview was originally posted on affairsmagazine.com on August 30th, 2011.