For those who love science fiction, Matt Cohen is becoming a very familiar face both on television and the silver screen. He has taken on some challenging roles in this genre, and he has delivered time and again. From guest starring as the young John Winchester on “Supernatural” to his roles in such movies as Boogeyman 2, Dark House and Chain Letter, Matt Cohen has successfully shown that he is well versed, talented and always prepared for whatever project he undertakes.
Recently I was given the opportunity to catch up with Matt and he graciously agreed to an interview. Keep reading to find out how he felt about his role as John Winchester, what made him choose the life of an actor, other projects he’s been involved in and more. Hopefully we’ll see much more of this exceptionally gifted and respectful actor in the very near future!
1. I read that while in college you majored in business but decided to try acting instead. What made you decide to give acting a try? I hated math! You know what; it was simply a change of routine. I wanted to test something else. See if I could be less bored with something. I never really felt like I knew what I wanted out of college. I didn’t love the theatre classes in college. It was definitely far different than I expected. I met a talent manager about 6 months after I started theatre classes and she told me to take a year off of school and try Los Angeles. Well, here I am and here I stay!
2. You’ve participated in some very interesting projects. For instance, you’ve guest starred in Supernatural and have starred in Boogeyman 2, Dark House and Chain Letter, all of which fall under the science fiction/horror umbrella. Is it safe to say you enjoy this type of genre most? If so, what about it is most appealing? I enjoy the challenge that these projects have presented. I don’t have a preference in the genre of work I do. I most definitely enjoy the science fiction/horror/thriller category, but can’t wait to venture into all the other genres!
3. South of Nowhere, a teen drama in which you starred, was a very successful show. It tackled some sensitive subjects such as homosexuality, adoption, blended families, hate crimes, peer pressure and more. Because of this, it drew some harsh criticism despite its popularity. Did you ever find any of the story lines to be uncomfortable for you? From day one I have felt more than blessed to be part of an original program that actually had a message. Nothing was hard for me to deal with as far as story lines go. I felt as if I was part of a voice for a younger teen generation that needed one. We tried to approach all sensitive material with heart and passion and I truly believe that show achieved its goal.
4. How hard was it for you to adjust to a life in acting? Do you find that there are certain aspects of an anonymous life that you miss more than others? It is all hard! But so is any other profession. I have worked many other jobs from valet parking cars, to tarping houses for an exterminator company, to working in an auto body shop. Everything that you really want in life is difficult to adjust to, but you deal with it because it’s your dream.
5. Speaking in terms of your experience guest-starring as the young John Winchester in Supernatural, what are some personality differences between you and him? HA! I based him off my father-in-law. Our personalities are very different. He comes from a military background in which he has great discipline and true old fashioned respect and morals while maintaining a strong sternness when necessary. I tried to take these things to John Winchester along with the back story of the demon hunter etc. I, myself, can only learn from these types of men and try and become like them. Respect, discipline, and loyalty – to me, it’s what makes life!
6. And knowing the personality change that occurs in John after the death of Mary, how challenging was it to portray him as the happy-go-lucky and innocent young man that he was prior to the nursery fire? Erase it from my mind! Literally I made my mind set so that Mary and I were going to be in love forever and grow old with each other.
7. Currently you’re starring as Syd in Rockville CA, a WB web series. What are some of the differences you have experienced in terms of starring in a web series versus a televised one? Do you find you prefer one format over the other? Honestly I only prefer to work! I don’t care what it is. I love my job, and I know how lucky I am to be having any success at all in my business. There seems to be a little more creative freedom on a web series. I think this is because the creative team doesn’t have to necessarily answer to a million executives for their final input and okays.
8. Do you have any other upcoming film or television projects? What are they? Yes! But it is under wraps for now! I did recently produce and make a special appearance on a new web series called “Cowgirl Up” which will be available later this month on tellofilms.com. I also made an appearance in a very talented friend of mines short film called “Sunnyview” which will be available soon as well. (Sunnyview Short Film on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sunnyview-Short-Film/136467489736816).
9. What has been the most challenging project for you thus far? I would have to say “Supernatural.” It is difficult to step into the shoes of a character that was played by an extremely talented person like Jeffrey Dean and do it any justice. It’s also not easy stepping onto a set with a whole bunch of great actors and having to play a major arc in the development of the series. I send thanks to the writers, cast, and crew of the show for running an amazing production.
10. Do you have any charitable causes that are near and dear to your heart? Yes, I am in the process of hopefully setting something up with RANDOM ACTS, Misha’s (Collins) organization.