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Actor Matt Cohen: Boxing, Being Positive and Toast

One of the things I always look forward to at “Supernatural” conventions is speaking with Matt Cohen. He was great on “Supernatural” as Young John Winchester but beyond that; he is a really great guy.

Matt always seems to be the one who takes a moment to say “hi” to a fan who looks shy. During karaoke, he’s always quick to jump in and help if someone looks a little rattled.

I’ve heard stories about him too.

He’s bought food for fans who traveled across the country to see him and were broke. This guy has even gone out to meet fans who wanted scavenger hunt items. Hugs are free from Matt Cohen and he’s always got a moment to thank “Supernatural” fans for their devotion.

That hardest part about interviewing Matt at the “Creation Salute To Supernatural” was finding him in the hotel. Once we finally figured out a time when we were both free we spent a little time texting each other as we played hide and seek in the Wall Centre. It was amusing.

As Matt was coming up the escalator with a big grin on his face, he called out to me how sorry he was and that he’s just mistakenly ended up in the parkade. He wasn’t phased by it at all, and found us a room where we could talk.

-=-=-=-

Char: Talk about “Trinity Boxing.”

MATT: Trinity Boxing is my … I’ve become partners in this boxing gym in Los Angeles. My boxing trainer, Martin Snow offered me the opportunity to get involved.

Boxing’s been a super huge part of my life as far as a comparison – I was telling Pellegrino this last night that – I’ve played sports my whole life and I’ve never been able to adapt what I was learning through training to my professional career. Through Boxing I’ve completely found the similarities to acting. It’s helped me leaps and bounds. Astonishingly.

There’s a certain confidence; there’s a certain thing you obtain by stepping in a ring with somebody – confident in your ability to perform. You know? You look somebody in the eyes in a different way when you’re confident that – go ahead, punch me in the face, I’ll move and then I’m gonna hit you back. It’s not in the – you know – saying “oh it’s the fight” but it’s the realization of who you are and what you’re capable of. And believing in yourself. You gotta make that decision.

As an actor, you either have to make the decision that you’re meant for this business or you’re not. And until you make that decision, you don’t work. And also, to relate boxing and acting even more. I step in the ring to spar people; clients who work out there, my friends, whoever; I cannot possibly fight them, spar them or protect myself without reacting to everything they do in front of me. Which in the simplest explanation is exactly what acting is.

Acting is reacting. I’m sure you’ver heard that a million times but it is what it is. So, trinityboxingla.com is my website.

Matt taking photos with fans at the Karaoke Night || ©CKinzie

Matt taking photos with fans at the Karaoke Night || ©CKinzie

Char: You teach too, right?

MATT: I teach when I’m in town and have time. I do like private lessons with La La Anthony, Carmelo Anthony, Kelly Rowland; I help out when I can, whenever I’m available, rather than sit at home and say, “What am I gonna do for my next acting job?” I’m there, I’m productive. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

Char: Is Mandy involved too?

MATT: Yeah! She’s involved too.

Char: She’s pretty kick-ass…

MATT: She’s the most kick ass five-footer in the world.

Char: Have you got anything coming up acting-wise?

MATT: I have a couple of things. “Windsor Drive” is an independent film. I’m playing a small cameo role as myself in, believe it or not. My first Matt Cohen playing Matt Cohen experience. And Mandy’s actually got a substantial role in it but I talked the Producers into kind of letting me make a cameo as myself; an up and coming actor-neighbour-guy. I have, like, one scene in it but it’s a great little project.

I’m shooting a short film with Richard (Speight Jr.), Gabe (Tigerman), myself in September called “Hard Crime”. It will be the most ridiculous thing ever but finally a chance to work with Richard. I’ve been dying to work with Richard for a long time.

Char: He’s a talented guy…

MATT: He’s a super talented guy. He’s become one of my best friends, my wife’s best friend now and I’m friends with the family. It’s gonna be super fun. A friend of mine wrote it, Lee Ehlers. He wrote a couple other shorts and some different things. Super, super talented guy. He wrote the “funny or die” thing, “Shoots or Ladders”, which Gabe was also in. So, we’re gonna shoot that in September.

I’m doing a feature in December called “Evicted” which stars Amy Gumenick – my wife from “Supernatural”. It’s got a supernatural feel about it. It’s a romantic comedy, super-funny. She’s gonna play a very “Legally Blonde” type character. She’s a gossip columnist. It’s just gonna be great and I play her boyfriend.

Char: Where’s that filming?

MATT: We’re gonna shoot that in San Francisco. And I’m probably directing, producing and then starring as my transgender female …

Char: The Sheriff!

MATT: The Sheriff, Mitzy Calhoun! We’re gonna shoot another, probably, ten episodes of that in October.

Char: “Cowgirl up!”

MATT: Yes, “Cowgirl Up”, season 2. We actually have a pretty nice budget for it and the wonderful creative mind of NancyLee Myatt will be behind it.

On another level with projects that she has going on. I’m hoping to shoot another project with her later next year. A Wonderful pilot she wrote. I can’t really talk too much about it but she’s my mama, you know? She’s my mama and I’d do anything for her and jump at the opportunity to act in anything of hers. She’s had a really rough year, it’s been rough. But she’s probably the strongest soul, biggest hearted person I’ve ever met. Through tragedy comes triumph somehow, someway.

Char: A lot of your twitter followers think you’re just the most positive guy; the tweets you put out there-

MATT: I haven’t always been like that.

Char: So why? What’s goin’ on?

MATT: I married somebody who changed my life. No matter what happens in my life; as long as I go home to her nothing can be bad. As long as I go home to her. That’s all that matters. It’s as simple as that, you know? My family’s healthy, what little family I have and my wife makes me better.

I’m a notorious manic-depressant, dark – just wanna be dark, dark all the time and it’s no way to live. I lived a long time like that; a lot of darkness, but forced darkness upon myself. Every day is sunshine now.

Char: So you put that out there on twitter to reach other people?

MATT: I do, because I find it very easy – it’s easier for myself to motivate others with positive things; and in exchange motivating myself. Smile! It’s scientific fact that if you smile it releases something in your body that makes you happier. Even if you’re upset – if you just force a smile it makes you happy. It’s all I can try to do.

Char: And can Mandy really not cook toast?

MATT: *Laughs* She always burns toast but it’s not because she doesn’t know how. It’s because she’s like me where, we’re like, “okay, I’m gonna do this. I gotta make this coffee, wait I gotta do this…wait, wait, what’s that – I forgot” The next thing you know, the toast is black.

But if she sits there in front of the toaster it’ll be the best slice of toast ever because her and I are both extremely obsessive compulsive and if the toast is one second too brown I’m not eatin’ the damn toast. And if it’s not toasty enough – it’s like “Is it really toast or is it just stale bread”? *laughs* She’s good at makin’ things perfect. She makes things well as long as she stays with it.

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