We’re All In This Together: Matt Cohen, Passionate Nerds and Going Meta

Credit Lyssa Junek

One of the topics of conversation in our recent interview with Matt Cohen, who plays young John Winchester and the Archangel Michael on Supernatural, was the power of a television show to impact its viewers, sometimes in life-changing ways. Matt spoke thoughtfully about his experience on the groundbreaking show South of Nowhere, and also about the groundbreaking aspects of Supernatural – though the ground broken by last week’s SPN episode is more likely to result in side-splitting laughs.

We still haven’t stopped laughing about Friday’s meta episode – it was hysterical to be in on so many fandom shout outs while watching Sam and Dean remain utterly clueless and vaguely horrified. Fandom wants Jared on a horse? Here you go, have a bad cowboy manip looming over Sam as he tries to figure out a way to escape the lunacy. Fandom loves Samn’Dean’s heart to hearts on the Impala? Fake!BobSinger: If we cut that out, you deal with the hate mail!

Not to mention….. Jensen gaping at Eric Brady, Sera voicing herself as the new girl who nobody listens to, Bob Singer taking shit for writing himself into the show (Kripke’s doing, btw), Fake!Gen snarking at Fake!Jensen, Kripke being Tarantino’d to death and ending up sprawled and gashed bloody just like Mary and Jess (sans white nightgown of doom). Not to mention the blatant lament that ‘nobody’s watching the show anyway’. And we can’t forget Dean’s butt getting smacked, or the mention of ‘JSquared’ (presumably with all its traditional slashy implications). The episode is called “The French Mistake” after all (see urban dictionary definitions one through four….).

The real TV Guide cover, People’s Choice and Constellation awards the show has earned, thanks to its devoted fans, were strategically placed throughout the episode like a heartfelt valentine to fandom. And the fact that Misha tweeted the exact tweet IRL that Fake!Misha tweeted onscreen – in real time no less – made fans’ heads explode with the layers of meta. Meta squared?

We do have to say that Fake!Jensen’s trailer was quite a bit more opulent than the real one. We had the pleasure of interviewing (real) Jensen in his (real) trailer a while ago — the television was tuned to ESPN instead of SPN, there was a distinct lack of tropical fish, and alas, no awesome helicopter to play with. (Jensen’s mini motorscooter and a six inch version of the Impala were parked there, however, for between-takes amusement.)

Though we’re probably the only ones excited about this, we also couldn’t help but squee a little over the issue of Supernatural Magazine that made its way into the ep – one of the cover article titles clearly visible onscreen is one of ours. Lock and Load, baby! We’re choosing to say we’ve been written into canon. What? Don’t disabuse us of our illusions!

And now, on that happy note, our interview with Matt Cohen at the recent LA Supernatural convention. We knew he was handsome (obviously), but had no idea he was also smart, thoughtful, compassionate – and a self professed ‘passionate nerd’!

The credit for this interview goes in part to our friend Sabrina, who pointedly reminded us that a) she totally fangirls Matt Cohen and b) we STILL had not interviewed him for our books. On the day of the interview, we got the phone call from Matt saying he was ready while we were having some nachos at the hotel bar with a very excited Sabrina. Unfortunately Sabrina picked that moment to choke on a tortilla chip, and good interviewers (and bad friends) that we are, we left her there to recover (and pay the bill) while we hurried to the green room for the interview, promising to call Sabrina from there to arrange an introduction. Little did we know that the green room was apparently as impenetrable as Bobby’s panic room. No service in or out. Matt made several gallant attempts to call her with every cell phone we had, to no avail. Sorry Sabrina!

Lynn: We met you at your first fan convention in the states (Creation’s New Jersey Supernatural con), and knew we had to interview you. There was a fan who requested a hug, and you gave her one, and then you went back up onstage and said ‘Now I’m gonna have to hug everyone’ and we thought YES, this guy totally gets it, he is so right.

Matt: And I did! And you know something? I’ve hugged almost every fan at every convention since.

Lynn and Kathy (possibly grinning): We know.

Matt: This is like my fourth or fifth one since then and you know how many fans there are. I figure it’s the least I can do when these people are supporting your body of work. Without fans, without what’s called “box office” in our industry, you can’t work. You can make independent movies for the rest of your life but you’re not going to make enough money to survive. Nobody’s going to see it, you’re not going to get the exposure, it’s never going to progress [your career]. So you gotta have the fans.

Lynn: That seemed to be the theme of the day here at the con. The fans are all talking about how everyone who got up on stage was so genuinely appreciative.

Photo credit: Lyssa Junek

Matt: I think Supernatural has created such a special thing between the fans and the cast and crew on set and the creators behind the scenes – this is really a unique show. There’s really nothing like this out there. There’s not many other shows where all the fans come, they meet each other and become buddies and they’re hanging out, and the actors are talking and hanging out, we’re singing together. I really act like myself. I’m this guy. I’m a dork, I don’t care.

Lynn: There’s a real genuine relationship.

Matt: And it’s nice to be able to give that to the fans without them going “Oh he’s not what we thought. They’re like “Oh my god! He’s like us! We’re the same people.”

Lynn: It’s actually one of those shows that seems made by fanboys and fangirls.

Matt: Absolutely, absolutely.

Lynn: All the people that we talked to in the course of writing these books, and everyone we met when we were on set — the crew seems the same way too.

Matt: They’re all so nice! I worked with Steve Boyem, the same director, twice on both of the episodes I did and he’s fantastic. Every single person that’s part of the project is happy to be there.

It seems like that must be an exaggeration, but Matt’s experience in Vancouver was the same as ours. Even the drivers who took us back and forth to set went out of their way to tell us all about Vancouver, even if it was 1 am when we were finally headed back to the hotel.

Matt: When I filmed the Michael episode, the second episode, it was like just me at the end of the night. We were a couple of hours overtime, and I had to finish the end of the scene in the car garage where I get beat up and I just had to do some stunts by myself. Nobody else was there, just the driver waiting to take me home, and the cameramen. There was no dialog or anything, so the sound guy was already home and the director told me what to do and left. {He said] “Just get the shot till it’s comfortable” and I was there for an extra hour. The driver picked me up and I was like “Dude, I hate to do this to you, I have to beg you, and please say no if you don’t want to, but please take me to any fast food, anything, I’m starving!” To me I thought it was a big deal, it’s 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, he’s been up since 5 o’clock in the morning and he’s just like, “Yeah whatever you want!”

Our experience exactly – and one of the things that makes Show so special.

Kathy: The show is also unique in that it incorporates the fans into the show in the meta episodes where they’ve acknowledged the fans. No other show has done that. (See above for Show going even more meta!)

Matt: Absolutely. Kripke stumbled onto a special monster with Supernatural – a show that’s capable of going in any direction at any time with any character, dead or alive. Create something that’s amazingly impossible and that’s the next episode of SPN and it works. It’s crazy what these two episodes have done for me career-wise. I did South of Nowhere, I did 40 or 50 episodes of that show, I only did two episodes of SPN — and I’m so involved with the fans and with the show. They haven’t called me to do another episode, but they may between this season or next season or whatever.

Lynn and Kathy: (crossing fingers)

Matt: I don’t know, I just feel like I’m more a part of the show than I really am. To do two episodes of a five, six , or seven season show – you’re like a tiny little percentage of what this show is about, but …

Kathy: But you also played a really pivotal character.

Matt: That’s true, that’s true. But the fans have made me feel like I’m something important to the show and that’s irreplaceable, because when you go home you can say “Damn, somebody likes what I’m doing!” When you question every word that comes out of your mouth – and every actor does, any actor that says he’s happy with all his work, he’s just lying to you and being egotistical, because he’s not. I hate everything I’ve done.

Lynn: How do you deal with it, the uncertainty? You never know when your next job is coming.

Matt: I never wanted to be an actor. It’s tough, it’s an immense amount of rejection. I moved to Los Angeles in about 2004-ish and ten months later I booked my first series regular job on South of Nowhere.

Lynn: Which is really pretty fast actually.

Matt: Which is HUGE! If you go back and see the first season and even the second season and look at my acting, you go “How is he even on television?” I was so bad. But I was getting paid to learn how to act. And I wasn’t taking it lightly. I was watching directors, I was watching producers, I was studying the actors, I learned a lot. I just directed my first thing, I just produced something.

So what else is he up to?

Matt: I have five scripts now in development. I have one script called Odd Squad that’s like Breakfast Club meets Zombieland with a supernatural twist. It’s got an alien twist to it. It’s got ten kids, a sort of zombie apocalypse type thing happens, but it’s got the humor of Zombieland.

Okay, we have to admit we’re intrigued by the sound of that. Breakfast Club meets Zombieland….

Matt: I’m used to having movies – I started my career, I did Boogeyman 2 – which Kripke did. I’ve still never met Kripke – he’s responsible for half the things on my resume and I’ve still never met the guy. For me it’s hard, because I’m either working or busy and I never want to reach out to Kripke in a way that’s going to seem like “Hey, can I get a job?” Ever. I’d rather just run into him randomly. If it takes five years or it takes one day, who knows. You know, hopefully I’ll see him on set.

Matt went on to say that he’s fallen into doing a lot of genre movies (Boogeyman 2, Dark House, Chain Letter). People keep trying to push him into doing romantic comedies, but of course it’s easier to get lower budget horror films when you don’t have an extensive resume.

Lynn and Kathy: Not yet, anyway.

Matt: When Kripke did Boogeyman 2, it was the first film I ever booked. I had been on the show for a while and I got the lead in this movie. And I read the script and this guy was basically battling schizophrenia. He was normal, but he was also a killer. I just remember reading it and thinking this is a blessing. I got to play this character who was very similar to what I got to do with Michael – one person, two minds.

Lynn: Speaking of that, here’s a question from a fan (thanks, Amy!). She wondered how you made that progression from John to Michael and how you made them seem so different when they look obviously like the same person.

Matt: Yeah, it’s weird, I’m a very method actor, I want to listen to the music the character is listening to and eat the food and wear the clothes and all that stuff and really feel him. And I based John off my fiancee’s father. He’s a military guy. He raised three daughters, but he’s just the warmest, but stern, man. And you know, watching Jeffrey, and different things that he’s done. Even in Watchmen, when you watch Jeffrey Dean he should be the character that you hate the most but you do not hate him. And that’s what I wanted to bring to young John, this stern thing, but the biggest, warmest man that’s hidden inside.

Lynn: I think you did it. And I think the boys reacted to you in a way that allowed the audience to react to you with a great deal of warmth, even when the character wasn’t on the surface sympathetic. And then you really were different when you were Michael.

Matt: And that was largely Jensen, whether he wants to take credit for it or not, he really did. He pulled me aside and he said, “Look, I think you’re going in maybe not entirely the right direction with your character.” And I was like “Alright, this is your show. You know. I haven’t seen every episode, I don’t know everything.” And he took me aside and he showed me Jared’s Lucifer and I was torn because, without even seeing that, I was kind of similar — a little pushy and demanding. And then Jensen said, “This guy’s very humane, he’s Michael, and even though he’s God’s buddy and wingman, you have to play the humane side of him. He’s not here to kill everyone. He’s here to deliver a message and make things correct – the way they should be.” And you know, that changed things because I just so wanted him to have this evil twinkle in his eye. We kept that, but kind of torqued it into this almost – tried to make him more caring.

Lynn: (shaking her head) I don’t know how you do that.

Matt: I honestly didn’t know how it was going to come out. We moved through that really fast. We shot Jensen’s close-up and then we went to lunch and we came back and I think I did it three times in a row. That was the most amount of dialog I’ve ever had. It was like seven, eight pages. And I just remember doing it, doing it, looking over at the director after I was done and he was like, everybody was captivated so it must be good. The set stayed quiet so you’re like, “Okay, people must have been listening to what I was doing,” but you never know with something like that. It’s very easy to screw up. You don’t know until it comes out on television and your Twitter blows up like crazy and everybody’s like ”Michael’s great!” And there’s obviously a couple of people who don’t like it.

What would fandom be without wank, right?

Matt: And there’s different decisions that could have been made when it comes to Michael/John. There’s things that could have been done better and things that may have made him worse, but you get one chance to put something on television and you have to keep moving and that’s what it is.

We were, in fact, quite taken aback by how quickly things move on the SPN set. Much more efficient than either of us on our best days, alas.

Matt: It’s definitely a machine. You have to come to work prepared. You have to put your best foot forward and it either works or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t you’re in big trouble, you’re canceled and you’re not on the air for six seasons.

Lynn: I love that you came out onstage today and used the word “fandom”. Where did you learn the word?

Matt: As soon as I got here today they stuck me in a room with some people – it was a private meet and greet – and they were just like – duh, duh, duh something “fandom”. And I was like “Hold on, I’ve heard the term before, now explain it to me.” And so they went into this – I guess it’s like fans and kingdom put together and SPN itself is like the king and queen and we’re the kingdom. And I was like alright, I’m just going to use that word all day, I think it’s a funny word. Everything nowadays is a term – there’s a nickname for everything, like Justin Beiber is just Beiber, or whatever they call him or Brad and Angelina is Brangelina – everything’s got a nickname. So I thought it was fitting.

We love that explanation of fandom – all hail King SPN! (Queen??) And the fans got a big kick out of Matt using the correct word. We noted that they also loved that Matt appropriately referenced both Jared’s impressive biceps and Jensen’s voluptuous lips.

Matt: But he does, he does have great lips! I mean it’s blatant. It looks like it’s when he acts (at this, Matt pulls a perfect blue steel face) but he’s not – he just has great lips. And Jared looks like he’s acting like a model up there (referring to the poster in the convention ballroom of Jared in his TV Guide pinup spread) but he’s not – that’s just the way he is – a model-y, pretty, very pretty man.

Lynn and Kathy (look shifty): Really? We haven’t noticed.

Matt really seems to “get it”, so much so that he feels like one of us.

Matt: It’s crazy, because I don’t really get to have this conversation with people who sit out in the audience, so it’s nice to hear your perspective on how the fans are reacting. That’s really unique actually.
(It also explains why our interviews tend to stray into unusual journalistic territory….)

Lynn: Speaking of the reciprocal kind of relationship between fans and actors and creators, do you do the Twitter and Facebook thing?

Matt: I do, I don’t have a Facebook page but I do have a public MySpace, which is like ancient technology, but I post videos, or fan made trailers for SPN, something that catches my eye I’ll throw it up there. But Twitter I try to stay really active, answer any question I can, any Happy Birthday I can send out, I really like to. I did a photo shoot on Monday and I said “Here you go” and put out two pictures from the photo shoot. They already have them. Nobody has those pictures. My agent and manager don’t even have those pictures yet. I give to the fans. They give to me. They let me pay my bills and have a life. It’s nice to be appreciated, it’s nice to know you’re appreciated and that’s why I want the fans to know I appreciate them. I really really do. It’s not a joke to me. It’s not like “I’m a celebrity, I’m going to be nice to you because I’m a fucking celebrity and I have to be.” No. I need them. We need each other.
We couldn’t have said it better.

Photo credit: Lyssa Junek

Matt had mentioned the impact that Heath Ledger’s death had on him earlier in his Q&A, so we wondered where that connection came from.

Matt: When Heath passed it was like my 9/11… When I heard the news of Heath I was like yeah right…. I’m going to be 29 this year – Heath was what, early thirties? Heath is the guy in my life, that I would wish to have had one scene with. He was a talented, talented guy. You have guys like Joseph Gordon Levitt and James Franco who are of the same caliber, but Heath was just different. I just remember finding it out, and I felt like I had to quit acting, I don’t know if I can do it. It was traumatizing. And I never expressed it with anybody. Even my girl, I couldn’t tell her, it was a big deal to me. It was like losing my father.

Somehow this led into a discussion of the upcoming Oscars, and the direction film is going.

Matt: I mean it’s just gone in a direction where, in order for a film to captivate us, they have to have nine foot blue people. But “The King’s Speech”, this is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And there’s nothing in it. There’s nothing in it except two brilliant actors. Nothing else. The director takes these big wide shots where it would just be like her sitting in the chair and a whole empty side of the frame – but just her in the chair. Not a tight shot. It’s really daring. And Colin Firth – he’s definitely going to win the Oscar, that’s a given. There’s no comparison.

Kathy: I thought he’d win last year.

Matt: This movie is just different. It seems like to win an Oscar, you have to have a mental or physical disability in your character, you have to be gay or you have to be naked.

Kathy: But last year he was gay and naked and he still didn’t win!

Matt: I know! So now it’s like this great big toss up. Will he get it? He has to get it. You felt as you were watching him, he was endearing even when he was rude. You could tell that he was only rude because of his disability and he was nervous about his life and it was such an in-depth portrayal of a character.

Lynn: And no eight foot blue people.

Matt: Exactly. When’s the last time you got that? Just talking, just dialog. You just don’t see that anymore.

Lynn at this point shuffles her papers searching for the next question, and Matt starts laughing.

Matt: I don’t even know where we’re at. I don’t even know if I’m answering questions or just going. I’m venting to you guys. You guys are like my therapists right now.

Lynn: That probably explains why our books on fandom are so different. We don’t ask the questions journalists ask. We just have interesting conversations. Occasionally therapeutic ones.

Once we finally found our scribbled out questions, we remembered to ask Matt about a comment he’d made during his Q&A, about needing to make his performance something the fans aren’t going to hate.

Kathy: Did somebody actually say that to you?

Matt: No, not in so many words. The thing with Jensen is, you know when Jensen gave me – understand it’s one of the most difficult things for an actor to direct another actor. It would be different if I came into the episode and Jensen was directing. But he wasn’t – Steve Boyem was directing and so Jensen came to me, and not in any sort of intruding way, said look, I want to give you some ideas for this character, this is a major thing. And at the time, we both thought Jensen was going to be Michael, he thought it too. It hadn’t been written. The episode was finished writing while we were filming. So those would probably be more of my own words to myself when creating Michael in that we know as an artist what we want to do, but what the audience wants us to do [also weighs heavily]. Like I could have said, look Jensen they hired me to come back to the show to play the character and I’m going to play it how I want to play it, but no. I said to myself, all egos aside, Jensen’s been on the show for six years, or five years, however long. So has Jared. They know what fans want. They do it consistently.

Lynn: Everyone who works on that show seems to care so much.

Matt: Yeah, and they hang out together and they live together and it shows, it just shows.

Lynn and Kathy: Awwww (happy fangirl faces)

One of Matt’s new projects is called Cowgirl Up, a web series. Matt teased his role during his Q&A, promising that we’d like it with a rather provocative nudge nudge wink wink. So…..

Lynn: Cowgirl Up. Are you in drag?

Matt: Cowgirl Up. I can’t say anything.

Lynn: Oh come on!

Matt: It is so top secret that I can’t say anything about it.

Lynn: Damn!

Matt: The woman who wrote that is a friend of mine. She created South of Nowhere, the first show that I was ever on. She is this brilliant writer and she comes to me and she says I want to make this thing. I’ve got no money, but my friend owns this ranch, let’s go out to the desert and film this western comedy about girls being at a ranch, on teams against each other. It’s like a weekend get away from Los Angeles , they ride horses and then it’s like a competition between these two groups of girls. And then it evolved into, okay, I’ll produce it and direct some and that turned into, I’m having so much fun with all these girls, you’ve got to squeeze me in somehow. Let me bring my fan base into this also. They want to see me in a new light.

Lynn: A new light, hmmmm. C’mon, now you’re just being cruel!

Matt: The second episode is still being edited right now. We shot about fifty pages of outtakes. And the outtakes are part of each episode. Each webisode is between ten and fourteen minutes and they’re only supposed to be between five to seven minutes, but we have so many absurd outtakes that we just let it roll off on the credits at the end. There’s so much nonsense. And of course you can hear me directing. I say the F-word so many times. It’s terrible, but it’s my first time directing and they’re like here, just take this camera and we need you to get these shots because we didn’t have time to get them, so you go get them with your one other helper. And then be in wardrobe in ten minutes. It was hectic. And it was super guerrilla and low budget. But it was special and unique.

Lynn: It sounds….intriguing…..

Matt: It is. And it’s funny. I do whatever I can to support the gay and lesbian community and that world of film. It’s difficult. There’s not as many doors open to gay and lesbian filmmakers and film storylines.

Lynn: And then that means there are no role models, and that’s a real problem for GLBT young people.

Matt: When I talked about South of Nowhere, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly just wrote up that we were one of the most instrumental young teen gay storylines in history. These girls were like sixteen years old, and it’s not like they were having erotic sex, but they were kissing and they loved each other. I was the guy who wanted them to be together. I fell in love with one, she ended up being gay, I tried to date the other and I could tell she was teeter-tottering on straight and gay and so that’s why I became on the series their angel.

We noted that fit into this particular fandom quite well, with many gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women in the fandom, and slash the most popular genre of fanfiction.

Matt: I had no idea. I’m going to have to read some!

We don’t know if Matt followed Misha’s lead into slash fascination, but he completely won us over with his own emotional story and how it brought him to a place of understanding and empathy.

Matt: It’s weird. I came to Los Angeles from Miami and I swear I never knew a gay person my whole life. I just kind of grew up playing football and was kind of enclosed in my little circle and then I went to college. And when I was in college I couldn’t stay in any of the dorms that were near campus because I waited so long, so I was in this dorm that was in a rough place, there were like shootings, so after a year of college I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted to be doing and I met this manager and moved to LA and she was like just give it a shot. I came to this town not knowing one single person. I mean I was fucking depressed. I got like a little room, that was like basically like a studio – a bed folded down from the wall, no furniture, no TV, no computer, no DVD’s – nothing but a suitcase full of clothes and I would sit and smoke cigarettes and drink whatever cheap beer. I just remember sitting Indian style on the floor, and I was almost scared to be social in a way. Now I know life is what you make it, all the time – whether you’re in a bad place or a good place you can make it as good or as bad as you want. Before I booked my first job the only job I could get in town was at a gay restaurant, so all my friends were gay or lesbian. I worked in one gay place and then another gay bar and I had no straight people around me and then I booked this show that had a large gay message. The woman that wrote the show, Nancylee Myatt, she’s become like my adopted mother/ big sister. But I don’t know, the gay/lesbian thing has just been my life and my world and people always say, Are you gay? Why are you so involved? And I’m like, what the fuck is the difference? I don’t understand.

Lynn and Kathy: (nodding vehemently)

Matt: It’s scary to grow up and say “Hey, we’re supposed to be this way, but I have these feelings.” You can’t just suppress that forever, kids commit suicide over that shit, they get bullied.

Lynn: I work with kids every day who feel just that way, exactly.

Matt: I go to GLAAD awards every year and I stay involved. My immediate “family” — as close as you can get to being family but still friends — are all gay. Those are the people I spend my time with. You know what I tell them, for all the people behind the scenes that are gay . . . you kind of run Hollywood. I just hate close mindedness. Pot’s legal in California but gay people can’t get married.

Sounds like Cowgirl Up will keep up the tradition too?

Matt: It’s got undertones and overtones of hilarious lesbian nonsense. It’s really funny. Some of the things we tried were so stupid and cheesy. We were like smack her on the ass for no reason . Then there’s me – the only man on set. There was me and thirty women, and about half were gay.

Lynn: You might have saved people’s lives with South of Nowhere.

Matt: I hosted this Huntington Beach surf thing and these girls came up to me, they were probably fourteen or fifteen and this girl, I could see her standing there and looking at me and she looked very emotional so I smiled and waved and her friend pushed her to come over and see me. She came over to me and she started crying immediately. And I was like Hey! And she said are you Aiden from South of Nowhere? She didn’t know what else to say, so I said of course and gave her a hug and she said “I just want to tell you that you really did make me feel ok and you saved my life.” And I said “That’s great!” and she said “No, literally,” And she lifted up her arm and said “I haven’t cut myself since the show has come on.” It’s hard to fathom that – that what I do to make money, what I do to live – I am passionate about it, but maybe at the time when I was first on the show I didn’t know what I had. But I know now. I look back and I was lucky. I was part of something with a message. It was a statement. Back then, I was like “Oh, I saved somebody’s life” and didn’t think about it. But now that I’m a little older and witnessed a little more life, it’s special. The film industry is able to portray lots of things. You’ve got films like Slumdog Millionaire – a movie about people who aren’t accepted.

Lynn: And that changes people. Just seeing a show like South of Nowhere.

Kathy: You also make a group that’s invisible for so long visible, and visible in a way that’s completely acceptable and relatable.

Matt: I’d rather be around a passionate nerd than a non-passionate cool person. Because if you lack passion, your soul is diminishing by the second. You have to be passionate about something. Call it obsessed or whatever you want, but be obsessed about something. Obsessed people care. I’m passionate about so many things, it becomes an issue at certain points, but at least you have the ability to feel that much about something.

Obviously, we are in complete agreement about the therapeutic value of passion and obsession – it’s one of the main themes of all our work on fandom. In fact, at this point it was nearly 9 pm, and we all had a certain Show to go watch. At that very moment, there was a line of fellow fans outside our hotel room waiting for us to find the CW so we could all crowd around the tv. So we thanked Matt for a great interview, and Creation volunteer and talented photographer Lyssa Junek for taking photos for us, and got ready to head out for SPN viewing.

Matt: Are you guys coming to karaoke tonight?

Lynn and Kathy: Absolutely, wouldn’t miss it!

Matt then regaled us, and Katherine Boecher, who was also hanging out in the green room, with why he loves doing karaoke with Richard Speight Jr.

Matt: Richard gets my blood flowing, I’m not going to lie. Here’s how it goes:

Richard: “Hey, shall we have a couple of drinks before the thing?”

Matt: “No, Richard.“

Richard: “Alright, come to the bar!”

Matt: “Richard we gotta go on stage. We’re going to be sweating.”

Richard: “No we’re not going to be sweating.”

Apparently that’s not quite what happened though.

Matt: The last time we did this – I think in Chicago, I looked over and Richard is just dripping sweat. It was so funny. Me, him and Jason had a good time. We just all act foolish, so it’s fun. I want the fans to see that this is who we are. I feel like the general take on celebrities is that they’re different than us, they’re better. We’re idiots!

Passionate nerds, you mean. We can relate.

43 thoughts on “We’re All In This Together: Matt Cohen, Passionate Nerds and Going Meta

  • Matt is such a sweat-heart. I can’t believe that all the people on this show are so nice. Thanks for the great interview!

  • Thank you for another feel-good interview. You simply have to love all the creative talent involved with Supernatural. I love Matt’s embrace of passion. Others may call us obsessed, but concerning Supernatural I’d say that’s a very good thing. Matt gets it.

    He may have only been in two episodes, so far, but he is a huge part of Supernatural. The fans love him as much as he appreciates the fans.

    I loved the further info on Jensen’s help in his portrayal of Michael. I love how giving and collaborative the set is.

    Awesome interview! Thanks so much, B.J.

    • Giving and collaborative are the perfect descriptions, you’re right — and you’re very welcome, thanks for reading!

  • Great Job on these articles! I love how passionate Matt is! it really shows through his interaction with the fans, especially in this article.

    I had no idea that he was so involved in the GLBT community, this actually makes m elike him even more ( which i didnt think was possible lol) I have a lot of gay and lesbian friends that were really touched by South of Nowhere…

    Anyway, thanks for writing these! theyre the highlight of my week lol any ideas on when the book comes out?

    • We’re thrilled to be the highlight of your week, and hope we’ll have more good book news very soon. 🙂

      And we join you in being even more impressed with Matt after having a chance to get to know him a little.

  • Okay, first things first: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

    *sigh* Got that out of my system. *wink*

    Such an awesome interview and conversation. I didn’t think I could adore him even a smidge more than I did, but your chat with him just makes me love him even more. *double sigh*

    • Thank you so much for the nudge to do this interview – we still feel bad about the tortilla chip incident and the panic — I mean, green — room dead zone. But we do feel a little better knowing you got your very own Matt hugs that day 🙂

      • Absolutely…the Matt hugs were what it was all about and on the upside, at least I didn’t squeak in his ear on the phone like I know I would have if he’d actually gotten through.

        *falls over dead at the thought*

        Glad I could encourage the Matt love because he deserves it!

  • What a lovely man! He’s soooooooo adorable. It’s nice to be reminded that this show and the fan communities surrounding it have something special. We really lucked out with these guys 🙂

    • That is exactly how we feel — that we really lucked out falling for this show and its incredible cast and crew and fandom 🙂

  • Ow, that interview is amazing!
    Matt is a wonderful person, I didn’t expect him to be that honest and open, I’m always wary of celebrities, I think about how they just can’t admit some things or just have to say some other things out of obligation, but he’s great!

    I hope that one day, when I finally get to my doctoral thesis on the mechanisms of fandom, I’ll be able to do such a great job about it as you do!

    • Matt’s was one of our favorite interviews ever, it was wonderful getting to know him a little bit.

      And what a lovely compliment, you just made our day! We look forward to reading your research one day and knowing it all started with SPN. 🙂

  • Ladies, I think that this is the best interview you’ve given us so far. What a very thoughtful, amazing guy. I like him so much more for his views as expressed here. Thank you.

    • Thank you! We completely agree, what a thoughtful, caring, perceptive human being Matt is. It was truly a pleasure chatting with him. 🙂

  • Another terrific interview! Thank you so much. 🙂 Got to see Matt in Chicago last year (I can attest to the “hugging everyone” hee), he’s a treat.

    Anndddd…I wish had something more in-depth to say than “with his longer hair, he looks like Matt Bomer! He should guest on White Collar.” *is embarrassed*

    • I think you’re in pretty good company there — we heard the Matt Bomer comparison more than once at the con. Very glad to hear that you got to experience the Matt hugs for yourself too 🙂

  • Another fantastic article – thank you! Once again I almost feel like I was there.
    And Matt ‘gets’ SPN fandom – even some ‘fans’ don’t seem to ‘get’ it!
    And he was only in two episodes – big deal – once a member of the SPN family, ALWAYS a member of the SPN family. 🙂
    I love how open and forthright he is. A truly remarkable man.

    • We very much agree with you — open and forthright and a just plain awesome guy. A wonderful addition to the SPN family 🙂

  • So let me get this straight…Matt is well-spoken, good-looking *and* a nerd? I can die happy now! 🙂

    He may have only been in two episodes, but in those two episodes he made those characters his own. That’s no small feat considering he was standing in the shoes of Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It would be a crime for him not to appear on the show again, so from his lips to Sera Gamble’s ears- that man needs to make another appearance.

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful interview (and for the shout-out). My thanks as well to Lyssa Junek for taking those superb photos.

    Still waiting for those phone numbers so we can call your publishers…:-)

    • Thanks for contributing that great question, Amy – we totally agree with you too, Matt should definitely return to SPN soon. And our prospective publishers should get ready for phone calls….. LOL!

  • I couldn’t agree more… Matt Cohen is a triple threat. Beautiful (inside & out), Talented and Smart (seriously sexy nerdy brain)

    But of course, I’m biased. I’m his “adopted” mom, friend, sometime producing partner & part time mentor.

    We could not have done Cowgirl Up without Matt’s commitment and energy. And having he and Mandy together on set kept us all remembering how blessed we are when we get a chance to do what we love with those we love.

    You can find Cowgirl Up at http://www.tellofilms.com/ and the fans from SouthofNowhereonline created a website dedicated to the Cowgirl Up fans. http://cowgirlupfans.com/

    And we also created a section on the site for fanfic — I even posted a character bible, story areas and writing tips. While I don’t have the legal luxury of reading the fanfic, I really appreciate the fans keeping my characters alive even after the shows are off the air (or never even got on the air in the case of Nikki & Nora).

    Thank you for this great interview.


    • Hi Nancylee, it’s a pleasure to ‘meet’ you through Matt — the interview was our pleasure, and thanks so much for the links and thoughtful comments (with which we completely agree). We’d love to talk to you more if you’re up for a chat!

  • Another wonderful article ladies. Thanks for all your “hard” work and long hours to attend these conventions and interview all these celebrities, and share those efforts with us .
    I saw Matt last year in a guest role on NCIS:LA. It was cool to see him in another role (and he didn’t turn out to be the bad guy. Yeah!)

    When is the book coming out??????

    • We do work very hard, and it’s SUCH tough work, the kind nobody really would want to do….*heavy sarcasm*. Glad you enjoyed the interview, and are eagerly awaiting the book 🙂

  • Thank you for this wonderful interview! I hope we see more of Matt Cohen both in “Supernatural” and elsewhere; he’s a lovely and talented man, and incredibly sweet to his fans. He even tweets and shares videos, and I appreciate him.

    And when’s the book coming out, huh? Huh? I want to read the whole thing!!!

    • He really is an incredibly sweet, thoughtful and talented man – a pleasure to interview! Thanks for all your help in getting the word out there about Fangasm — it really does help with getting the complete version, aka the actual book, out! ! 🙂

  • What a wonderful interview! Gosh I have to add another person to my wish list. It’s been a while since I was at a con and there are so many wonderful people who have been guests at cons that my wish list is overflowing!

    He sounds like an incredible guy; his fiancee is a very lucky woman. Lyssa took some really beautiful pictures too!

    So I track release dates of DVDs and books in my planner calendar pages…when the heck can I add a date for Fangasm The Book?!

    • Lyssa’s photos really are gorgeous, aren’t they? And yes, you really need to get to another con soon — almost as much as we need to get that release date ironed out!!! 🙂

  • What a wonderful interview–Matt sounds like a great guy. I hope we see him again on Supernatural.

    And I’ll add my voice to the crowd–when will your book be out? I can’t wait to read the whole thing!

  • Could his quote on Aiden’s role in the Spencer/Ashley relationship be anymore inaccurate or delusional?

  • Hey Britney, he’s not wrong – remember he’s coming from Aiden’s POV. So in that context he’s right. Each character felt like the had some influence on their love affair. Even though we all know the heart wants what it wants.

    We got together this week in Los Angeles and shot a SON promo to help sell a movie version of series. Being in set again with all of the cast “family” was ffantastic. Matt shot a behind the scenes video that has been leaked on YouTube. If you follow Matt on Twitter or Facebook you can find the link.

    Keep a positive thought for us to get to make the film. Nancylee

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