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Interview: Matt Cohen shares insights into his ‘State of Mind,’ and helping people

Actor, TV host, and filmmaker Matt Cohen (“General Hospital” and “Supernatural”) chatted about his latest endeavors, and discussed the importance of mental health.

Matt Cohen
Matt Cohen. Photo Credit: Robb Zbacnik
Matt Cohen. Photo Credit: Robb Zbacnik

Actor, TV host, and filmmaker Matt Cohen (“General Hospital” and “Supernatural”) chatted about his latest endeavors, and discussed the importance of mental health.

Cohen is known for playing a young John Winchester and Archangel Michael in the hit series “Supernatural,” and as Griffin Munro on the ABC daytime drama “General Hospital.” Cohen also served as a correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight” (ET) for four years.

MB ‘State of Mind’ podcast on mental health

On Sunday, January 21, his episode of Maurice Benard’s “State of Mind” podcast on mental health was released on YouTube. A three-time Emmy winner, Benard is known for his portrayal of patriarch Sonny Corinthos on “General Hospital.”

They touched upon such sophisticated, mature, and important topics as suicidal ideation, mental health, relationships, boxing, acting, homelessness, and families.

On being a part of Maurice Benard’s “State of Mind” podcast, Cohen said, “It was intense. Maurice and I go way back obviously to my time on ‘General Hospital.’ My time there was quick, wild, and it was crazy. I had a newborn baby, and there was a lot going on with me. I was battling just trying to differentiate my life that I was experiencing from the elevated daily drama that I was having to portray in Port Charles.”

“At the time, I went to Maurice for advice,” he said. “Maurice connected me with a therapist, and that was my first experience in therapy. Let’s just put it this way, I begged the therapist to continue giving me therapy after he didn’t want to take my money or talk to me anymore.”

“I decided that for seven days a week, I would do things for my physical being. I stay away from sugars, I want to be healthy, feel good, and live a happy and enriching life,” he said.

“This therapist took my brain to the gym,” he said. “He asked me questions and I was able to peel back layers and I wanted to put those layers back on, and I wanted to cover myself up. This was through my time on ‘General Hospital’ and into my time on ‘ET.’ I am constantly seeking therapy just even before a circumstance might require it.”

“Maurice and I go way back,” he admitted. “It was a long time coming to get on ‘State of Mind.’ We have likenesses and we have differences. Maurice comes from a different generation; he battles different demons and different tragedies.”

“I am a different person and I’ve equally and aggressively have had situations in my life happen. We responded to each other, he listened to me, and I listened to him, and sometimes that’s all you need,” Cohen acknowledged.

Matt Cohen
Matt Cohen. Photo Credit: Sharon Lane

Understanding pain, living with loss

“Last year, I lost a lot of buddies,” he said. Some to suicide, some to accidental overdoses. Fentanyl and depression and suicide are taking people on an astronomical number, and I don’t want it anymore.”

Cohen continued, “I understand those thoughts and the pain. There were a lot of lessons to learn here, and the most important one is: ‘the tide always comes in and goes out.’ Look at that as your depression, darkness, panic, and anxiety. It is going to come and it’s going to go.”

“Weigh out the struggles and the pain. I promise there is something on the other side. It’s this great big ball of chaos called life, and we all need to stir it, and make the most out of it,” he added.

Hallmark movie ‘Made for Each Other’

Last February, Cohen starred in the Hallmark movie “Made for Each Other” alongside Aaron O’Connell, Alexandra Turshen, and Illeana Douglas. “That movie was a great experience, and I connected with that character more than I anticipated,” he said.

Working with Maura West on ‘General Hospital’

Cohen had great words about working with three-time Emmy award-winning actress Maura West, who played his love interest in the soap opera “General Hospital.”

“I love this woman, she is such a fantastic actress,” he exclaimed. “They only make Emmys because of Maura West. She is so good, they don’t want other people to feel bad, so sometimes, they give them to other people,” he said with a sweet laugh.

“Hands down, Maura is the best working daytime actress, and she is in the Top 10 actresses I’ve ever stood across from in my life. I yearn to be back in her presence,” he expressed.

“The ability to work with Maura West is always a dream. She is always thumping in my heart. Her character, Ava, was my life there, and she was literally my sanity at the same moment. She kept me alive and well on that set,” he elaborated.

Maura just shows up and she is such a strong performer. She is what you call a ‘badass.’ She is all encompassing of everything it takes to be, shine, and thrive in the entertainment business, and then, she shuts it off, and she is the best mother to her kids, wife to her partner, and friend.”

Steve Burton and Cameron Mathison

Cohen shared that he is a big fan of such actors as Steve Burton and Cameron Mathison, and noted that he would like to visit Port Charles from time to time to mix and spice things up in the General Hospital.” “It would be fun to pop in and out of Port Charles from time to time,” Cohen said.

Remembering his late ‘General Hospital’ co-stars

Cohen remembered his late “General Hospital” cast members Jackie Zeman, Sonya Eddy, Tyler Christopher, Billy Miller, and producer Nneka Garland.

“Those losses were brutal. The amount of people that we’ve lost on that show over the last few years is just heartbreaking,” he said.

Favorite mottos to live by

On his favorite mottos to live by, he shared, ‘“You never know until you ask… Now, that’s the only way I run my career.”’

Future plans and goals

Regarding his future plans and goals, Cohen said, “My most important job in life right now is to help anybody who reaches out a hand. End of story.”

“I have a few movie options that I am hopefully directing here,” he said. “I hope to turn my film ‘Mama Bear,’ which I directed in three days, into a trilogy. I want to show people out there that I am a creative director, and I can make anything happen and work. Getting a group of people together is my strong suit.”

Matt Cohen
Matt Cohen. Photo Credit: Sharon Lane

Stage of his life

On the title of the current chapter of his life, Cohen said, “Exhale.” “That’s what I would call it,” he admitted. “The current chapter is called ‘Finding Me — Figuring it Out.’ There are my real emotions,” he clarified.

“Being here, no matter how twisted life can get, is better than the alternative. Experience this chaos for all that it is. Decide to be happy when you are mad and decide to be grateful when you are not. Just make a choice to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments,” he explained.

“I am trying to use social networks for what they are made for, and that’s to change the world for the better,” he said.

Superpower

On his superpower of choice, Cohen revealed, “I would like to give people the power of relentlessness.”

“I would like to have the ability to share relentlessness with people in their journey of not giving up on whatever it is they are chasing,” he said.

“At this point, if you don’t stop, you will always make it happen. 100 percent of the time. If you are authentically true, genuine, and passionate in your pursuit, it is going to happen to you. Work ethic and discipline can replace passion,” he explained.

Success

Regarding his definition of the word success, Cohen said, “Success means that my wife and child still want to be in the same room as me. I don’t want money or fame. I just want the love of my wife and kid.”

“I want to help people; I have a special skillset that is acting and directing. I am a creative person, and I can help people through my acting and directing. I can help them achieve whatever they want to achieve within those parameters,” he concluded.

To learn more about actor and filmmaker Matt Cohen, follow him on Instagram and check out his IMDb page.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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