GENERAL HOSPITAL

Catching up With GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Matt Cohen (EXCLUSIVE)

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Prior to joining GENERAL HOSPITAL, Matt Cohen (ex-Griffin) had close ties to another TV show, The CW’s long-running SUPERNATURAL. Since he had played both a young John Winchester and the Archangel Michael possessing John in different episodes, “my extended family is all a result of SUPERNATURAL; I’ve traveled the world doing conventions with these people,” he said. “We’ve shared heartache, triumphs, and failures. I really know them.”

So when Cohen tried his hand at directing — on the short Mama Bear — some of the SUPERNATURAL cast eagerly took part. Then, “the right people got their hands on it and liked it,” he explained. As a result, he was invited to direct the episode “Gimme Shelter,” in which Sam and Dean search for God’s sister to ask for help. “They’re trying to solve the end-of-the-world issue,” Cohen says, “and [deal with] God maybe not making the best choices.”

Matt Cohen on Supernatural
“Jensen Ackles (ex-Eric, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) has played Dean since the beginning,” said Cohen, here as young John. “Watching him [now] in a frame that I created is a dream come true.”Sergei Bachlakov/The CW

Arriving in Vancouver the week before production, the director determined what it was that he wanted to do. “We were on location quite a bit. I think we ended up only shooting two days in the studio,” he said. “I praise the crew, who stood in the rain, sleet, snow, hail, and wind!”

Being, as its title suggests, a supernatural drama, the series often incorporates visual effects. While Cohen had directed some of that before, he appreciated the opportunity to “get in there, be taught by the pros and be adjusted by the best in the business.”

He also had the unique experience of taking on a new role opposite the show’s stars. “I was hoping to nudge them in the direction that I wanted to see in a performance,” he said. “But at the same time, they truly know these characters better than I ever could.”

GH Ava Griffin
“Maura West (Ava) is one of the best,” the GH alum shared. “If I’m directing movies I want her in them.”Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

Griffin’s former portrayer is also working as a correspondent for ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT. But might he still find time to return to GH? “I’m gone, but I’m not gone forever,” he suggested. “ If they will have me, I will step back in.”

Unfortunately, SUPERNATURAL writer Andrew Dabb shared on Twitter that the March 23 episode (No. 13) would be the show’s last original broadcast for a while, due to the coronavirus shutdown. “We have filmed through episode 18; however, our visual-effects and sound departments have closed because of the outbreak,” he reported. “So right now, the episodes can’t be finished. And yes, we, the CW and Warner Bros. fully intend to return and finish the series. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”

This story originally appeared in our print magazine

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