[WARNING: General Spoilers Ahead]
This weekend, Hallmark Channel goes above and beyond for its latest Loveuary® premiere, Made for Each Other. The romance brewing in this love story comes with a magical and maybe even a supernatural twist.
Or should we say, a Supernatural twist? Matt Cohen, who played Young John Winchester on the CW hit that ran for 15 seasons, plays one of the leads in the film. This marks a return trip for Cohen, who made his first Hallmark appearance in 2019’s Holiday Date. When we talked to him back then, he was about to direct an episode of the series that starred Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. He had just started as a correspondent on Entertainment Tonight. And he was so excited to join the Hallmark family.
Three years later, the family man is booked and busy. He continues to crush it on ET. His recent credits include acting and directing productions. He’s developing projects with fellow SPN alum, Ackles. But first and foremost, he’s just as excited to chat about Made for Each Other. As we mentioned earlier, this is one of those Hallmark Media movies that features a magical element. So it was imperative we again turn to Cohen to help us out with our preview.
MADE FOR EACH OTHER
His Experience. Made for Each Other is a story about an artist/teacher with two romantic options, one created and one very much human. There’s Clay, the guy she molded out of clay who magically comes alive one day. There’s also David, the comedian who unexpectedly challenges her in new and different ways.
“Of all the projects I’ve worked on in my career, this was the most fun I had with a cast and a crew and a project,” Cohen shares. “I really had an extraordinary time with these people. It’s one of those things where you hope that it’s gonna turn out great, and then it surprises you and turns out amazing.”
His Co-stars. Starring alongside Cohen are Partner Track’s Alexandra Turshen and Hallmark veteran Aaron O’Connell. The three actors give good chemistry as their characters navigate big themes like love, life, career, family, friendship, and the decision to follow or give up on chasing your dreams. The South of Nowhere alum feels grateful for his co-stars.
“I couldn’t have been in [the] company of better folks,” he raves. “We all have young children and marriages and we’re trying to navigate the world of being in your thirties and Hollywood and all these different things. And man, we just connected, we really connected the way humans should and it was just a long time coming. I was so appreciative of those three weeks with those people. It was amazing.”
The Shirtlessness. What might be the biggest spoiler? Aaron O’Connell is shirtless when his perfect specimen of a character first joins the action. If you watch Hallmark with any regularity, then you know extended shirtlessness doesn’t happen in every movie or TV show on the channel (or its sister channels). Both Cohen and O’Connell are handsome, talented, and very, very fit. Either could have played the man molded out of clay. Matt says when the movie’s director, Jeff Beesley, told him he was playing the other guy, there was a little bit of adjusting he had to do… on a psychological level.
“Jeff told me on the phone, he goes, ‘listen, this is a movie about a girl looking for the perfect guy. And she kind of sculpts this guy and he’s really perfect physically.’ And I go, ‘Jeff, I’m rolling into my forties here. I wanna make sure I’m doing pushups and abs.’ And he goes, ‘don’t worry, that’s not you.’ And I thought it was so funny because, and this is gonna sound somewhat narcissistic to say, but I’m gonna say it anyway, for the first time in my career, at the age of 40, I’ve not been the hot guy. I’m the guy that the lead character settles for, which challenges you to kind of reinvent yourself as an actor a little bit. Cause I’ve been stuck trying to play this boy next door shirtless ab guy for so long. And now I had to win the girl over with something else.”
His character’s motivation. Okay, so this time around, he’s not playing the hot shirtless guy perfect in every way. What Cohen is playing is the nice, grounded, hot, very clothed comedian who’s looking to get his life together.
“I had to win the girl over with my hopes of chasing a dream and my abandonment of walking away from all the things everybody thinks you should do to go after something that maybe your heart’s telling you to do. And I related a lot to that. I fell in love with the character.
Don’t worry, the actor says he’s totally cool with not being the sculpted, chiseled, perfect one.
“Listen, I had no fear of missing out for Aaron’s shirtless scenes when I saw that man and his beautiful physique,” Cohen laughs. “I mean, for a man that is that beautiful, it is amazing that his soul and his heart and his morals line up with that because he is one of the greatest guys I’ve ever worked with in Hollywood. Just a sweetheart through and through. And obviously not to mention talented on many levels outside his beautiful physique. I mean, the guy is a trained pilot. He flies planes, he saves puppies. He’s just a great human being. And, honestly, a person that inspires me just being around him.”
His biggest challenge. At the beginning of the movie, David is strictly anti-dating. He’s experiencing a major career transition having decided to make the switch from lawyer to comedian. This means multiple scenes featuring Matt on stage acting like he’s a true stand-up comic. While he has real-life experience interacting with Supernatural fans at conventions all around the world, being a stand-up comedian is a whole different, terrifying beast.
“The scariest part about doing the project was that and the reason being is I have such a high respect for stand-up comedy,” he says. “And right now I think we’re kind of in a golden age of stand-up comedy. And some of these people out there doing comedy are remarkable. And they’re talking about funny, realistic moments we all relate to, but to pretend to be a stand-up comedian is… that’s not a role you want to take because it’s such a challenge.”
“And, obviously, I was playing a clean comedian. There’s not a whole bunch of comedians that are working on a high level doing clean comedy. You know, there are a couple, you got your Jim Gaffigans and guys like that. But I was, to be honest, scared to let down comedians. I wasn’t scared to take on the role. I trust Jeff Beesley, the director, he’s like a family member to me. So if he says, say this, try that. I trust his comedy direction. But I just didn’t want comedians to see it and be like, oh gosh, look at this chump making us look silly up on stage. I wanted to do it justice. So like everything from my body language to kind of how I stood on stage, I wanted it to be a comedian, unsure of himself at an open mic. And, you know, there’s a lot of terror in that, but there’s also a lot of fulfillment in there.”
Matt Cohen, ET Correspondent. For three years, Cohen has been interviewing celebrities all over the map. He’s become comfortable on the red carpet of awards shows and movie premieres. And he regularly sits down with the biggest film, tv and music stars to find out about their projects and their personal lives. He remains in awe of what he gets to do on a daily basis.
“I’m in my third year at Entertainment Tonight and I can’t say enough about the team of people that work there. I have three Emmys sitting on my shelf. I wouldn’t be surprised, and I don’t wanna sound narcissistic again, but this team works so hard. I probably got a fourth Emmy coming and it’s not cause of me and it’s not cause of the hosts —like we do our part, but the team behind the scenes, the crew, the producers, the EPs, the people that are in the field, our field crews, these men, women, they work so hard to achieve the best quality.”
There are certain perks, however.
“I was sitting at the Oscars luncheon the other day. I’m sitting having genuine conversations with Jamie Lee Curtis— we’re eating pizza together. Colin Ferrell and Brenda Gleason— we’re having a laugh. They’re telling me I have beautiful hair. I’m sitting having real moments with these people, not as an actor trying to connect, but as Matt Cohen trying to connect. And if it wasn’t for Entertainment Tonight, I would’ve never had that opportunity to sit down with so many A-listers. When you sit down with Jerry Bruckheimer and you fanboy over his film from a creative perspective and then Jerry Bruckheimer fanboys back to you, that’s a moment that people can only dream of in Hollywood and, and, you know, 99.9% of the people won’t get.
Someone else who fanboyed over Matt? Only Dr. Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch.
“I respect Benedict on such a high level as an artist for him just to sit down in a room with me. Now what you saw was the clip on the red carpet. Yeah, but previously, he and I sat in a room for a junket and he was in jeans and a t-shirt and we had a real moment talking about his performance and man, that’s the coolest thing on earth. And then to see him on his big night, and we are number one in the press line, and he comes up to me, breaks conversation first, telling me I’m a good looking fellow. There’s, you know, I’m a fan of his and I’m loyal to him forever. He won me over. I’m his, I’m his puppy dog and I’m ready to go on a walk, you know.”
THE SPN FAMILY
The Future is Family. SPN Family, that is. If the CW’s The Winchesters gets another season (please, please, please), Matt is hoping to direct an episode much like his buddy Richard Speight Jr. (Supernatural’s Gabriel/Loki/Trickster) did during the first season. And he’s developing projects with another SPN pal you may have heard of before.
“Jensen [Ackles] and I have some projects being developed right now that hopefully will have an announcement very soon that are rather intriguing and on a scale that you’ve never seen Jensen or I before. So I’m hoping that if that turns out— I don’t wanna, jinx it — but he and I have some fun things going on outside The Winchesters, outside the Supernatural realm and, and into the movie world. And so we’re hoping for that. And then of course, The Winchesters means a great deal to me. Those young folks that took over and are playing the younger version of me and the younger version of Mary, I mean, they are just fantastic. And from what I know, I haven’t met them in person, they absolutely honor the project, honor the roles and honor what Supernatural stands for, which is family. So if I can have any involvement in that show acting [or] directing… I’ll be there in a second. Of course.”
The Boys. Of all the shows on TV and in the streaming universe, Cohen tells us he would love to guest star on Prime Video’s The Boys.
“Eric Kripke co-wrote the very first movie I ever did— Boogeyman 2— which I starred in. He then cast me as the younger Jeffrey Dean Morgan character of Young John Winchester. I also got to have my very first directing experience on his show that he created, Supernatural. And now he’s got this R-rated action superhero series on Amazon that is completely wild and politically incorrect and completely obscene, but in the same moment, it’s covering the climate that is kind of the world right now in a unique way. And I just, I find Eric Kripke to be one of the most fascinating, artistically creative television and filmmakers that are out there. And so The Boys would be the show I would love to guest on. I’d love to play a screwy superhero or, you know, any character really.”
Until that happens, you can find Cohen falling in love in a new movie. Made for Each Other premieres Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel. As a reminder, you can stream Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries on Peacock here.
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