the more things change...

… the more ex­cit­ing they are for GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL’s Matt Co­hen (Grif­fin)

ABC Soaps In Depth - - Feature Int - — Deanna Barn­ert

when GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL’s Grif­fin came to Port Charles to learn about his late fa­ther, Duke, he found a new home — and had no idea what he’d got­ten him­self into! “Port Charles is the most unholy of unholy places for Grif­fin, with his naive sense of the world,” sug­gests por­trayer Matt Co­hen, with a laugh. “It’s like he spent his life in a monastery, and now he’s at Mardi Gras. Ev­ery­thing is wild and crazy!”

At the cen­ter of the mad­ness is, of course, se­duc­tive she-devil Ava, the old flame who feels so burned by Grif­fin. “You’re talk­ing about two peo­ple who couldn’t be more po­lar op­po­site, but Grif­fin was no doubt in love with her,” con­tends Co­hen. “He just wishes he could have changed her more.”

The Vixen Who Gave Grif­fin His Back­bone

That sen­ti­ment isn’t ex­actly a sur­prise. “Kiki and Ava have called him on his sav­ior com­plex a thou­sand times,” Co­hen notes. “He helped Ava, and as much as I hate to ad­mit it, he’s helped see Kiki through some com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tions.”

One might ar­gue that the dis­graced priest and sus­pended doc­tor — who got in trou­ble for sleep­ing with Claudette be­fore we’d even met him! — has his own is­sues. And when Ava re­gressed, it be­came clear that he was the one who

had, in fact, been changed. “Ava’s given him a back­bone,” Co­hen says. “She told him that yes, he’s there to serve, but he can also stand up for him­self. Un­for­tu­nately, it all hit the fan with my sweet Ava, and I had to stand up to her.”

Hope For Grif­fin & Ava?

In the face of Ava’s fury, Grif­fin and Kiki’s friend­ship blos­somed into a sexy ro­mance. “He’s fall­ing in and out of love at the same mo­ment,” Co­hen says. “But you can’t turn off love, no mat­ter how foul the sit­u­a­tion turns. So at the end of the day, gun to Grif­fin’s head or Ava’s head, who­ever’s pulling the trig­ger, there’s love there.”

Co­hen can even see her and Grif­fin re­unit­ing… one day! “Soa­p­land can make any­thing hap­pen, so it’s a pos­si­bil­ity,” he says. “But one thing’s sure: I can­not work in Soa­p­land if I don’t get to be in­volved with Maura West! I de­pend on her.”

“Words” With Friends

Co­hen is as big a fan of his Emmy-win­ning lead­ing lady as we are. “Maura has

changed my life at GH, as far as pure hap­pi­ness and love for the craft,” he gushes. “She’s a fan­tas­tic ac­tress. You never know what you’re go­ing to get from her, but it’s al­ways gold. And she makes me feel com­fort­able in my own dorky skin. She’s fam­ily.

“We’re both sad and ex­cited we’re GH ri­vals now,” he adds. “The words com­ing out of my mouth burn my tongue, but it’s fun to play with those dy­nam­ics when you have a friend­ship.”

Mind you, Co­hen’s ado­ra­tion of West is noth­ing against new lead­ing lady, Hay­ley Erin (Kiki). “It’s been fun and ef­fort­less work­ing with both Jerome gals,” he says. “The three of us have al­ways been to­gether, chat­ting it up. So Hay­ley and I be­came friends as well, and I look up to her. She’s ex­tremely tal­ented, and we have chem­istry. But with­out Ava Jerome at­tached to his life, Grif­fin’s just not as in­ter­est­ing!”

The New Girl

Right now, Ava’s keep­ing things in­ter­est­ing for her ex by aim­ing Sasha at him and his new girl­friend in hopes of tor­pe­do­ing

their ro­mance. But even as the new­comer eyes his abs, “the Griff­ster’s clue­less,” Co­hen says with a laugh. “This is ap­par­ently Kiki’s half sis­ter, so he’s go­ing to treat her like fam­ily un­til she gives him a rea­son not to. What will that evolve into? Use your imag­i­na­tion!”

In other words, Co­hen’s not ex­actly root­ing for a happy end­ing for Grif­fin and Kiki just yet. “I want to ride this Grif­fin train of doom all the way to rock bot­tom,” he says, “so he can climb back up and come out even stronger!”

Be­tween step­ping away from the church and be­ing sus­pended at GH, “Grif­fin has to im­plode at some point,” Co­hen the­o­rizes.

“I en­joy work­ing with Hay­ley,” says the hunk, who’s hop­ing Sasha causes trou­ble for Grif­fin and Kiki. “I can only hope! She’s def­i­nitely go­ing to make things in­ter­est­ing.”

“It broke my heart when I had to step away from the Alzheimer’s story,” Co­hen ad­mits. “Work­ing with Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Be­nard (Sonny), there was a lot to be learned.”

“I love to film [with] Maura,” says the GH-er. “The crew re­spects her, and she makes them laugh.”

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