Inside the Bubble: Days of our Lives' Matthew Florida

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Matthew Florida is really a nice guy, and he wants you to know it.

Matthew Florida (Ford, Days of our Lives)Matt Florida of Days of our Lives said that winning the recurring role of hot, hunky, sexy, campus rapist, Ford Decker was like winning the Oscar.

"Oh boy, was it ever. When I got the call back that I won, I was shocked,” Florida said. “It’s just great! This is an experience, and this couldn’t be a better first job. But I must admit, at first I didn’t know I was the rapist. I went from taking off my shirt to being a rapist real fast. Now, I have to get into the mind of a sick person to play this part.”

Florida was born in Temple, TX., and raised in the little town of Bremond, TX. He excelled in sports and was picked as First-Team, All-State Defensive-End. He also competed in the Texas State Track meet, two years in a row.

But sports is not his only passion. He is also quite the artist.  Florida's patriotic drawings have garnished him several awards and they still hang in the George Bush Library in Texas.

Florida found his niche in acting during his senior year in high school, and he won “Best Actor” for his performance in the one-act play “The Cop and the Anthem.”

“Acting is really something I enjoy,” Florida said. “When I did the play in high school, it was like… I just became fascinated, or you can say hooked to this business.”

Florida went on to Texas A&M, and in his second year, he was spotted by a local talent scout, who brought him to an International Talent and Modeling competition in New York, and then he was signed by a talent manager.

A month later, he packed -- leaving Texas behind for the bright lights of Hollywood -- and began going on auditions and receiving call-backs for primetime shows like “Closer to Home,“ and “Friday Night Lights.”  He has appeared in several commercials and feature films, and in January, will play the role of Brad Ecker in “Ghost Whisper."

“Boy I have to tell you…the move to Hollywood was really culture shock,” Florida said."  Living here is an experience, but I’m not complaining," he laughs.

Florida said that working on Days of our Lives is a real comfortable feeling. His first day he admits to being nervous, but added that the cast is very supportive, and made him feel real comfortable. As the days go by, each scene get easier.

Florida’s manager got him the audition on Days of our Lives, and soon after he was booked as Decker. “What’s really funny is that I once auditioned for the role of Nick Fallon (played by Blake Berris), and I don’t believe they even remembered me, because it was a different casting director,” Florida said.

Being grateful for the role, Florida knows that competition in Hollywood rules supreme, and said that by not thinking about it, he believes it can help him as an individual to be more successful. He jokes about still trying to figure out in Hollywood just what is “That look."

Florida would love to see the role of Decker go to a contract role, and believes much can be done with the character.

"Decker can go in many directions. I believe he can be revived as a better person,” Florida said. “I’m enjoying playing the villain, and believe me, there is more to come, but I’d really like to see him mellow down a bit.”

From what Soapdom hears, a contract could be in the offering, so stay tuned!

Meantime, back in Texas, Florida’s family is thrilled for his success, but Florida admitted that he believes his family really doesn't understand the Hollywood process (auditioning, making the rounds, etc.), but are loving the moment.  “I think in their eyes, I’m just Matt,” he said.

In his spare time, Florida enjoys working out and spending time with his wife, Anna. They are proud parents of their first child, Ryan Henry, who was born several months ago.

Florida met his wife in Los Angeles. They both had the same acting coach. “Would you believe it? She’s beautiful. Half Polish and half Flipino,” Florida said. “I really lucked out in that department, too.”

He poked fun saying that often he jokes with his wife about his character being referred to as “Drop dead gorgeous,” or “hot hunk,” and added that she too likes him “lean and mean."

Soapdom needs to know, what does Florida want the viewers and cast and crew to know about him? “First," he said, laughing, "I’m not like Decker. I’m a good, honest person. Just a good o’le boy from Texas, not a manipulator.”

Florida hopes to remain in the business, and do more primetime, and movies. “Someday I’d like to give comedy a try, and possibly do a sitcom. I love comedy and believe that would be fun. For now, I’ll see where all this goes.  Even though this is all moving so fast, I’m having the time of my life."