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Ex-All My Children Star Justin Bruening Reflects on Being Grey's Good Guy, Sweet Magnolias

Justin Bruening

Justin Bruening

All My Children grad Justin Bruening (ex-Jamie Martin) is all about the good-guy status. Bruening portrayed Matthew Taylor, the nice virgin paramedic who got his heart broken by April Kepner (Sarah Drew) when she cheated and ran off and eloped with sexy Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), on Grey's Anatomy. 

While Japril fans rejoiced for a short time, Matthew did end up getting the girl and rode off into married bliss with April. Now, Bruening is starring in Netflix's new romantic series, Sweet Magnolias, where he plays handsome baseball coach Cal Maddox. The series centers around three South Carolina women who also happen to be best friends from childhood, as they help each other navigate complex romances, family and careers. Based on the book series of the same name by Sherryl Woods, Brueining's character falls in love with divorcée Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher). 

What can fans expect from Cal? Bruening spoke with to give the scoop.

He came to the town of Serenity to start over. He wanted a new life, and this [romance] was not part of the plan. There's a moment where he and Maddie have this spark. He basically says, 'I can't ignore this.' There's something between them, but it's a catch-22. He's trying to navigate the drama with their family without making it worse. But at the same time he knows there's something there and it's something he hasn't felt before. It's an interesting relationship when it comes to her kids. That's the whole core of this show, how our decisions as adults affect the children. .

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Is Bruening cool with being Mr. Nice Guy? The actor explains,

I know, it's tough. I have to go murder a bunch of people in my next project. Look at Christian Bale in American Psycho! He was a great-looking guy and he was insane! I hope I get to play those types of characters. But it's not a bad thing to be the nice guy.

What does Bruening think about Japril stans? Bruening stated,

Oh, totally. I know where I stand, all right. I guess there was some Mapril people. There's a lot of sympathy for my character because he is so nice. In their minds, Matthew did all the right things. But an attraction is an attraction. You can't fight that. I'm more than happy to take the back burner to Japril. That's the love story. It's Romeo and Juliet. Two people that shouldn't be together want to be together, and that's completely fine, even though I'm married to her now. So technically, I won.

Sweet Magnolias is streaming now on Netflix.