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Exclusive: Matthew Atkinson Teases A 'Shock' Is In Store For Thomas's B&B Return

matthew atkinson, the bold and the beautiful

Howard Wise/

At the end of March, Thomas abruptly headed to Paris with Douglas after calling an end to his on-again, off-again relationship with Hope, befuddling Bold and Beautiful fans – and leading to rampant speculation about just how long Thomas was going to remain in Paris. But now, that question can be answered: his portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, is headed back to the canvas, with his first appearance slated for this Friday, June 21. Portrayer Matthew Atkinson spoke with Digest about his time away from the show  — and how he feels about returning.

A recent newlywed — he and Brytnee Ratledge tied the knot on November 8, 2023 — Atkinson also shared how married life is treating him.

“It’s fantastic. Oh, being married is so awesome,” he raves. “It helps having the most wonderful wife in the world, but yeah, it’s amazing.”

The couple took advantage of his time away from B&B with “a lot of travel, a lot of being married and having fun and going to play with the dog at the park,” he reports. “And we actually went [on] a trip [of a lifetime] that we both always wanted to do, which is going to Ireland, Scotland and England. So we took off and spent a couple of weeks over there. We’ve just been moving and grooving.”

Playing… At Work

It’s good that he got in some fun while he could because now he’s back at the studio. But for him, working isn’t, well, work. “It’s great. I mean, I love working with so many people on Bold, and so just getting to play with Jacqui [MacInnes Wood, Steffy] and with Thorsten [Kaye, Ridge] and all these guys again, it’s just a lot of fun.”

While Thomas was away, a lot of things happened back in Los Angeles — like Sheila’s return from the dead and marriage to Deacon, the discovery that Luna is Bill’s biological daughter — but perhaps most relevant to Thomas (and certainly, to “Thope” fans) is that Hope appears to be fixated on another man. And not just any man, but Finn, the man married to Thomas’s sister.

Atkinson is taking a wait-and-see perspective on the potentially messy twist. “From Thomas’s point of view, he knows nothing about it, and so maybe that helps my point of view,” he laughs. “I’ll just say I know nothing about it. But yeah, there have definitely been some interesting changes [while] Thomas was out of town.”

As far as twists go, Atkinson feels that B&B testing the waters between Hope and Finn is “nothing that I wouldn’t necessarily expect. If I was going to draw out a few things that the show might try, that would be one of ’em.”

From A Certain Point of View

While fans know what Thomas missed, Atkinson doesn’t. And didn’t want to know too much, limiting his catch-up to what Thomas would be aware of. “What I try and do is relegate all the information to, ‘Okay, so what would Thomas know?’ ” he explains. “This is just a part of the process of working on a soap. It’s a little different in different mediums, but when Thomas is out of town, he is gone. I only get the information [about] the things that Thomas would know. So I had a conversation with Jacqui about phone conversations that she had with Thomas while he was out of town, things like that that would’ve gotten to Thomas, but nothing else. So that when I’m coming in, I’m only [finding out] the information coming back that would’ve been revealed naturally. So it makes it a whole lot easier in developing reactions when you’re shooting these scenes. So there’s probably a huge wealth of things that happened that I don’t even know about.”

One thing that definitely happened while both the actor and Thomas were away was outrage on the part of fans who are deeply invested in Thomas’s story with Hope and made their displeasure at his absence known.

“I just never expected the response that I’ve gotten and we’ve gotten from the fans, especially [with] Thomas leaving,” Atkinson marvels. “I can’t speak for all the fans, but there’s a wealth of people that are either really, really upset that Thomas is gone for a period or really sad. [They] reach out and they’re like, ‘Hey, when are you back? When are you back? When are you back?’ That just speaks to their care for this character. And that means a lot to me because I would have fun doing this in a vacuum, but it’s really great to have a response that shows that these people care about what you’re doing. And so it’s just been so much love from so many fans that comes out in so many different ways.”

So does he have a message for those fans, something they can look forward to? “Thomas has had one particular very large change in his life since he left town,” Atkinson hints. “And when he comes back, it is something that shocks everyone.”