Matthew Atkinson Weighs In On His New Storyline

When B&B’s Matthew Atkinson (Thomas) learned his latest storyline would be acting opposite a mannequin, he took the news in stride. “I wasn’t nervous or trepidatious about it,” the actor shares. “First of all, Thomas has been acting kind of crazy since he came back to town, so let him go crazy. He’s been going down that path for awhile now, so it fits.”

Atkinson relishes being a part of a tale that’s never been told on soaps. “Usually when you have something this dark or quirky, you’re telling it within the confines of a feature film or a play, so you have restrictions from start to finish and you get immersed in that world,” he acknowledges. “But that’s the magic of soap operas because you’re able to tell these interesting stories for months at a time. You could bring aliens into the storyline. You could bring whatever you want because it’s an open forum. Anything could happen in this world — and does!”

It’s not lost on Atkinson that B&B has been so vocal about using mannequins to reduce the number of actors on set during Covid. “I don’t know if that’s where the  idea came from but it’s been in the news since the shows have come back, and it got people talking,” he winks. “I think maybe Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer] saw how interested people got and considering how we’re trying to make movie magic right now, they decided to throw it into the storyline, which is really fun. It’s cool that, in a very different way, we’re exploring this new world that we’re living in.”

Atkinson looked to movies like Lars And The Real Girl and Mannequin for inspiration, and is thrilled that B&B’s tale has a decidedly darker tone. “A lot of people are suffering right now because of what’s happening in the world, and it is really important to talk about mental health,” he asserts. “Thomas is suffering from something and I know this is a unique departure from reality, but there is a connection. Mental health is something people should talk about more and I think in its own way, this story is informative and it opens up the subject and that, I think, is truly important.”