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article imageMatthew Atkinson talks about 'The Bold and The Beautiful,' acting Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 16, 2019 in Entertainment
Actor Matthew Atkinson chatted with Digital Journal about playing Thomas Forrester on the hit CBS soap opera "The Bold and The Beautiful." He also spoke about being an actor in the digital age and he offered his advice for young and aspiring actors.
On playing the new Thomas Forrester on the popular CBS daytime drama The Bold and The Beautiful, he said, "It feels great. He is an interesting character and it's a very really interesting time in his life. It is cool to come in with such an interesting storyline, and be able to go a little crazy for a while."
Atkinson is drawn to his character on The Bold and The Beautiful because Thomas is "not necessarily easily swayed" and he is "very committed to his beliefs," which may also lead to him being "obsessive." "Once Thomas gets fixated on something, he can't stop himself," he said. "Thomas has admirable qualities to a point but those may lead to his worst qualities," he added.
"I knew the history of the character. I came in as the good guy, who was grief-stricken, and then it progressed as this vindictive character," he said. "It has been interesting exploring that side of that character."
Atkinson didn't want to take anything away from the previous actors that portrayed Thomas (such as Adam Gregory and Pierson Fodé) or mock any of their performances, and he just tried to make the character his own. "This is a new phase in the character's life," he said. "It has been a lot of fun to play."
He shared that he enjoys doing scenes with his on-screen son, Douglas, who is played by Henry Joseph Samiri, as well as multi-Emmy winner Scott Clifton. "Henry is the most adorable kid in the world and I have a blast hanging out with him on set all day," he said, prior to praising Scott Clifton for being one of the "sweetest" human beings on the planet. "I love that guy. We've become friends, even though we are not friends at all on the show. We give each other hell when the cameras roll," he said.
When asked how he handles being dialogue-heavy, especially since soap actors have to memorize many pages of scripts, Atkinson said, "It was rough in the beginning for sure. There were a lot of late nights and I was running on very little sleep constantly working on this dialogue, but it becomes a little easier as you go along. It is a ton of material but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love working so I am happy to do it."
Atkinson shared that the title of the current chapter of his life is "rebirth." "Based on all of these experiences in my life, we all grow. In the last few years, I've had some really intense experiences in my life. I do feel a little bit reborn and I feel like a have a different perspective on things in a good, positive way," he said.
Advice for young actors
For young and aspiring actors, Atkinson said, "If you can do anything else for a living and be happy, do it. Acting is going to be one of the hardest, most competitive mediums because there is so much rejection no matter how good you are. That also means that if you can't do anything else, then you must really have a massive passion for it. Then, never quit and never stop learning.
"Always keep getting better and hone your craft. Live life. Get out in the world, explore, meet people and learn," he added.
On the best advice he was ever given, he said, "A lot of times I beat myself up since I'm a perfectionist and I can be stubborn. The best advice is to forgive myself and not put that weight on my myself since it tampers your craft. Acting is an art and you can't be rigid. I get to dress up and I pretend to be other people for a living. I play make-believe and when it becomes 'not fun,' it is pointless to be doing what I am doing."
"The best advice is to just relax, enjoy the process and have fun doing it," he added.
Digital age of entertainment
On being an actor in this digital age, Atkinson said, "This is the best time to be living. Something about technology is so weird to me so I am trying to avoid it. I take a day without my phone every week. A lot of technology is great since we have a constant connection with each other. The Internet is not a group of people talking. It's internal thoughts without thinking through things. There is a ton of negativity that spirals from a person's brain to a social media post. That's the disconnect I don't really like with the digital age."
"The good part is that we are all connected and that's an amazing thing. You can ask me any Jeopardy question in the world and I can find the answer in a few seconds," he said. "I can also call any person in my family or any of my friends no matter where they are on the globe."
He subsequently described streaming services as a "game-changer for the industry." "Everybody is figuring out how to deal with it," he said. "There are so many projects out now that didn't exist before because there are so many networks. We are getting all these different kinds of television that can be weird, obscure and great."
Staying fit
On stating in top-notch physical shape, Atkinson said, "Eating right is a big part of it. I love food. I am a huge foodie. I give myself one cheat day a week, and then I spend the other days eating healthy."
"I am spending more time focusing on stretching, mobilizing my body and making sure that everything is working correctly. I stretch multiple times a day and I drink a lot of water. Also, I know my body's limits to a degree," he said.
He enjoys doing sports such as boxing and swimming. "I boxed with Sean Carrigan from The Young and The Restless for a while, who was a professional boxer. I was doing boxing for cardio for a long time," he said. "I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years. I competed in all of the strokes and did the individual medley (IM). I always loved the freestlye and the butterfly. Those were my favorite, but for some reason, my fastest strokes were the ones I hated: the backstroke and the breaststroke. Either way, I did love swimming. I did swimming for a long time."
While he has never been to Greece, Atkinson expressed that he would love to someday visit Greece. "Growing up, I had a great friend that was Greek, who described the picture of what Greece was, and I would love to go there," he admitted.
In 2020, he will be a part of the thriller The Party Planner. "That was a fun little film to do," he said. "My girlfriend did a movie with the director, Jake Helgren, and I had met him a couple of times previously. It is not a leading role, but I read the script and the guy I am playing is a real piece of work."
Success and fans
Atkinson defined the word success as "succeeding in what he strove to accomplish" and "making sure he put in every ounce of effort possible."
For his fans and supporters on The Bold and The Beautiful, Atkinson concluded, "Keep watching. I hope to keep entertaining you. Thank you for all the love and for being there. The fans are the reason that we get to do what we do. It is great to hear that this show has affected their lives in a positive way for well over 30 years."
The big baby reveal on The Bold and The Beautiful is coming up soon on CBS, so if you miss a day of the show in July, you might miss everything.
To learn more about actor Matthew Atkinson, follow him on Instagram and on Twitter.
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