Commentary BB

Soap Hub Performer Of The Week For B&B: Matthew Atkinson

Matthew Atkinson showed Thomas’s desire to be a good dad to Douglas on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Matthew Atkinson continues to shine as Thomas on Bold and the Beautiful.Matthew Atkinson

It may be more fun to play an antagonist on a soap opera but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. That’s why Matthew Atkinson is to be applauded for bringing gall, charm, and humanity to his role as bad boy Thomas Forrester.

Matthew Atkinson – Performer of the Week

In what’s turning out to be quite an impactful decision, Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri) has opted to live not with his mother Hope (Annika Noelle) or his father Thomas (Matthew Atkinson) but instead with his aunt Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood). When he doesn’t have headphones on, Douglas’s days are filled with looking out over the Pacific Ocean from the scenic Cliff House and searching for pirates with his Uncle Finn (Tanner Novlan). Thomas, however, is busy calculating and trying to plead with his sister to see his son.

We weren’t surprised to see Thomas drop by Steffy and Finn’s unannounced. Matthew Atkinson plays Thomas as a man who is always looking for an angle and sizing up a situation. The former Forrester Creations designer figured that as Douglas was living with his own sister, he’d be able to swing by and see the boy whenever he wanted. Knowing Thomas, that could lead to taking Douglas away for afternoon playdates and eventually, sleepovers. The opportunist might have thought he had it made until Steffy laid down the law.

“It’s painful to hear he doesn’t want to live with me,” Thomas vulnerably told Steffy, hoping in vain to get her sympathy. “You’re going to kick me out of the company and keep me away from my son,” Thomas continued. “I need you to be on my side. I need you to be my sister…and that I can see my son whenever I want….help me here, Steff. Please…”

Thomas’s words didn’t fall on deaf ears but they did land on experienced ones. Steffy was torn because while on one hand she can feel for her older brother but she also knows what he was capable of — lying, framing, and, worst of all, manipulating Douglas to get what he wants.

It’s not easy for Steffy to shoot her brother down because, on some level, he’s sincere about wanting to see his son. The story wouldn’t work if Matthew Atkinson didn’t bring Thomas’s love for Douglas to the table. He does care about his son. Atkinson is careful to always be aware of Thomas’s backstory. Look at his background — he grew up with a father (Thorsten Kaye’s Ridge) going back and forth for part of his childhood between Taylor (Krista Allen) and Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang). Also, Thomas lost Douglas’s birth mother, Caroline (Linsey Godfrey), suddenly.

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Mind you, these aren’t excuses for him to be duplicitous but they do explain, in part, why Thomas does the things he does. If the guy were all bad, then no one would be rooting for Thomas to see his son — and some of us are. The montage showing Thomas and Douglas in happier times was a nice touch, particularly when we saw for Halloween Thomas dressed as a fireman and Douglas posing as an adorable Dalmatian puppy.

“We’ll get back to the way we were, Douglas,” Thomas wistfully said when he was alone (so he’s not putting an act). “I’ll be the father I always should have been — honest, caring. I’ll be the father you deserve. I promise.”

Of course, Thomas’s more assertive side is always on the surface. He delved into playing the offended victim more than a little bit once he had another audience with Steffy, Finn, and also, his mother. As this story continues, we look forward to watching Matthew Atkinson continue to play all the facets of his complex character.

The Bold and the Beautiful airs weekdays on CBS. For an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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