Interview with Matt Atkinson of "Jane by Design" on ABC Family - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Matt Atkinson

Interview with Matt Atkinson of "Jane by Design" on ABC Family 6/4/12

Although it says "moderator" below, these are actually questions asked by all different reporters.

ABC Familyís Q&A Session with Matt Atkinson Ė JANE BY DESIGN

Moderator: How happy are you with the way the storyline for your character, Nick, is progressing so for?

M. Atkinson: Every character that you play is going to have a different sort of path that it takes. Iíve always accepted from the beginning that whatever role that I do itís not going to always be what I want.

Itís not going to be what I would do because Nickís not me. But, Iím really happy with the way that itís progressing. I think that the opportunities that Iím kind of given, itís so much fun to be able to go back and play some baseball on camera and to be able to work with these great actors, in general, no matter what storyline they give me. They could make me a paraplegic and I would still probably have fun.

So, Iím happy with the character and Iím definitely happy with how the episodes are turning out. I just got a sneak peak of, I think episode thirteen from one of our writers the other day and it just looked so good. There are a couple of just really funny, really fun scenes. So, Iím just ecstatic with the way that itís turning out.

Moderator: Are there any surprises that youíre able to share with us that might be in store for your character this summer?

M. Atkinson: Iím trying not to give too much away, but letís see. Letís just say that these next eight episodes, Nick Fadden doesnít exactly have Ė he goes through some rough patches. I could tell you that. Thereís a few things that might interrupt what heís always wanted to do is become a pro-baseball player and thatís the life that has been planned for him and there are some things that interrupt that and make him think that possibly he might have to think of something different, you know, and that kind of leaves him in a weird place. So, thereís something.

Moderator: What do you think are Nick and Janeís chances of living happily-ever-after some day?

M. Atkinson: I think that Nick and Janeís chances are really good. If you just take the basis of who the characters are and you forget about any other kind of motives with the story line or take out other characters from the story line, then, yes, I think that Nick and Jane are really suitable together. They seem to Ė when you watch them play on screen thereís just this great chemistry and thereís this Ė I mean just defined by who they are, Jane is sort of the quirky weird but really passionate about what she does and really a strong female.

Then you have Nick Fadden whoís kind of just seems to have been given everything to him but heís a strong guy and you know, heís very centered and heís very grounded whereas Jane is all over the place. I think together in a relationship they just work. For whatever reason, they just work.

So, if everything else didnít exist then I think that they would be perfect together. But, you never know, you know. You go through life and sometimes you meet people that could be right for you but itís the wrong time, and then you meet someone else and theyíre right for you because itís the right time. So, you never know whatís going to happen.

Moderator: What advice would you give a guy like Nick whoís into a successful high achieving young woman like Jane?

M. Atkinson: Well, donít kiss Lulu. Besides that I mean just try and keep up. When thereís a strong, crazy life going on and some female has kind of got a crazy life then you kind of have to just accept that and let her spin around and then when she comes back to you, you give her all the support you can. So, just try and be a genuine, honest person.

L. Winston What is your relationship like with Erica off camera?

M. Atkinson: Well, me and her, weíre just good friends. Sheís such a sweetheart. Sheís so talented. I think that the reason in the first season she had this ankle sprain thing. She almost broke her foot. She was kind of hobbling around and so, Nick (Roux) would do this too, but we would just help her. You canít have the star of the show not being able to make it to you know where theyíre shooting the scene.

So, sometimes we would pick her up and carry her and stuff. I mean thereís this thing that you have to do, but off set we kind of been just really good friends. We have a lot of fun. Sheís a character on and off screen. Sheís all kinds of fun to hang out with.

Moderator: What has the fan reaction been for you?

M. Atkinson: For the show in general, we have some amazing, wonderful fans. My fans, specifically, are great. I mean, sure, the fans probably had the same reaction as I had when I first read the script. But, everyone makes mistakes and you know thatís something as an actor you have to kind of accept and you know Meagan playing Lulu, she kind of stepped in to a role where she has to accept that the audience is sometimes going to think that she is Lulu and you know they are kind of going to backlash at her.

For the most part, Iíve gotten support and people saying, ďCome on you shouldnít have done that.Ē But, you know, we still want you back together, which is great. I donít have any fans Ė well, not a ton of fans - that are yelling at me and calling me names but, it is what it is and I love all of our fans. I just think that for the most part you just have to accept that there are things that are going to happen in the script that come your way that maybe you donít agree with.

But, you are not playing you. Youíre playing a character. So, when people understand that they understand whatís going on. Itís really tough to see, you know, some actors get caught in a space where they play a kind of evil or mean person and then they get this huge backlash that everyone hates.

I donít think that thereís that big of a deal in general when you look at it logically from the actually storyline perspective. What happens with Lulu and Nick is something thatís been destined to happen the entire first season. Not because itís Lulu and Nick but just because Ė I mean Janeís been running off constantly on Nick and kind of leaving him confused.

You just start dating someone and then they constantly keep leaving you in the middle of dates and kind of running off and lying to you and not telling you whatís going on. At some point, you just go, I had enough of this; you need to be honest with me. That was one of those moments that it is just a huge miscommunication, where Nickís on the phone and he thinks that someone is saying that sheís going to go off and have sex with some other guy.

That leaves you in a moment that goes, you know, youíre hurt, youíre in pain and this sucks and your relationship is pretty much over. If sheís going off and doing that what are you going to do? So, he turns around and Luluís there and sheís been hurt and she starts talking about it. Itís just something that is a mistake that was made by two people, and you know everyone makes mistakes. So, itís sort of one of those things that you just accept and you roll with, you know.

Moderator: Can you talk about what itís like to be on such a stylish set?

M. Atkinson: Well, the stylish set, Iím hardly ever on. The fashion set over on eight; thatís an amazing set. The high school set, I mean itís still great but itís definitely not as highfalutin. Of course, they went to great lengths to make that the fashion Ė the Donovan Decker set look come to life and do this amazing set.

I mean being surrounded by something like that, it definitely gives you security when you walk in to work every day knowing that itís not just you thatís on youíre a game, itís all the other actors. You walk in you know the set designers, the costume designers; everyone is putting in one hundred percent into this show.

You know, for a while, that if the show for some reason doesnít work, you know that you tried. You gave one hundred percent. You walked in, itís not like, well, you know, well the sets kind of stunk, or the scripts werenít that good or whatever. Itís like everything is great and everything is setup for success.

I donít know. I guess it kind of gives you security and makes you happy walking in to work every day knowing that everyone else is trying just as hard as you are.

Moderator: If Lulu and Jane were real life people, which one would you, Matt, be interested in?

M. Atkinson: If Lulu and Jane was real life people it would be Jane. Iíve always gone for the alternative or quirky or girls with an edge. So, I would definitely go for Ė I mean Luluís got an edge but sheís also got a straight up popular sort of entitled sort of personality, and thatís not something that Iíve ever really gone for.

Moderator: My other question I have for you is about your baseball career. Itís kind of ironic that you have so much in common with the character that you play but we donít know much about your baseball life.

M. Atkinson: Well, I played baseball for about Ė I should sit down and actually write it out but somewhere around ten to twelve years. You know starting back when youíre playing tee ball and stuff. Thatís when I started playing baseball and then I played all the way through up to high school.

Then I got in to high school and I didnít have the passion I had for it anymore. I donít think that it has to do with baseball, as much as the people that I was surrounded with that were playing baseball. So, I just didnít enjoy doing it that much anymore. Well, no, I still enjoyed playing but I didnít enjoy doing it every single day for hours a day.

So, I think it just became something that, you know, I just noticed that there were other things that I got more joy out of in life. So, I chose to go a different path. As far as, you know, you said that everything is kind of Ė there are some similarities between me and Nick and I donít think that there are that many. But, definitely when it comes to sports there is.

I played every sport known to man. Like the first three episodes you have Nick playing tennis and heís playing baseball and then heís playing Ė they had a scene where he was playing golf, and they took that out. Heís kind of like an all-around athlete. I would say then Nick Fadden is a lot better than I am at sports. However, we do look a lot alike.

Moderator: Can you tell us or give us a little clue about what might be happening between your long term crush with Jane?

M. Atkinson: Yes. Nick and Jane the way that it kind of starts back Ė it starts back two months after we left off. It starts after Billy gets out of juvie. Two months have gone by after the breakup of Nick and Jane. I could tell you that they havenít really talked much. You see them kind of come together and they have a few conversations but they kind of become very distant people because of what happened.

Which, I think really sucks for both of them and you know Nick is kind of in this place where he wishes that it wasnít like that. You get to see them kind of throughout these couple of episodes relationships have to be, you know, built back. There has to be something that happens. Nick and Jane have conversations, we have things that happen through the storyline that are kind of building not a relationship as in a romantic way, even though it could be. Itís just a relationship because itís just been broken and they have to fix it. Theyíre kind of going back to the road.

Moderator: So then do we see you arching in a different direction as far as maybe pursuing other women in the show?

M. Atkinson: I canít give you all the details. But, hereís what I can do. Iíll say that no matter what character you have; the show is on a long enough timeline. Relationships are going to flourish and then theyíre going to die and then youíre going to have to recreate those relationships or have a relationship with someone else.

So, itís unsure to me or to anyone else whether Jane and Nick will fully be back together and have this kind of relationship and start where they left off. We donít know that yet but we do know that just like everyone theyíre going to move on and theyíre going to try and work through the issues.

I would say that Nick Fadden is going to have more issues in his real Ė what heís going to do for the rest of his life and kind of those sort of important things before he comes to actually dealing with his romantic issues.

Moderator: Will Nick Fadden be shirtless in any upcoming scenes?

M. Atkinson: Iím serious, for the first ten episodes, I walked up to our Executive Producer Gavin Polone. I walked up to him every day and I gave him the Matthew McConaughey line, and I said, ďYou know, Gavin this scene today, I think it would be a good opportunity for me to take my shirt off.Ē Every single day and they still havenít made me take my shirt off. I worked out so hard before I started this show. I was like, you know what? I look pretty good. Letís have me take my shirt off, and they havenít done it yet. But who knows, it might happen.

Moderator: Whatís your most embarrassing memory with the one you liked or had a crush on?

Moderator: I have so many stupid things that I have done. Iíve always kind of been a hopeless romantic. But, the most recent I would say is getting up and driving three and a half hours away after the relationship was over to try and mend it back together.

Moderator: The title to this conference call was Hot Guys of ABC Familyí Tuesday Nights. Do you consider yourself personally a hot guy or a hunk? How do you feel about people placing titles on celebrities in that manner?

M. Atkinson: Well, you know growing up; Iíve never considered myself that. I donít know. I was always the goofy guy. I was always the class clown and the idiot who ran up against walls to make people laugh. I was never, you know, Iím the hunk; especially in high school. Itís really funny now, you know, when I get a tweet or a message that says, ďYouíre the hottest person in the world. Will you marry me?Ē

Iím like, where were these girls when I was in high school? When I was in high school, nobody was saying these things. I canít be mad and say that theyíre calling me hot, you know. I donít really mind that. Itís very sweet and itís nice. But, Iíve never considered myself that attractive of a person.

Iíve always based anything that I wanted to do off of talent and skill. Definitely not off of looks. If there is anything in life that I wanted Ė I donít think that at any point before three years ago I would have gotten anything because of looks, but apparently I would of, I donít know. But, I never got that reaction from people. I was always working on other things.

Moderator: Did you go to Disneyworld growing up or if you go to Disneyland now?

M. Atkinson: I did in Orlando. I never have been to Disneyland out here. Iíve never been, and I really wanted to go. Actually, Meagan from our show has tried to orchestrate that about five or six times. She wants to go with the whole cast. That would be really fun because Iíve never gone.

I have fond memories of going down to Orlando. That was a completely different kind of theme park. But, itís still fun.

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