Last night, Awkward.‘s supersized season premiere proved double the pleasure, double the stun with a couple pregnancy scares, a death, lots of Jamara canoodling, and one truly unfortunate YOLO-inspired tattoo on Matty’s upper thigh.
Beau Mirchoff, who plays Matty, and Molly Tarlov (the show’s main mean girl Sadie) told EW that last night’s episodes were just the tip of the iceberg for the show, which will chronicle the gang’s junior year in season 3. Though Mirchoff and Tarlov acknowledged their characters will find themselves in some unexpected places over the next 18 episodes, there’s one predictable outcome that will comfort fans: Matty will be showing off his six-pack as much as possible. Read on…
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The title of the season 3 premiere was “Cha Cha Cha Changes,” but Matty seemed least changed of all. How will we see him evolve, especially in terms of his relationship with Jenna?
Beau Mirchoff: That’s funny that you say that. You’re right. Now he’s had the whole summer to be with Jenna. They’ve been with each other nonstop, blossoming their relationship. When they get back, Matty’s a little naïve, and he doesn’t realize that things maybe won’t be the same when you go back to school where you have all your friends and whatever insecurities of high school. As the season progresses, I think you’ll notice there is a lot of change in Matty. He’s evolved in a lot of ways. He realizes what he has in Jenna, and he loves her dearly and wants to make it work. Also, you get to learn about Matty’s home life and why he was a little insecure. He’s really honest about his feelings and where he is in life. I’m happy that Matty is evolving, and I think you will be, too.
When I spoke to series creator Lauren Iungerich, she also mentioned Matty’s insecurities. What can you share?
Mirchoff: One that was touched upon last season was Matty’s relationship to his brother, who battles with addiction. That’s still in the forefront. Matty’s always felt a little second-fiddle to his older brother. You see that a little. You see how Matty’s parents are for the first time. And you see that Matty doesn’t really have a strong foundation. He’s kind of out there in the open alone, and it’s sad. You see that he’s desperate for someone, for some love, some continuity in his life.
After Ricky’s death, it seems like both Matty and Sadie were working harder than the others to keep things under the surface.
Molly Tarlov: We’ll see more as the episodes go on how everybody reacts to it. We’ll see a kind of coming together where everyone is able to express their feelings.
Mirchoff: For Matty, he goes on that gut feeling of “Life is short” and “You want to live life to the fullest.” It was interesting and funny and also real. If that happened in my life, I think I might react in a similar fashion.
With a tattoo on your thigh?
Mirchoff: I’d totally get tatted up! [Laughs]
Sadie deals with a lot of loss as the new season opens. She wasn’t the friendliest beforehand, and I imagine it’ll only get worse. How dark will Sadie go?
Tarlov: We’re going to see it a different kind of way. As you said, she’s dealing with a lot of loss. We’re going to see her more down as opposed to aggressive — she’ll still be aggressive, but it’s kind of going to be a little more, I guess, pathetic. But we’re going to see a lot more of what’s going on with her. It’s funny and real as well as…
Tarlov: And sexy. Yeah, there’s a lot of fun stuff that’s going to happen, and it kind of feels like everything’s not going Sadie’s way.
Beau, Matty will have a little competition this season in Jenna’s writing classmate Collin (Nolan Funk). What happens when Matty and Collin meet?
Mirchoff: I know in Awkward., there are a lot of parties. Maybe they meet at a party or gathering. Off the bat, Matty isn’t jealous of him or thinking there’s anything going on with Jenna. And maybe there’s not — you have to watch. Matty’s very open to people when he first meets them. He sees this guy who is helping Jenna with her schoolwork, and there is no aggression or anything like that. But! Maybe there is later in the season. I don’t know yet because we haven’t filmed it.
Is it safe to say you’re getting in shape for that day? You already had one shirtless scene, so I’m sure we can expect more.
Mirchoff: Ha! Yes. Pretty much every episode, I’ll have my shirt off.
NEXT: The fate of Matty and Jake’s bromance, the unexpected return of Madie, and the softer side of Sadie…