October 22, 2013 8:00pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Awkward': Beau Mirchoff on Matty and Jenna's Breakup, Near-Scuffles and What's Next
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for the second half of season three of Awkward.]
Talk about a surprise party.
Awkward returned for the remaining 10 episodes of its third season with Jenna (Ashley Rickards) committing the ultimate sin when she and Collin (Nolan Funk) unknowingly outed their affair at what was supposed to be a celebratory surprise party thrown in her honor.
"Jenna is the keystone of Awkward. If she's out of place, everything else is," star Beau Mirchoff, who plays Jenna's loyal boyfriend Matty, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Whatever happens with her affects all the other relationships, so she's definitely headed down this dark, downward spiral, and it affects everyone in her life."
He adds: "Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed) and Ming (Jessica Lu) try to get her back on track and Jenna ends up rejecting everyone, so who knows what that'll do. I know friends can only put up with that behavior for so long."
So where do they all go from here, and more importantly, is Matty able to forgive? In a chat with THR, Mirchoff breaks down the Oct. 22 premiere, the future of the Matty-Jenna relationship and who he'll be confiding in now.
Did Matty have any idea about Jenna's extracurricular activities with Collin?
No. I think he's quite oblivious to the extent of what Jenna's been going through. He has some ideas that she's struggling with some issues at home but he has no idea what the issues are himself. He throws a surprise party for her because he knows something's amiss with her and he wants to make her feel better and be a sweet boyfriend. Unbeknownst to him, she's making out with Collin. Everything kind of spirals down from there for Matty.
Jenna and surprise parties aren't a good mix. Had Matty known that, how could he have circumvented what was about to happen with Jenna and Collin?
If he knew she would be walking in with some other guy … I think he would have changed the party theme. Matty is oblivious oftentimes and he wasn't picking up on the signals. There were many times where there were some strange moments between Jenna, Collin and Matty … and he never picked on them because deep down he's a good guy. He has no reason to think ill of Jenna and Collin. If anything he was happy Jenna found a good guy friend who was good for her. He was just being genuinely a nice boyfriend to her and it backfired.
How does Matty deal with finding out about Jenna and Collin? What is his first thought?
First, he's angry; he's 16-year-old hormone-filled man angry, then he's like 16-year-old hormone-filled girl sad. (Laughs.) He loves Jenna fully and he wants to fix the situation. He blames himself. He thinks he's at fault and he's like, "What can I do to make this better, to rectify the situation?" It's kind of sad, and Jenna has a realization that maybe this isn't an accident. Maybe consciously she wanted this to happen.
What are those conversations like with Jenna?
They have some initial dialogue about what happened but after that conversation they don't open the dialogue again, really. It's kind of like they've closed that chapter; we don't go back to that for now and Matty's too hurt to open up and talk to her. Ultimately he wants to get her back, to fix the situation, but he needs some time for himself. He needs some Matty time, to get back to his roots. He's able to get over that initial angst and tumult, whatever it is, and be a little more mature about it and go about the situation a different way.
Does he have any tense encounters with Collin?
Initially he has this moment where he contemplates hitting Collin, but he doesn't because he realizes Collin isn't really at fault. Collin's new to the school, he doesn't really have any friends -- that's gotta be tough, and Matty knows that -- and here's this beautiful, smart girl who's into him. How could he blame [Collin] for acting the way he did? Matty realizes that and sees that Jenna's at fault: "How could you do that to him?" he thinks. Collin did nothing to warrant that -- he's been nothing but a good guy.
Does Matty lean on other people now?
Yeah, Sadie (Molly Tarlov) he definitely has to confide in. If fans are excited about the Matty and Sadie relationship, we're going to have a lot of that in the second half of the season now that Jenna is out of the picture. He talks to Jake (Brett Davern) a little too, but for guys, you can't really open up as honestly as you can than when you talk to a woman. I don't know what Matty and Sadie have in store but there are definitely more scenes between them.
How does Matty go about getting over Jenna? Does he find himself in any comedic situations?
A few episodes in, Matty's still emotional and sad about [the breakup]. He just wants to get her back any way possible. The way he goes about it is pretty funny. (Laughs.) He tries and tries and tries and it doesn't work out. It's definitely not funny to Matty, but hopefully funny to watch. He tries to speak with Jenna; he does these things, these actions, to confess his love to her again and maybe she rejects them.
Are Jenna and Matty done for good or is this just another obstacle for them?
They're done for now. The next few episodes, Matty tries and tries and tries and she keeps doing these things that are out of character and further cementing this negative feeling Matty has for her. But ultimately he knows she's going through some things in her life that aren't the most positive, and Matty's able to look beyond the romantic relationship and help her as a friend.
The show will be back for a fourth season with new showrunners (Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler). Have you spoken with them about where they see the show going?
I spoke with them. I haven't met them yet. I meet them next week. They're fans of the show, so their objective is to keep the tone and the voice consistent, and they're up for the challenge. I'm excited to see what they do with the different storylines.
Awkward airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. on MTV.