While Victoria Barton wrecks Matty Barton’s romance with new girl Abby next week in Emmerdale, actor Ash Palmisciano can’t wait for what’s coming next…
All excited by his new romance, Matty Barton is furious when best mate Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) scuppers his chances with girlfriend Abby by inadvertently telling her about Matty’s transition. Abby doesn’t take the news well and dumps him which leaves the poor lad gutted and incredibly angry.
“This is Matty’s first rejection from a girl since his gender transition,” admits Ash Palmisciano, who plays Matty Barton. “He’s embarrassed, and worried that this will be his life now – that nobody will ever understand.”
Is Abby really set to dump Matty after Victoria tells her about his transgender status this week?
“Yep – she’s not cool with it. Matty’s been under pressure to tell her since they first met but can’t find the right moment. Then Victoria sees Abby upset at the Woolpack, and wrongly assumes Matty’s told her, so lays into her for being unsympathetic. Matty takes this to heart and think Victoria’s done it on purpose – it’s explosive.”
Victoria’s already a bit upset with Matty before all of this, because he stood her up on his birthday…
“Poor Vic. When Matty asks her to help him celebrate his birthday, she books the day off to do something special. She texts him the day before saying ‘see you tomorrow’ – but he forgets to reply, then Abby rocks up at the pub to meet Matty. So she’s not happy.”
We’d been hoping Victoria and Matty might end up together – but this doesn’t bode well for a future romance, does it?
“I don’t know what will happen now. After the Abby thing, they’re not even friends!”
Matty’s been warmly received by viewers since arriving in the Dales. Where do you see the character going?
“Who knows? That’s what’s so exciting, there are so many possibilities. There’s obviously all the transgender stuff to cover – but also, who is he? What is he good at? There are subjects that I don’t think have ever been shown on TV as well – following a transgender person after their transition, living their life.
Corrie’s Hayley Cooper was the first transgender character in soap – what did you make of her story?
“Julie Hesmondhalgh, who played Hayley, smashed it. To Coronation Street viewers, Hayley was just Hayley, and that’s what I’d really like to happen – for Matty to just be Matty.”
As a transgender actor playing a transgender character, how would you say your experience compares with Matty’s?
“My own life is different from Matty’s – I’ve had family around me from the start. But although Matty’s story isn’t the same, it’s helped having insight into how he might feel. Eventually, though I’m hoping that we ‘ll get to a point where there are lots of great actors, a few of which just happen to be transgender. That’s what I’d like for me and my life, that viewers see me simply as Ash, who’s an actor…”