Emmerdale star reveals Matty’s ‘real shock’ at established character’s transphobic abuse

Matty speaks to Moira at Butlers in Emmerdale

Matty’s in for a hellish few months (Picture: ITV)

Matty Barton (Ash Palmisciano) faces a terrifying ordeal soon when he unintentionally stabs Samson Dingle (Sam Hall) in Emmerdale.

Matty’s shift at The Hide takes a dark turn thanks to the arrival of Samson and is new friend Josh.

After passing his driving test, Samson decides to head to The Hide with Josh to celebrate.

When he arrives, Samson fails to pick up on Josh’s interest in Amy (Natalie Ann Jamieson) and the fact his friend has worked out Matty is transgender.

Uncomfortable with Josh’s flirting, Amy heads home, leaving a furious Matty to give Josh some home truths about his behaviour.

Outside HOP, an angry Josh starts to dead-name Matty and heads back inside to teach him a lesson.

As Samson follows behind, this situation between Josh and Matty develops into the horrible young man threatening a kind-hearted Matty to give up money in the till. The stand-off escalates and to Matty’s horror, Josh shoves Samson into him, causing the teen to get stabbed by the knife Matty was holding.

With Samson bleeding out, Josh turns the narrative and accuses Matty of coming at them with the knife.

Opening up about Matty’s new storyline, actor Ash Palmisciano told us how his character feels when Samson starts to join in on Josh’s transphobic comments.

Samson clings to Matty after he's been stabbed in Emmerdale

Samson gets stabbed as a result of Josh pushing him into Matty (Picture: ITV)

‘To Matty’s surprise Samson is going along with it which is a real shock, because Samson is loosely connected through family to him and Samson is standing back and letting Josh belittle Matty, and letting Josh try to intimidate him – it gets to the point where Matty questions is Samson actually scared of Josh. Is he going along with it because this Josh is making him?

‘It goes from banter, causing a bit of a scene in the Hop to really picking on Matty. He starts referring to him as ‘she’, starts saying I know who you are, I know what you are. And he makes it very clear he knows about Matty and he is not happy with it at all. A bit of name calling, a few comments, a few awkward glares and it puts Matty on edge at this point.’

‘We’ve not seen him have too much struggle in the village’, Ash reflected.

Josh confronts Matty at The Hide as Samson watches in Emmerdale

Josh is transphobic to Matty (Picture: ITV)

‘He’s surrounded by lovely family and friends, however a character like this probably would be typical of someone he’s come across before ie someone who has a more negative view, similar to how we covered the Claudette and the wedding storyline, not everyone is open to this. So as soon as Matty hears these words and calling him “she”, he’s aware, okay, this guy has got a problem with me.’

Describing the moments prior to Matty stabbing Samson, Ash explained his character finds himself in a ‘fight or flight situation’:

‘Josh actually picks up a glass bottle and hands one to Samson, they start threatening Matty and getting in his face, pushing to get the money from the till’, he said.

Josh and Samson argue with Matty in The Hide in Emmerdale

Matty is left alone with Josh and Samson (Picture: ITV)

‘They say to him in not so many words unless Matty hands over the money they’re going to do something really bad to him. It is very much a fight or flight situation, and Matty is not sure how to handle it. He tries to appeal to Samson’s good nature, explaining how look, we are family – what are you doing? You don’t need to be doing this. He actually goes to send them away again.

‘Then there’s a bit of a tussle, an altercation. Matty tells Samson to leave, Matty carries on with his business, picks up his knife and fork from the plate he’s been clearing up before they entered, he turns to them and just as he turns to them, Josh pushes Samson directly into Matty. At first you are not really sure what’s happened, they’re sort of embracing, and as Samson pulls away they realise Samson has actually been stabbed by the knife Matty was holding.’

With Matty and Samson’s futures up in the air after this, Ash is looking forward to exploring the storyline further in the aftermath:

‘I think it is really interesting. It is something we haven’t seen much of and it applies to anybody, whether you’re trans or not, sometimes you encounter situations where people just aren’t nice. Whether that’s because of who you are or just because it is who they are as a person. So to show how vulnerable Matty can be in a situation like that was really incredible to show.

He added: ‘It is also really topical, not everyone is super accepting and it is great Matty’s got that support. It’s lovely to tell, we showed the wedding recently, it was an exciting joyous moment. It looked so incredible on screen. But sometimes we need to show the flipside of that, how it could go the other way and could be quite cruel for someone like Matty. It shows the bigger picture of what it is like to be him.

‘I was really excited and it’s fantastic we get to mirror that and to tell that story.’

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