It's no April Fools' joke. At the very end of today's episode of One Life to Live, viewers learned that the killer of creepy psychopath Eddie Ford (John Wesley Shipp) is none other than Matthew Buchanan, the high-school junior played by Eddie Alderson. We all know Matthew's mom Nora [Hillary B. Smith] had been kidnapped by Ford but we've never seen so much as one scene between Ford and Matthew, so the kid has not high on the suspect list. TV Guide Magazine chatted with the 16-year-old Alderson about this unexpected reveal in a riveting whodunit.
TV Guide Magazine: This is wild! We all remember when you joined OLTL 10 years ago and you were just a little peanut. Now you're a grown up killer!
Alderson: I was really excited when I found out it was me. This is a big story and they could have chosen a lot of people to be the killer. I think this'll be shocking for the audience. I don't know that they saw this coming. I certainly didn't!
TV Guide Magazine: You didn't, even for a minute, think you were a suspect?
Alderson: Not really. They had moved Matthew over to the dark side, which has been so much fun to play, and he'd gotten a little meaner. He'd been butting heads with the Ford family for months. But, no, I honestly didn't think he'd murder someone. [Laughs] Especially someone he'd never met before!
TV Guide Magazine: That's right! This murder could be one for the soap record books. Usually in a whodunit, the perp has some sort of relationship with the victim. Did you have to keep the secret long?
Alderson: Not so much. I found out pretty recently, just before we filmed the flashbacks showing the murder. They didn't want anything leaking so I didn't tell anyone. And no one in the cast seemed to be suspecting Matthew so no one brought it up to me. It was pretty easy to keep quiet, actually.
TV Guide Magazine: On the April 4 episode, we will hear a phone call between Matthew and his uncle Clint [Jerry verDorn] proving Matthew's guilt. What's the deal with that?
Alderson: For the last few months, the only person who had Matthew's back — the only one Matthew could trust — was Clint. After he kills Eddie he doesn't know what to do. He thinks his life is over, so he calls Clint and admits what he did. And there is a recording of that call. Matthew was having a hard time keeping the murder to himself. It was like a ton of bricks on his shoulders. He had to look at his friends and family and lie right to their faces, acting like everything's normal when, in fact, he was going totally crazy inside.
TV Guide Magazine: Then, on April 6, we see flashbacks of the murder itself. How was that to shoot?
Alderson: Like everything these days, we had to do it pretty fast, but I think it turned out well. It was very cool to do. You'll see Matthew admitting everything to Bo [Bob Woods] and Nora, and during that we see the murder and what led up to it between Matthew and Eddie. I think his parents will fight tooth and nail to not have him serve prison time.
TV Guide Magazine: Mom's the district attorney, dad's the police commissioner. Uh, do you maybe see a little conflict of interest here?
Alderson: Bo and Nora are sick and tired of having bad things happen to their son. They want the best for him and will help him through the legal system. Yeah, it's personal, but I think they'd do that for any kid in Llanview.
TV Guide Magazine: On the upside, Matthew did a lot of people in Llanview a big favor, which oughta count for something. Was he mentally stable when he killed Eddie?
Alderson: I don't think Matthew was in his right mind. He was so freaked out that his mom was missing and he was scared of Eddie — that guy was a very frightening character — and he wanted everything to go away so he pulled the trigger.Matthew's been a good kid his whole life until fairly recently. Ever since he was paralyzed a year ago, things have gone bad for him — from breaking up with Danielle [Kelley Missal] to getting bullied at school. Clint showed him that if you act like a true Buchanan people won't mess with you. Sometimes you have to be mean and do things maybe you shouldn't do. But that's how stuff gets done. I don't know if all this would be happening if Clint hadn't been such a big influence on Matthew. He really looks up to Clint. In fact, Clint is more of an icon and father figure to Matthew than Bo is.
TV Guide Magazine: Will Matthew learn a big lesson from this and straighten up his act?
Alderson: I can't speak for the writers, but I can't imagine he will go so far as to kill someone ever again. Because this is really haunting him, night and day. He tries to shut it out, he wants to forget about it, but he can't. He regrets it. I think Matthew appreciates life a lot more now. Eddie Ford was a bad guy but he was still a human being. He had a life. He had three sons. So, yeah, I think Matthew will clean up his act. But I hope not forever. [Laughs] As an actor, being on the dark side is so much better!
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