EXCLUSIVE! Get to know A Waltons Thanksgiving star Tatum Matthews

One thing we're super grateful for this Thanksgiving season? The opportunity to catch up on tons of amazing movies and shows with the fam. If you're ready to curl up with your OG crew (and some delish fall snacks, ofc), be sure to catch A Waltons Thanksgiving (premiering on The CW this Sunday, Nov. 20). Until then, get to know teen star on the rise Tatum Matthews, who plays Erin in the flick (and stay tuned for her fab advice)...

Girls' Life: Tell us all about A Waltons Thanksgiving.

Tatum Matthews: It's a feel-good movie which is really needed right now. You're going to feel the love when you watch it—it's got all the Thanksgiving vibes. I play Erin and she's very similar to me. She actually wants to be a famous actress and you get to see her go on that journey. She prepares a monologue from Romeo and Juliet and performs at the Harvest Festival Fair talent show. She's spunky and she's really fun to play.

GL: What was it like behind the scenes?

Tatum: We had so much love for each other on set and I think that's really going to come across on film. We actually had a chant we came up with that was super fun and we'd do it whenever we needed a boost of energy. It was so cool [filming] the scene with the fair—it felt so real and I actually got to play one of the games there.

GL: What's the best part of Thanksgiving for you?

Tatum: Visiting family, usually at my cousins' house, and seeing people I haven't seen in a while which is so fun. And I love eating mashed potatoes and mac and cheese! 

GL: When it comes to acting, who's your biggest role model?

Tatum: Amanda Seyfried is one of my idols. She does a great job with [both] drama and comedy, which is something I aspire to. For theater, I love Sutton Foster and Taylor Louderman. They're incredible and they really embody [their] roles.

GL: Any big goals coming up?

Tatum: I'd love to book something on network TV. Those roles are usually dramatic and I think drama's really fun and different. And I play the ukelele and piano, so I'm just constantly working on getting better at those and writing more songs.

GL: Tell us more about writing your own music.

Tatum: I just have spur-of-the-moment ideas and I'll just take that and try to come up with the chorus and verses. It's a whole thing but surprisingly it doesn't take too long. I like to learn the classical piano pieces but I normally write songs on the ukelele more than piano.

GL: What's one song you'd written recently?

Tatum: There's one called "Smile." It's about how everyone has their bad days but sometimes there's no point in being sad—you put a smile on your face and just get through it. Kind of a feel-good song. I wrote another one about a kind of scary dream I was having. That was a bit darker, a bit on the slower side. I really write about whatever is on my mind. I love music from Sara Bareilles and Taylor Swift—both really cool people who can tell a story with their songs.

GL: And what's the best advice you'd give other girls your age?

Tatum: Middle school is a tough time. It's hard to make a ton of friends who are good and uplifting and who like you for you, so just [know that] one or two is enough and just stay close to them. Don't worry about being popular. Find people who support you 100% and have your back and uplift you on your good days and your bad days.

Keep up with Tatum on Instagram

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Images: Kristia Knowles. Parts of this interview were edited or condensed for clarity.

by Katherine Hammer | 11/18/2022