Bachelor

Matty J and Laura on life after 'The Bachelor' and who they want to see on 'Bachelor in Paradise'

Plus, how you can ~kiss~ Matty J at Madame Tussauds.

By: Jessica Chandra

There were many people who fell in love with Matty J when he appeared on The Bachelorette Australia in 2016.

But, earlier this year, 22 women were given the opportunity to ~actually~ fall in love with Matty, when he took centre stage as the star of The Bachelor. After a few epic dates with some stunning ladies, it was jewellery designer Laura Byrne who won Matty’s heart in the end. He described her as the “perfect woman” for him.

Laura is obviously a very lucky lady, as she gets to spend time with Matty IRL, all the time. But for those of us who aren’t as fortunate, there is something that’s almost as good as the real thing.

Y’see, Matty has joined forces with Madame Tussauds in Sydney to become the first augmented reality experience, which allows people to get ~up close and personal~ with the former Bachelor. You get to take photos with him, you get to do cool poses with him — you even get to kiss him! It’s like hanging out with Matty J… except he’s only there on a screen. But remember — next best thing.

Matty launched the new AR experience this week, and his #1 lady was right by his side to support him. In fact, it was their first big event together as a couple!

Cosmo snatched some time with the loved-up couple to chat life after The Bachelor, who they think will go on Australia’s first series of Bachelor in Paradise, and why they have lots of babysitting nights ahead.

Why did you choose to do this AR experience, and how did it come about?

Matty: It was a bit random, to be honest. I was on LinkedIn, and I got a message on LinkedIn from one the staff here, who works in marketing. It was a quick, brief topline overview of what the experience is, and asking if I wanted to be involved. And I kind of thought maybe at first it was a girl trying to get me to call her, and it was a fake story. I checked out her LinkedIn, and it was legit that she worked for Madame Tussauds. Then we got talking about it, and I thought it was a really cool, innovative concept, and one that’s just fun. I’m sure nothing will come around again that’s close to doing what this experience is, so I thought, why not?

Is this the step you need to take to get a wax statue?

Matty: Well that’s what everyone keeps asking me! I do feel… not like a celebrity. I feel like I’m not really deserving of having a wax figure, or having the augmented reality experience, but I’m really flattered I’ve ben asked.

Have you tested it out?

Matty: We were just checking it out before!

Laura: I kind of liked having both on each side. Although I was getting a bit overzealous, and ended up kissing him [AR Matty] behind his face.

Matty: Digital Matt’s got more of a tan, as well.

Laura: He’s like Holiday Matty, and this is Work Matty.

Laura with tanned 'Holiday Matty'

How is public life treating you guys now, a couple of weeks after the finale?

Matty: It’s pretty good! It kind of feels like the finale was ages ago. I think the nicest thing is the fact that with The Bachelor, The Bachelorette is so quick to come afterwards, so all the attention now is on Sophie. So we can just slip into the background a little bit. But life’s pretty normal!

Laura: It hasn’t been really public. We’ve just hung out and done things quietly. We’ve been having dinner at home, and hanging out with family and friends — all the nice, normal stuff.

Matty: Changing nappies—

Laura: You can do those.

Matty: My sister had a baby on Monday. We were in bed, then got a message from her saying, “My water just broke.” She was like, “I might have the baby today, most likely tomorrow,” and then an hour later she was like, “Get here right now.” So when we rocked up, her contractions were two minutes apart. So then Laura and I were left to look after little George. Which was nice!

Was George confused by his new sibling?

Matty: He was a little, 'cos he…

Laura: Has he met Millie yet?

Matty: Yeah. Luckily Buster was there, the three-legged dog, so he could distract George. Because sometimes he would realise, ‘Where’s Mum and Dad?’ But we did pretty well.

Has it been easy to juggle your normal lives and public personas?

Matty: The only thing that’s different — which has been nice, I think, more than anything else — is that when we’re out in public, people will be like, “Hey, congratulations.”

Laura: People are nice. We haven’t had anyone say anything not nice to us — ever. So people, off face value, are really, really supportive, and lovely.

Matty: But then this is like the first big public outing that we’ve had to do together. So aside from that, it’s been very normal.

Laura: I know it sounds weird, but we’ve not done anything. We’ve just been hanging out together, and spending time together — because we couldn’t do those things before. We’ve spent months in front of a camera — it’s just nice to cook dinner and be at home.

We have to ask you guys quickly for your thoughts on Bachelor in Paradise.

Laura: It’s gonna be awesome! I can’t wait! It’s gonna be so entertaining.

Matty: I am so excited for Bachelor in Paradise! I don’t know if it’s the same with you, but I’m speaking to all the boys from my season — we have a WhatsApp group — and I’m trying to get out of those guys who’s doing it, and who’s not. Everyone’s really tight-lipped right now. Everyone’s saying, “I haven’t been called.” I’m like, “Cam, I know you’ve been called.”

Yes, Cam! Jake — surely.

Matty: Surely.

Nikki Gogan would be an interesting one.

Laura: I don’t think she’d do it, though. I obviously don’t know her from a bar of soap, but I just don’t think… I couldn’t imagine it.

It’s been reported she’s been filming promos for it.

Matty: What?!

Laura: See, maybe? There will be a couple of girls from my season, surely.

Matty: [To his manager, Georgina] Is Sasha doing it?

Georgina: Sasha Mielczarek is not doing it. On the record.

Laura: Well even Richie! Did you see the thing the other day? NW had posted a picture, and it was Richie, Nikki and Keira, and he was like, “I can 100% confirm I am absolutely not doing it.” And people were like, ahhhh! Losing it.

Matty: I am a big, big fan. I will definitely watch it.

Laura: We watch The Bachelorette. It’s hilarious. I just hope it doesn’t… No, I think it’ll be funny.

Matty: It’s gonna be laughs, cries, backstabbing — it’s gonna be all of that.

Laura: I think it’s gonna be a little bit sordid, because once you put that many people together and a bit of alcohol…

And you’re not vying for just one person. Like, two girls could like one guy, but he likes someone else…

Laura: And I think people are much more respectful around it [The Bachelor], like, I mean, nothing happens — you can only kiss him. There’s nothing untoward that’s going on. It can’t be on primetime TV. Whereas I think Bachelor in Paradise will be a bit more saucy.

Who do you think from your season will be on it?

Matty: I think Jake and Cam would be my picks.

Laura: I think Elora… and I think Florence.

Florence, Cam, Elora and Jake

Matty, you co-hosted The Loop the other day. Do you want to do more TV?

Matty: I think if the opportunity pops up, I’d definitely take it. Scott [Tweedie] is someone I know from Brisbane, so he called me and was like, “Hey, I’m gonna be away, could you fill in?” And I’m working full-time at the moment, so it’s nice to be able to do these one-off-type events. I think I’ll always work in marketing, but if the opportunity popped up to do more TV, it would be amazing, but it’s not like I’m gonna quit my day job to try and chase that career.

Both of you have massive Instagram followings now, so do you feel more pressure with what you post? Like if they’re highly-scrutinised, and people read into things?

Matty: I quadruple-check my spelling.

Laura: Oh yeah, spelling! I wrote ‘patient’ wrong the other day.

Matty: I spelt ‘brake’ wrong, and people are so quick to correct your grammar, and if you ever spell anything wrong people jump on you straight away. My friend messaged me and was like, “Dude, you spelt ‘brake’ wrong,” so I had to correct it quickly. But you’re kind of aware that there’s a big audience paying attention.

Laura: I think at the same time, you still just be genuine to yourself. I’m not entirely sure how I’m supposed to use social media yet, but for me it’s just been photos of what we’ve been doing, and of my family. I think you just have to keep it genuine.

How come your account is @ladyandacat instead of @ladyandathreeleggeddog?

Laura: I actually also own a cat, 'cos I’m real crazy, but I didn’t want to bring that one out on national TV. So I’ve had a cat for seven years, and I’ve had that account for so long. It was an unused personal account, and then with the new way they’re doing social media for The Bachelor, which is that you can post during the show, we were encouraged to use our personal accounts, so that’s why I was using it. @ladyandacatandathreeleggeddog just made me sound nuts!

Matty, can you confirm once and for all whether Laura was cropped out of that picture with your mum?

Matty: No, she wasn’t!

Laura: Post the whole photo now!

Matty: Do you know why I cropped it? I’m just gonna show you the original, if that’s OK. [Looks for picture]

Laura: Then there will be some ridiculous article that’s like, “Laura wasn’t invited, that’s why she isn’t in the photo.”

Ed’s note: We can confirm that after seeing the full photo, Laura was not cropped out, and that there was no one standing on Matty’s other side. Matty just wanted to include the Harbour Bridge.

Laura, how’s your business been going since everything happened?

Laura: It’s always been busy. It’s been my sole income for six years, so I feel really protective of it. When people are like, “It must be busy now,” I’m like, “It was always busy!” But it’s doing really well. There’s been a lot more attention to online as opposed to in-store, so that’s been really nice, because that’s where I want to focus anyway. I’ve had the store in Westfield for six years. I guess things are just kind of aligning at a nice point in time, like everything’s firing. It’s good to be busy.

What’s next for you guys?

Matty: After this experience with Madame Tussauds, I don’t really have anything exciting on the horizon. Other than keep on working, babysitting George a lot more now that Millie’s around, planning Christmas…

Laura: Holiday!

Have you got somewhere in mind?

Matty: We were talking about maybe going to South America, or maybe Mexico. [To Laura] You’ve gotta go to Bali for work, so I might jump on the back of that trip.