Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Based on a True Story

What Happened to Tom Bateman's Character's Wife on Based on a True Story? He Says ...

British actor Tom Bateman recently spoke about his character balancing life as a doting father on the Peacock series Based on a True Story.

By Jax Miller

Plumber. Doting father. Serial killer?

Spoilers for Based on a True Story below


Meet Matt Pierce, one of the leading characters in Peacock’s new series Based on a True Story, as portrayed by Tom Bateman.

Who is Based on a True Story’s Matt Pierce?

Matt (Tom Bateman ) appears in Based on a True Story.

British actor Tom Bateman plays Los Angeles plumber Matt Pierce, the handsome and charming friend of married couple Ava (Kaley Cuoco) and Nathan Bartlett (Chris Messina). Ava and Nathan eventually discover Pierce is actually the elusive West Side Ripper, a serial killer viciously murdering young women in the area and instilling fear into the community.

RELATED: Kaley Cuoco and the Based on a True Story Cast Share Their Favorite True Crime Shows

The comedic thriller revolves around the trio’s efforts to cash in on creating a new true crime podcast featuring Pierce, who continues avoid capture by detectives.

Bateman recently told Oxygen True Crime that the complicated relationship made for “a bizarre trio oxymoron.”

“It shouldn’t make sense, but it does; the three of us, we’re such different energies,” Bateman explained. “But somehow, it all just really worked well. I love working with them so much.”

Bateman said he, Cuoco, and Messina “became these stupid three clowns just trying to make each other laugh.”

Pierce s “fun and stupid and silly and playful and provocative,” and he enjoys “the cat-and-mouse” dynamic of playing with the Bartletts, two otherwise-ordinary people, he explained.

The Significance of Matt Pierce Being a Father

Bateman admitted that he hadn’t listened to true crime podcasts to prep for the role. But he read Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through The Madness Industry to help him develop the character, especially as Pierce tries to balance his serial-killing ways and parenting his young son.

RELATED: Is Based on a True Story Based on a True Story?

“That for me became really fascinating; this idea that psychopaths are very good at emulating emotion and putting on masks of real people,” said Bateman. “He just sort of pretends to be this charming guy, but the mask drops the moment he’s alone and pretends to be a good dad.”

Ava (Kaley Cuoco), Matt (Tom Bateman), and Nathan (Chris Messina) appear in Based on a True Story.

What’s The Backstory with Matt Pierce’s Wife and Son?

Bateman said he learned through reading about psychopathy and noted “survival of the fittest” seems to come into play when Pierce stops being the West Side Ripper to care for his son.

“It’s another decoration on his outfit of, ‘I’m a normal guy, and I’m not a serial killer,’” said Bateman. “It was counterintuitive to me, but it was interesting to explore: At what point, if you’re wearing a mask of being a good dad for so long, at what point does that mask actually take over?”

Bateman wondered if Pierce’s homicidal tendencies could hijack the “mask of being a good dad,” questioning if there were moments where Pierce thought to himself, “Oh, my God, I do love this kid.”

“It was an interesting gray area,” he said.

The mother of Pierce’s child, who may or not be his wife, does not appear in the show, but there is hope that she might appear later down the line.

Batman told Oxygen True Crime that he talked to Based on a True Story showrunner Craig Rosenberg about possible ideas for the Pierces’ backstory and "it was something he thought hopefully we might get to,” said Bateman.

Hopefully, it’s an indication that the show will return for a killer second season!

How to Watch Based on a True Story

All eight episodes of Based on a True Story are available to stream exclusively on Peacock.