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In the Dark star Perry Mattfeld on portraying addiction and blindness - and saying no to lip gloss

·3 min read

In the Dark, the CW's endearingly quirky crime drama, was one of the many shows viewers discovered while confined to their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When its first season, which aired in 2019, hit Netflix in 2020 (just as the series' sophomore outing premiered) audiences had the chance to discover the joys of watching Murphy (Perry Mattfeld), a hard-drinking blind woman, investigate crimes while grappling with her long list of personal woes.

EW can count itself among those now hooked on the series, having selected it as a pick for our favorite comfort shows to quaran-stream last year.

Ahead of the show's season 3 premiere, Mattfeld speaks proudly of working with creator Corinne Kingsbury to ensure her character continues to be an honest, credible example of a flawed yet tough female lead. "She wanted to show a woman on screen that people can relate to," Mattfeld tells EW. "She's given us the opportunity to showcase and highlight a woman… who isn't perfect and can still get the guy. There's even times when we're showing a scene where Murphy's waking up and I say, 'I don't want lip gloss on.' That's not how people wake up."

Marni Grossman/The CW Perry Mattfeld in 'In the Dark'

The actress, who now serves as a producer on the series, is also quick to point out the ways in which Murphy's dependency on alcohol and one-night stands has shifted as she's become less reliant on destructive coping methods. "I love that she's evolving, and we see that when she's vulnerable and struggling she resorts back to these defense mechanisms," Mattfeld says, noting how the series attempts to explore these battles in a raw, real way. "It's not like she flips a coin and is some princess."

One of the most important elements of the production has been including visually impaired consultants on the show's writing team. Lorri Bernson, Ryan Knighton, and Jess Burkle have each brought their own perspectives to the series and allowed Mattfeld to add nuance to her portrayal of Murphy.

"Last year was really special, as we introduced the [visually impaired] character of Josh (Theodore Bhat)," says Mattfeld, "because as he's losing his vision, two of our writers in our writers' room who have retinitis pigmentosa, which is what Murphy has, represented two different experiences of losing their vision."

Marni Grossman/The CW Perry Mattfeld and Casey Deidrick in 'In the Dark'

Mattfeld is grateful to be involved in sharing their stories. "I've gotten a lot of messages about what being blind looks like, and there is such a scale and such unique experiences and layers and types of vision loss," she says. "There's thousands. Murphy is only representative of one. It's cool that I get to be part of educating about even one version."

To find out more about filming during COVID-19, Mattfeld's close bond with her cast members like Casey Deidrick and Brooke Markham, and much more, watch the video of our sit-down above.

In the Dark season 3 premieres June 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.

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