While there are plenty of diverse shows on television these days, not many depict the lead character as blind. The CW’s underdog series In the Dark premiered in 2019 and initially followed blind young woman Murphy Mason, played by Perry Mattfeld, trying to solve her friend’s murder. Throughout the series, she and her friends have gone on a whirlwind adventure, getting into trouble, and finding love and relationships along the way. The show was one of many that fell victim to The CW’s bloodbath of cancellations, meaning this story has come to an end, but the cult following will live on.
Nerds and Beyond had the pleasure to speak with Mattfeld ahead of the series finale to discuss her time on the series and just what In the Dark means to her. Keep reading for our full interview with Perry Mattfeld!
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the final two episodes of In the Dark! Read at your own risk.
Nerds and Beyond: Taking a look back at the start of In the Dark, what drew you to the role?
Perry Mattfeld: I said from the beginning this role was an actor’s dream. The mental and emotional challenge but the physical challenge as well made it really enticing to me — not everybody knows what it was. The show was inspired by a real person named Laurie Bernsen, who is like a second mom to me, and having her to study and obsess over and love and learn about was such a blessing for me. I got to learn about a lot about her and her guide dog. She’s definitely the inspiration for Murphy’s sarcasm and confidence. And that made me totally want to take that on.
Nerds and Beyond: Going off of that, what’s something you’ve learned throughout the series that you’ll use for other projects or life in general?
Perry: It’s funny; someone else just asked me about that recently. I definitely feel like I’m very grateful to Murphy. She’s given me a lot of confidence that I would say I didn’t really have in my own life and my personal life as Perry. I’ve been wearing a lot of makeup on In the Dark, and Corinne Kingsbury, our creator, she did an incredible job of creating this flawed woman and showcasing that she can get the guy, she can be confident, all of those things. I feel like I’m definitely grateful to be given a voice for Murphy and feeling empowered to use my voice a little more. But I’m just Perry.
Nerds and Beyond: Over the years, is there a moment on set or off that really stands out to you?
Perry: That’s a great question. There’s been so many incredible moments. Not everyone realizes that it takes us about just over six months to make one season of In the Dark. That’s over four years that we were working on the show, but seven, six months of a five-day workweek, and 12-hour shifts. There’s a lot of time together. That means there’s so much that happens and so many memories but off the top of my head, season 1, episode 6, when Murphy releases Tyson’s ashes into the lake, was something I’ll never forget. I went into Lake Ontario in Canada in November, so it was really cold, but having all the crew with me in the water was almost like this baptism. It was this magical moment of … I felt so much support and so much excitement about the show and about Murphy and about her experience. So I’ll never forget that and swimming in the water. In a very emotional scene, but also just with hundreds of crew around me that were rooting for me.
Nerds and Beyond: That sounds like such a special moment not only for Murphy but for you.
Perry: Totally. I said earlier, too, that I did the pilot when I was 23, and I’m turning 29. And these have been really big years of my life and just making the show with people who love it so much and have supported it so much and CW for kind of allowing us to just create this very unique, quirky show. It’s a very rare thing to be supported and gets to run for four years. I’m very aware of how what an anomaly that is and how grateful I am and blessed to have gotten as much support and time as I did to play.
Nerds and Beyond: Is there something that you hope that fans take away from the series?
Perry: I think the show continued to reinvent itself; every season is different. Season 1 is different from season 2 is different from season 3. What I’ve appreciated hearing from fans is how much they relate to all of the characters, like everybody has been able to relate to either say, ‘I’m like Jess,’ ‘I’m Felix,’ ‘I wanna be Murphy,’ ‘I am like Max’. ‘I’m the mom; I’m Joy.’ I feel like everyone … these are such real characters. Because we didn’t have the supernatural aspect to the show or we didn’t have the action part of the show, it’s a really dialogue-heavy character-driven show. And while that was a little different for The CW, it also gave us so much room to like go really deep and dark, and I’m really proud of all four seasons and especially the way we ended the show.
Nerds and Beyond: Speaking of things turning dark, following the events of the penultimate episode and the finale, we see Murphy kind of go off the deep end because of everything that’s happened to her. What do you imagine or hope is next for her after everything she’s been through?
Perry: It’s hard not to always prioritize capital, right? I guess in my ideal world and like hey, she gets a fluffy bed, you know, gourmet treats, she gets to run in the fields of grass and roll in the sand, whatever, like it’s cool. I think our season 5 would have been interesting to see where Murphy does go. Does she care if she gets caught? Is she just gonna run away with Felix and see how long they can hide and kind of, you know, would we have seen her in a completely different place, would she just be alone? I don’t know. There’s so many ways that could have gone. I think I can say, this is just my opinion, but that most of our fans will feel happy and justified and proud of Murphy for getting some revenge after everything she’s had to go through over the last four seasons.
Like I said earlier, having that animalistic ending for her, I think it’s deserved, and I think in this epic finale that is such a great peak for our four seasons.
Nerds and Beyond: What’s something you’ll miss about the show and playing Murphy?
Perry: Everything. I’m definitely grieving the ending of the show, a lot more than I was expecting. I miss the people that have become my family. Like I said, the six months of long shoot days means these become your people. Luckily, they’re all relationships that I will maintain forever. But I really just think again, that being in a situation where you have four years to develop a playground where you can really play and experiment, that’s so rare, and I did really feel like by the end there, we were also supported and just really got to push ourselves, and I recognize that that’s so rare, so I’m definitely going to miss that consistency, that security of a family and a unit that I came to recognize. It’s just my routine every day.
Nerds and Beyond: What is something that you would like to say to the fans as the show comes to an end?
Perry: That’s a great question, too. I’ve appreciated this; obviously, In the Dark is not the most popular show on air. It’s not Stranger Things. But the fans that found In the Dark are so loyal, there’s this cult following. I’m always so impressed by the detail that people have paid attention to. Those active watchers and listeners are people that pay attention to small details, and I am so grateful to our fans who gave our show a chance. It’s so different; it’s quirky; it’s so unique, and have loved it and will fall in love with all of the characters. I can tell you some of the reactions to these last few episodes — people are really affected, and I think because we put so much work into it, I can’t even say how much I appreciate countless people feel because I feel it, too. I’m just so thankful, and I am so appreciative to the support that we had. I hope that people will continue to find the show for a long, long time.
Nerds and Beyond: Do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about at all?
Perry: Yes, so I have a movie that’s out on Shudder that is a comedy, thriller, a little bit of horror, which is kind of my first in that genre. Well, I guess second if you count the finale of In the Dark. I’m definitely getting to play a little bit more in the comedy world, which is really exciting for me and fun. Who Invited Them is out but In the Dark definitely set a new standard for me. I definitely want to continue to be challenged like that and will always look for roles that make me work really, really hard.
We want to thank Perry Mattfeld for not only chatting with us about In the Dark but for bringing Murphy Mason to life for the last four years. The first three seasons of the series are streaming on Netflix, with the fourth and final season set to debut on the streamer on Tuesday, September 13. Who Invited Them is streaming now on Shudder.
Stay tuned to Nerds and Beyond for more news!