If you’re a fan of The CW show In the Dark, you may know the name Perry Mattfeld. She’s the 26-year-old star of the popular crime drama, which has run for two seasons and is set to premiere its third season in June. Read on to learn all about this talented actress.
Who Is Perry Mattfeld?
Born on March 29, 1994, Perry Mattfeld has been a performer since she was five years old. The California native was a ballet dancer for nine years before she began studying other dance styles and started working with acclaimed choreographer Debbie Allen. After being cast in a Los Angeles musical about the American Girl Dolls, Mattfeld was bitten by the acting bug.
As a teenager, she began scoring small roles in TV shows. But the budding star took a break from professional acting when she was accepted into the University of Southern California’s prestigious theater program, where she studied full-time for four years.
“I wanted to take advantage of everything USC had to offer,” Mattfeld told USC mag Hercampus.com in 2020. “So I let my agents and manager go and just did college for four years. I told them I want to go to school, I want to be in a sorority, I want to ride my bike to get food, I want to carry my books, I want to go to football games, I want to be a cheerleader, I wanted all of that. And looking back I have no regrets.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting and a Bachelor of Arts in film theory, Mattfeld picked up where she left off and eventually ended up landing her current role as Murphy Mason on In the Dark.
Perry Mattfeld Is Not Actually Blind
While Mattfeld is very convincing playing a visually impaired woman, the actress is not blind in real life. To prepare for the role, she worked closely with Lorri Bernson, a consultant for the show who is legally blind.
“When I first got the role, I spent quite a bit of time in her [Lori’s] house with her,” Mattfeld told Refinery29 in 2019. “I realized what a responsibility I had, and how much I had to learn. So I spent a lot of time with her, watching her morning routine, how she got ready for bed, brushed her teeth, cooked in her kitchen, and used her guide dog. I learned how to text on an iPhone using the audio settings. It was great to be able to learn and research with her, and to have her on set as well.”
Mattfeld says the show works closely with the blind community to keep the story authentic. “We have two writers who are blind on our writing staff, and a lot of things came from their experiences…I’m most proud that the creators took the opportunity to start the project with authenticity by not only staffing the writer’s room that way, but by adding [actors who are blind.] The guide dog users in the show are real guide dog users. We have a subject that is going to educate millions of people because it’s being broadcast on a major network. That’s really exciting.”
She Has Also Been On ‘Shameless’ And ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’
Before landing her breakout role on In the Dark, Mattfeld played Mel on the Showtime drama Shameless alongside Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy. She also appeared on the sci-fi drama Stitchers, the Amazon Prime hit Homecoming, and the short-lived series mystery/thriller series, Carrier.
You may also recognize Mattfeld from a memorable role she had in 2009 when she was just 15-years-old, playing a young Frankenstein-like monster (a.k.a. “Franken-Girl) on the Disney Channel show Wizards of Waverly Place.
But so far, Mattfeld says playing Murphy Morgan on In the Dark has been her most rewarding acting job.
“It’s been so awesome for me to play Murphy because I don’t really wear makeup and I don’t do anything to my hair,” she said in a 2020 interview with Rose & Ivy. “I have been stripped down into a very vulnerable, raw physical state. But then I have been given the voice of someone who is so bold, unapologetic and sarcastic. It definitely has given me a lot more confidence in my physical skin.”