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Perry Mattfield: 'In the Dark' reinvents itself in Season 3

Murphy (Perry Mattfield) and her guide dog, Pretzel, are on their own in Into the Dark Season 3. Photo courtesy of The CW
Murphy (Perry Mattfield) and her guide dog, Pretzel, are on their own in "Into the Dark" Season 3. Photo courtesy of The CW

LOS ANGELES, June 23 (UPI) -- Perry Mattfield, star of The CW's In the Dark, said the drama has reinvented itself in its third season, which premieres Wednesday.

"Every season is kind of a different story, but yet they're all an extension of the one before," Mattfield told UPI in a recent Zoom interview.

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Mattfield stars as Murphy, a blind woman who began the series trying to solve her friend's murder. In Season 2, Murphy's murder investigation led a drug trafficker to force Murphy to work for her.

Season 3 begins with Murphy and her friends Jess (Brooke Markham), Felix (Morgan Krantz) and Max (Casey Deidrick) on the run after killing the drug trafficker. Mattfield said what sets In the Dark apart from other crime shows is its introduction of humor.

"It's still so goofy at times," Mattfield said. "They're these criminals, and yet they don't know what they're doing."

Murphy, Jess, Max and Felix work together at Guiding Hope, a training school for guide dogs. Murphy is the only character of the four who is blind.

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Mattfield said Murphy can get around using her city's public transportation, and she knows how to negotiate interiors like Guiding Hope and her apartment. Fleeing her familiar surroundings makes Murphy even more dependent on Jess, Max and Felix, Mattfield said.

"She needs her people, who she often pushes away," Mattfield said. "There's an interesting power shift there for Murphy, who is isolated and desperate."

Filming Season 3 reinvented production on In the Dark, too, Mattfield said. The series films in Toronto.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, showrunner Corinne Kingsbury and the series writers did not travel to the set in Season 3. Mattfield said the cast and crew had to ensure the show continued to run smoothly.

"It was a lot of pressure on us to carry the ship and to keep it going," Mattfield said.

Mattfield said she was grateful to the crew members who agreed to isolate, at an inconvenience to their families, so they could work on the show.

One aspect of In the Dark that remains consistent is Murphy's relationship with her guide dog, Pretzel. Levi, the dog featured in the show, is a trained acting dog, not a seeing-eye dog.

"We wouldn't want to take a guide dog away from anyone who could use them," Mattfield said. "Guide dogs are precious."

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Performing on cue for a movie or TV show also requires a different training than guiding a human being. Mattfield said she's grown so close to Levi while filming the show for seven months that she asked Levi's owners if she could keep him for the rest of the year.

"It was a no, obviously, from his owners, which I guess I should've assumed if you're going to ask anyone if you can keep their beloved pet," Mattfield said. "He takes naps with me in my trailer at lunchtime."

The 27-year-old Mattfield graduated from the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts in 2017, where she was a Song Girl on the field supporting the Trojans. Before college, Mattfield made television appearances such as playing FrankenGirl on two 2009 episodes of The Wizards of Waverly Place. Mattfield had a seven-episode arc on Shameless one year before beginning In the Dark.

Mattfield also trained in ballet from age 5. She said her dance career is on hold as long as she's playing Murphy on In the Dark. But she still has opportunities to get out on the floor.

"Dance parties are common on Saturday nights when we're in lockdown just with our cast," Mattfield said.

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Mattfield said that her dance training helps her acting and negotiating the In the Dark set.

"Obviously, there's the physical aspect of trying not to use my vision," Mattfield said. "Then there's three cameras I have to be aware of and marks I have to hit."

In the Dark returns Wednesday at 9 p.m. EDT on The CW.

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