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January 30, 2021

Perry Mattfeld Is Not Blind in Real Life — More Facts about the Star of 'In the Dark'

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Perry Mattfeld was determined to become a famous dancer, and then she was cast in the musical "American Girl" and fell in love with acting.

Perry Mattfeld started dancing ballet when she was five years old, and it seemed as if her fate was determined. At 14, she started working with the iconic dancing choreographer Debbie Allen.

It was Allen who encouraged her to diversify her dancing and cast her in the all-female musical "American Girl." Bitten by the acting bug, Mattfeld expanded her career ambitions and is now the star of a Netflix hit show, "In The Dark." 

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NOT BLIND

Mattfeld was cast as Murphy Mason, a young blind woman whose self-destructive behavior and drinking isolate her from everyone but her dedicated best friend and homeless drug dealer, Tyson.

In the series, Murphy's friend Tyson, who had saved her from a mugging, is murdered, and she is determined to discover his killer. Mattfeld's portrayal of the blind Murphy is so convincing that fans thought she was blind herself.

The actress also learned how to work with a guide dog, text on an iPhone as a sightless person, and even cook.

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INSPIRED

In order to get a feel for Murphy, Mattfeld spent a lot of time with Lorri Bernson, the woman on whose life the show is inspired, and who works on the show as a consultant. Mattfeld admitted:

"I realized what a responsibility I had, and how much I had to learn."

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RESEARCH

Mattfeld revealed that she followed Bernson through her day to day schedule, watching how she did ordinary things like brush her teeth and prepare for bed as a sightless person.

The actress also learned how to work with a guide dog, text on an iPhone as a sightless person, and even cook. Mattfeld's determination to be authentic resulted in a convincing performance that had critics raving.

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BLIND ACTORS

The production of the show was criticized for casting a sighted actress in the lead as a blind woman, but they responded that they had also auditioned blind actresses and Mattfeld was simply the best for the role.

The show is now going into season 2, and Mattfeld has revealed that there will be more blind actors joining the cast. Two of the "In The Dark" staff writers are blind, as is her costar Calle Walton.

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Mattfeld is incredible in her first major role after guesting on “Escape from Polygamy,” “Shameless,” and “Wizards of Waverly Place.” Perry Mattfeld is a woman to watch. Dancing or acting, she's making her mark.

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