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In The Dark Director Morgan Krantz Reveals How He Coaxed Out Perry Mattfeld's Flirty Alter Ego - Exclusive

Some of the best episodes in TV history have come from actors in a show putting on a director hat on top of their acting duties. Not only is it beneficial to have an actor's perspective in the director's chair, but who knows a cast better than their co-stars? 

While a good number of streaming series have a singular director, network shows often have a cycle of directors that come and go. Sometimes they've directed 30 episodes, and sometimes it's just a single episode. And sure, having fresh blood can be an asset, too, but fellow actors (who are often friends) have a unique perspective to get some crafty and unique performances out of the stars. 

That was certainly the case for Morgan Krantz (Felix Bell), who made his "In the Dark" directorial debut in the Season 4 episode, "C.I. Was Right." During an exclusive interview with Looper, Krantz revealed how he coxed out Perry Mattfeld's (Murphy Mason) flirty alter ego during a scene. 

The director's coax

On the particular moments that Krantz tweaked or adjusted in a director capacity, he said, "There's this thing I did with Perry [Mattfeld] where I asked her to play a scene — it's that scene where she's flirting with that guy outside the garage." Being co-stars for four years tends to wield a close bond with actors that directors coming and going wouldn't have. 

He explained, "I have seen Perry in all sorts of situations over the years. I knew that Perry had this alter ego person in her, that a lot of girls sometimes have — and probably guys too — which would turn on. It's a little bit of a persona that's like, 'Oh, my God. Yeah, totally.' You're basically acting in this flirty way." And who hasn't pulled that little number out at a party?

"Anyway, I felt like I kept saying to her ... I joke that she's from Redondo Beach even though she's not. But I was like, 'I want that USC frat girl,' because there's a part of her that has this cheerleader frat girl," he said. "She can turn it on. I've seen her at parties and stuff. If she wants to be polite to get out of a conversation, I've seen her do it. I made her do that in the scene, this — for lack of a better term — 'basic B' thing."

Shedding a tear or rwo

The scene's inspiration isn't what fans might expect, either. Krantz noted, "It was so great. It reminded me of Bugs Bunny, when Bugs Bunny puts on lipstick and acts all flirty. It was awesome because all the audiences know Murphy so well." He added, "It was fun to see that. We even got a little scared at some point; we're like, 'Should we do one without that?' I was like, 'No, I'm in charge, so no.'" Sometimes it pays to have a bit of power on-set.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little leeway for actors to do something fresh and unexpected. Krantz said, "That was fun. I really liked that moment. Obviously, Perry is comedically a genius actress if she's allowed to be [or] if she's asked to be. She's so funny as a person, too. I was really happy with that moment."

Perry wasn't the only actor Krantz had a great moment with. "Then, Casey Deidrick and I had ... He made me cry in that scene in the library," he recalled. "He actually made me cry because there was a whole meta layer to that scene where I feel like [he] and I were connecting in a way as Morgan and Casey. We had never connected in a way that we were connecting, suddenly, because I was his director." 

"In the Dark" airs Monday nights on The CW and streams on the website the next day.