Rukiya Bernard returned to Supernatural in a different role in Season 13, Episode 4, The Big Empty.
If you thought you recognized the actress playing Mia Valens in Supernatural Season 13’s “The Big Empty,” that’s because you’ve seen her on the show before. Supernatural is known for bringing actors back for different roles, and Rukiya Bernard took on that challenge to return as someone new during hiatus from filming Van Helsing Season 2.
SPN Hunters was lucky enough to sit down and chat to her during her busy schedule to find out more about stepping back into the SPN Family, tweeting for two shows on one day, and what her character Doc on Van Helsing has in store.
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Cast your mind back to Supernatural Season 7. Bernard took on the role of the fake psychic Camille, who she says she has “a special spot in my heart for.” It turns out Camille was inspired by the real fake psychic, Miss Cleo, who Bernard and her family would watch in commercials in the past.
“Being Jamaican descent, we would always laugh at the commercials because her Jamaican accent was so bad,” Bernard shared, struggling to hold back the laughter of the memories.
Of course, Camille died, and most actors find they won’t return to a show after that. Bernard found returning to the show “really fun, actually,” but did worry about whether she would be remembered. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki did remember her though, with Ackles commenting that she was the fake psychic, “It was like being welcomed back into the family.”
The name SPNFamily is certainly encompassed by fans of the show. They regularly connect on a Thursday night when the show airs, which can make it difficult for actors to keep up! Bernard didn’t just have one show airing on that particular Thursday, but two.Photo credit: Kristine Cofsky/Moon Rocket Media
“At least they aired one hour apart from each other,” Bernard pointed out, but then shared that it was during the airing of Van Helsing that she struggled the most, “I had responses from Supernatural fans from the West Coast as they got ready and the Van Helsing East Coast fans were tweeting. I was trying to interact with all the fans, but that SPNFamily. Wow! They have mad love.”
And it’s not just the fans that are like family. It’s just like that on set, especially between co-stars Ackles and Padalecki. Fans have heard all about the pranks they play on each other and on Misha Collins. There have been plenty of outtakes over the years of some questionable touching, tickling, and face-pulling. The jokes have continued with Alexander Calvert, and apparently he is taking it all in his stride like a trooper.
But is it just for the co-stars? Are guest stars treated in the same way?
“Oh yeah! Oh yeah!” Bernard laughed, telling stories of how Padalecki in particular would pull faces at her while she was filming. In the scene were Mia figures out that Buddy is the one responsible for all the killings, Bernard was faced with Padalecki constantly pulling faces while she delivered her lines.
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Photo credit: Kristine Cofsky/Moon Rocket Media
“I wish I could get the outtakes for the episodes, because I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much. I had so much fun on set.”
So with that in mind, will we see Mia back? Well, Supernatural may not have plans yet, but Bernard wouldn’t say now, “I’m curious at what Mia does next. Will she continue her practice? Where does she end up? I’ve always wondered. A good shapeshifter is a handy thing.”
When not on Supernatural, Bernard can currently be seen playing Doc in Van Helsing, who is definitely “so different” to Mia. The big questions right now surround Doc’s relationship with Axel, which is on very rocky grounds after a moment of fear and weakness at the end of Season 1. Can Axel ever forgive her for what she did? Bernard shares that she isn’t sure.
“That’s a tough one. I don’t know. Even if you were like ‘I forgive you’ I don’t know if it’s true or if Doc starts acting like it’s all okay if it’s true. It was such a breach of trust that happened between her and Axel. I don’t know if it’s truly forgivable.”
What she is looking forward to is Doc’s redemption arc throughout the series. She calls it “the Doc 2.0,” as Doc begins to find people who value her, despite her feeling guilty about herself. This is the chance for Doc to be tested to see if she can be trusted again. Will she follow through and stand by her word?
Bernard can be seen in Van Helsing Season 2 on Thursdays at 9/8c on SYFY. But don’t forget to catch Supernatural the hour before on The CW.