As an internationally renowned actress, Bernadette Beck finds that the true reward in her work comes from the experiences she can live through in her characters. By portraying someone else, she can see life through their eyes. She can live in different time periods and countries in a single lifetime. She finds it inspiring and fascinating, and this is where her passion for her craft comes from. Not only does she tell stories, but she also lives them.
As a stunt performer, she has a similar mentality. She is still acting but is also continuously physically immersed. Whether she becomes a mermaid, like in the hit Syfy series Siren, or motorcycles through the winding roads of Canada’s famed Okanagan in the upcoming movie Endless, stunt work presented Beck with outstanding opportunities she may never have encountered in her regular life.
One of Beck’s favorite projects as a stunt performer was for the Hallmark movie series Morning Show Mystery. Hallmark films have always been popular, but in the last few years, they have become a massive worldwide sensation, with “Hallmark movie binge-watching” becoming the latest trend. When Beck was presented with the opportunity to be a stunt double for their film, she jumped at it.
Beck had worked alongside stunt coordinator and actor Hugo Steele on a Netflix original series produced by Matt Damon called The Green Beret’s Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse. Steele was so impressed with Beck’s work that when he had to find a stunt double for the Hallmark film, he knew just who to ask, recognizing that Beck was the perfect match based on skillset and attributes.
In Morning Show Mystery: Murder on the Menu, Beck doubled the main character, Billie Blessings. When a dead body turns up in the car of one of her guests, a temperamental celebrity chef, Billie Blessings is on the case again in this captivating sequel. Billie goes from being a successful chef who owns her own restaurant and runs a morning show segment, to be the number one suspect in a murder case.
She must take matters into her own hands since there isn’t enough time for investigators to figure out what has happened. So, Billie digs deeper into a world of crime-filled with a mystery that could possibly incriminate a number of people closest to her, all while risking her own life in the process.
“I admire the strength shown in the character Billie Blessings. In the depths of adversity, she still fights for justice – she’s fighting for her life and for those around her. Although we have a long way to go, we are seeing more female characters in lead roles. I believe that’s a sign that we are making progress as an industry and largely as a society,” says Beck.
As a stunt double, it’s Beck’s responsibility to not only make production happy and the actor happy, but also make the viewer believe she is the same actress. As a result, the process of being a stunt double is much different from being an actor. She is, of course, still performing, but is also required to maintain and mimic mannerisms and motions of the character’s behavior. This allows the captivated viewer to have an uninterrupted experience while watching the movie or show.
In order to accomplish this, Beck, as a stunt double, must analyze the actions of the actress she is doubling leading up to the point where she takes over, all while following the direction on the specific scripted and rehearsed actions. When Beck’s portion of the scene is complete, the actress can then pick up where her double left off and continue the scene.
“It’s like a game of relay in track and field where we interchange within a scene, with the goal of completing it beautifully,” she describes.
Millions of viewers tuned in to watch the investigative drama. With an impressive audience, the television feature earned a robust rating and has been greenlit for an entire movie series. Four additional movies have followed: Morning Show Mystery: A Murder in Mind, Morning Show Mystery: Countdown to Murder, Morning Show Mysteries: Death by Design, and Morning Show Mysteries: Murder Most Fair. This level of enthusiasm from the critics and audiences alike has motivated the network to schedule production for more of these murder mystery films. Beck is thrilled to have played such a major part in the series’ continued success.