Role: Best friend, hothead, and repurposing wizard
Who I’d Cast: Lily James
Bernie Mitchell is a mechanical engineer turned eco-terrorist serving five years in San Judas for arson. Bernie is short for Bernadette, which in German means “brave as a bear.”
While Bernie is feisty and known for her temper, she relies on Lark for protection. The two united in their mutual hatred for Mother Mercy and her “daughters,” and they’ve been best friends ever since.
Before she came to San Judas, Bernie was an engineering student who dedicated her weekends to environmental activism. She dabbled in minor monkeywrenching but usually limited protests to sitting in old-growth trees, painting posters, and writing to her local representatives.
But two years before she graduated, her mom died of cancer. Bernie learned that the oil refinery near their home had been spewing toxic chemicals for years. Bernie blamed the refinery for her mother’s cancer and burned the CEO’s home to the ground.
Fortunately for Bernie, no one was inside, but it still earned her some hard time. She’s served two out of five years under the protection of Rita — a grouchy old biker lady in for attempted murder.
As a smart, crafty eco warrior, Bernie can fix anything. Her job inside the prison is repairing clothes and equipment to make them like new again, but she’s been known to have sticky fingers. Bernie often steals scraps and up-cycles them into trinkets she can use or barter for food.