Syfy’s popular vampire series, Van Helsing, is set to return for its fourth season on September 27, 2019. The upcoming season will find Tricia Helfer (Lucifer) tackling the role of Dracula, and Nicole Muñoz (Defiance), Richard Harmon (The 100), Keeya King (Jigsaw), and pro wrestler Big Show as new series regulars. Muñoz, no stranger to the science fiction genre, will be playing a mysterious character named Jack who’s spent the time since the vampire apocalpyse on her own fighting off the blood-thirsty creatures.
Nicole Muñoz joined the cast at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con for her first panel as a member of Van Helsing. She also participated in roundtable interviews to delve into her role on the show – without giving away any spoilers.
How exciting is it to join Van Helsing for season four?
Nicole Muñoz: “It’s really exciting, especially a show that’s been going on for so long because it’s basically a well-oiled machine. And then when that happens, there’s a lot of room for creativity and adding your own opinion and your own flare to certain aspects of the character. Because everything’s figured out, all the hard stuff’s been figured out, so now it’s time to play and have fun which makes season four really exciting because we’re trying things this year.”
What can you tell us about your character?
Nicole Muñoz: “Jack? She’s very special to me. She’s a fighter at heart and on the streets, and she’s fierce and she’s very loyal and independent. She’s very confident in her fighting ability and sometimes that gets her into trouble, you know, when you’re fighting vampires. But she’s pretty cunning and fiercely loyal.
I really love her. She’s strong.”
How did you prepare for coming in as the new kid on the block? Were you nervous about it? What sort of training did you do and were you a fan of the show? I know that’s a lot of questions.
Nicole Muñoz: “I’ll take them all! So to prepare physically at least…that’s kind of the first thing when I was auditioning for this, they said you have to be pretty physical. And so I said, ‘Okay.’
As soon as I heard that I was even in the running – I hadn’t actually booked the job yet – I was like, ‘I’m going to get a head start.’ I went and took boxing classes which I had kind of been doing before. I did this show called Defiance back in the day and when I was there I was training in Muay Thai. So, I actually did get to bring some MMA into this season, which is really exciting.
But in terms of acting, I binge-watched all three seasons which was not a hard task because it was really fun to watch. And it was cool to see how everybody grew from season one and then to watch them on set on season four. It was fun. That’s kind of it – I watched the show and I did my own preparations. But the physicality was a lot of fight training.”
Who can we expect to see her teaming up with or working with the most?
Nicole Muñoz: “I wish I could tell you. (Laughing) I wish I could tell you! But whoever it is, it’s an awesome team. They kick a lot of ass together.”
Did they provide you with a big backstory on Jack?
Nicole Muñoz: “Eventually. I had my own in my head and then I got to play her pretty similar. But what I can say is she’s been trying to find her way on the road since the rising happened, so that’s kind of why she’s MMA style because she learned to fight on the streets. That’s kind of all I can say for her backstory. I don’t want to spoil it!”
Do you get a list of things you can and can’t talk about?
Nicole Muñoz: (Laughing) “I have a list of things I can’t talk about. There is no ‘can talk about’ list.”
Do you have an affinity for science fiction shows to watch and act in?
Nicole Muñoz: “Yes, I love it. So, Defiance was great. That was my first taste, really, of TV. I got that when I was 18 so I kind of grew up in the sci-fi world.
Filming sci-fi is really fun because it’s very creative. Usually, there’s a moral behind most of the stories. It’s either political or there will be undercurrents of themes that are happening to our society now and then they’re reflecting it through the lens of the science fiction. Which is really fun because then I feel like I’m telling important stories or at least helping be a part of it.
And then the fandoms are amazing for these shows. I’ve been talking to people since I was 18 and it feels like family now. This crossover between Defiance and Van Helsing, I’ve noticed a lot of the supporters kind of jumped and went to Van Helsing also. So, that was cool because I feel a little bit more like coming to a family reunion instead of a room full of strangers that are really nice.”
They were a very welcoming pack?
Nicole Muñoz: “Yes, the cast was very welcoming. As soon as I got to set my first day was a fight scene and everybody was, ‘Don’t worry, they do this to everybody.’ And any questions you had about the theme or the tone… Jonathan Scarfe directed one of the episodes and that was really helpful for me. Everybody’s in the boat of if we can raise everybody up, the whole level gets better. It’s not an ‘in yourself’ type vibe; everybody is trying to make everyone rise up. You don’t get that all the time.”
Did Jonathan Scarfe give you any advice as a new Van Helsing cast member?
Nicole Muñoz: “Did he? I’m sure he handed out a lot of advice while we were filming. Basically, what I get from Jonathan is to relax and enjoy yourself while you’re there because that’s the moment you have so do with it what you can. Don’t be afraid to take some risks when you’re filming. Don’t be afraid to crack a few jokes. He loves to do a couple of taglines at the end. I feel like if the blooper reel this year would be a lot of his one-liners, but they’re all really great.”