With half the third season already done, GRIMM is taking a short winter break before turning with even more exciting tales of Wesen and Grimm adventures. But before it leaves on winter hiatus, GRIMM shall take a stab at turning Christmas on its head with another gruesome tale.
In a recent press interview, star David Giuntoli talked about what are the challenges and perks of being in their third season, what this Christmas special holds in store, and when the Season 3 villain shall finally make his presence known.
What can you tell us about GRIMM’s take on Christmas?
DAVID: Just guess. Whatever you think is what it is, we just ruin it. We just ruin Christmas for everybody. So I mean there’s an actual legend of Krampus out there, and we’ve had German people asking us to do Krampus over and over again, and we finally tipped our hat to the fine people of Bavaria and we’re bringing this legend to life. So we ruin Christmas for everybody and it’s gory and it’s wonderful.
The first part of the winter finale is about alligators in the sewers. Was there anything like that which you were afraid of when growing up or that maybe you were scared of when you were little?
DAVID: I was just afraid of ghosts. I couldn’t handle the thought of them and I felt constantly watched, and it was like the worst thing in the world.
Does Portland actually does have sewers and did you guys actually do some filming down there?
DAVID: Yes, we did actually. We did some trickery of course. We went into an actual sewer in Portland and then we shot on a sound stage that we built a sewer on a sound stage in Portland. But I got to look like an actual man for once in my life and had a little like sewer suit on with a little hard hat. Got my little soft city hands down a ladder into a sewer. I think everything’s getting better and better all the time. It’s one of these shows we’re very lucky to be on the air as long as we are. Any show that’s on the air is lucky to be on the air, and you got to really kind of find how to do it and constantly improve. It’s been fun and I think the seasons better than ever.
In this Friday’s upcoming episode Nick pulls out yet another new weapon from his arsenal. Is there any one weapon in particular that you really loved playing with? Is it kind of like getting to be a kid to play with all these fun things?
DAVID: That’s the one that had like the knife that shot out of it, right? That one was really cool. I mean that’s one of the first kind of practical weapons. I’ve always been a huge fan of the crossbow. It’s so great for those like little sexy director moments where you see the eyes above the crossbow. I just think that’s seems so cool. This weapon would be my favorite. It’s rare that I get a weapon that actually has some type of functioning mechanism on it, and this was really cool.
What do you think is the hardest thing Nick has to deal with in this series?
DAVID: The creatures get more and more difficult to deal with. I’m trying to think of what the strongest creature would be. Our show’s much like Mario Brothers. Like every level, they just get stronger and stronger and stronger, so obviously in Season 3, I’m dealing with some over-the-top, resilient ruthless Wesen. Krampus is pretty wild, that guy. I mean when I walked onto set and I saw the actor dressed — first of all, we hired a gigantic guy to play this character — and then when I saw him as Santa with these horns, I actually had like a visceral reaction to him. I was kind of frightened in a way. It was a disturbing thing. . . I think that some of the grossest things I’ve seen are like the corpse when they’re all set and bloodied. I remember in Season 1 the craziest thing I ever saw was walking on the set and seeing in a car a body being eaten alive from the inside by live rats, and rats were pouring out of this mouth of this dummy and it was awful. My colleague Russell Hornsby ran away like a scared little boy. There’s some other stuff too. I think the most difficult thing for me was the initial discovery when Nick found out he was a GRIMM and that this whole other world was out there. It’s something we play on in the series a lot. Whenever anybody else finds out who’s not ready to find out about the world of GRIMM, it’s very delicate — because like mental institutions are lined with people who weren’t ready to see something, and they did. So that’s the most difficult part I think emotionally of the whole show was when Nick finds out he was a Grimm. And then Hank had to find that out. And then later on in this season, maybe someone else is going to find that out. You think you’re going crazy and that’s the most difficult thing for the character to deal with.
Most of the GRIMM stories are based on fairy tales and folklore. Do you like that they’ve done something different lately, or do you prefer the more normal type folklore stories?
DAVID: I think anything that kind of throws a curve ball into what the audience is expecting is good for the show. What we’ve done on GRIMM originally is I was passed a book that had all these fairy tales in it, and that was what our episodes were based on. But as the show grows, as does the character Nick, and you discover that some of these other phenomena that take place in the world haven’t yet been added to the book of fairy tales, but they are being added by Nick now. So we are taking other myths and folklore and otherwise just any kind of stories that have been told and putting the little GRIMM spin behind them now. So I enjoy that.
With Nick having gone through a big change at the beginning of the season by becoming a zombie, and there’s some residual effects of that, are we going to see more of that after the winter break?
DAVID: Oh, yes. We’re going to be playing on this one for a little while. It’s like funny. Every time Nick gets harmed, he’s left with this kind of useful side-effect and we’re going to definitely be seeing more of that after the break.
With Nick’s new-found super hearing and his ability to appear dead, do you think that this is something he will learn to control over time, or is it something that you think may put his life in danger?
DAVID: At this point he does not control it at all. So he certainly can use his hearing to his advantage, but this dead thing, I don’t think he knows where it comes from yet. It is certainly not something that he can kind of pull out of his bag of tricks at his own whim. So it either helps him or it hurts him at this point.
Watching everything that’s been happening with the Royals and Adalind (Claire Coffee), is there one person that’s going to emerge as the villain?
DAVID: The writers have done a very good job of what I like to call the slow reveal. I would say coming towards the end of the mid-season we still have probably two or three contenders for the villain. One definitely. We have kind of a new character that emerges who is one of the I’d say two villains, but we have a new character who is one of the greater villains that we’re going to have on the show. But I still place the Captain as a possible villain, and I definitely Adalind as a villain, and then there’s one more guy who’s showing up here soon.
Can you tease a bit about what’s ahead in the European side of the story?
DAVID: There’s going to be a big plot line that’s going on in Europe. Nick is not too involved with it, at least through the mid-season, though I know that’s going to start changing soon. So we have the Verrat and we have the Royals. These are all bad guys. The Verrat I see as kind of the SS, and the Royals, such as Captain Renard, and his cousin, who’s being introduced as Alexis Denisof (a great actor) will be having a major conflict overseas. His cousin wants to get Nick and access to Nick, and he comes very close very soon. Then we have the resistance, a kind of group of rag-tag people trying to overthrow the Royals. So we’ll be meeting some new characters overseas doing that kind of thing and keeping an eye on Adalind. We’ll be doing quite a bit abroad. The passports have all been stamped, so we’re overseas quite a bit.
Nick’s relationship with Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) has had so many rocky problems in the first 2 seasons and it seems to be going just maybe a little too smoothly this season, except for the whole zombie thing. Are we about to see some more problems between them, or are they going to live happily ever after?
DAVID: Oh, there’s no way they’re going to live happily ever after. I mean, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but if there is a relationship it is the job of the writers to tear it apart, at least temporarily. So I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can guarantee you there’s going to be something thrown into the works there.
Do you hope someday to really be able to get in touch with your inner dark side a little bit more?
DAVID: Yes. I think the longer Nick does this job the more he is going to become that. I sense that. I sense that it happens, and he’ll become that more and more to the world of Wesen. He’s not afraid of people anymore. So that’s a good sign for my character, getting dark.
When Nick was staring to deal with the aftermath of the zombie period, Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) made a very interesting observation when he asked Nick what the problem was with killing a human versus killing Wesen. Is that going to ever come up again?
DAVID: Yes, it will. It will come up again. The Captain made a very good point that somehow Nick never really thought of, but it will come up again. It’ll be a theme that is addressed.
Are we going to see more episodes about Latin American myth and folklore? Is there something special about them that you like?
DAVID: Yes, absolutely. For whatever reason when we did La Llorona, we got our second highest rated episode that we’ve ever done, and we’re like, “Oh, wow, maybe there’s a trick here.” But what I really do love is taking actual folklore, stuff that people really grow up being afraid of, that they hear about all the time. There’s plenty of stories in the Grimm’s Fairytales that we could go to that we haven’t gone to yet, but they’re not really stories that have made it really into the cultural conversation or don’t enter your homes through your parents telling you about them. There are plenty of other stories that do enter your family life as a child or whatever that are not Grimm’s Fairytales. So what I really love about these things like La Llorona are they’re actually part of the folklore of a lot of people, and we get to just add that to the Grimm’s Fairytale book now. And we get to utilize Bitsie’s Spanish speaking. I think they’re kind of somehow richer and more realistic. So those episodes, I do enjoy them. They’ve been very strong episodes.
What’s it like now that everyone knows Nick is a Grimm. Is it nice that you no longer have to hide this from Juliette and Hank and the whole gang can like work together now?
DAVID: Yes. I think the show is better for having several more people know about Nick being a Grimm. There are still some people in the dark that I don’t want it to be revealed to just yet. The show can never become a big happy family. There needs to be a lot of problems and that there are responsibilities and dangers that come with knowing about this world, and those who have found out who are not either Wesen or Grimm, there are dangers that come with that, and that’s going to be explored in this season. There’s a reason Nick doesn’t tell everybody. It’s not safer for him, the more normal human beings that know about it. But I am happy that a couple more characters are in this circle, so to speak. I think it opens up a lot of new character dynamics — different people who can interact with each other for the first time. And I love those big dinner scenes where we’re looking at gory, bloody pictures and drinking red wine and kind of discussing it from all these different points of views: Fuchsbau, Wesen, Juliette, Grimm, and Hank. I think it’s fun.
The Wesen decided to hide from the humans. How did that come about?
DAVID: The Wesen rarely ever throughout history, and to this day, want to be seen by humans. Now when it behooves them to be seen, such as they’re robbing a bank and they’re trying to scare the bejesus out of a normal person or threaten them, then irresponsibly, the Wesen will show themselves. And the Wesen Council governs this behavior. So there was an episode in Season 2 where the Wesen Council heard about bank robbers using what people perceived to be masks to rob banks. I believe Blutbaten were doing this, and the Wesen Council got involved because if human beings start to know about Wesen — like remember the Salem witch trials, — it will be slaughter and/or upheaval of some kind. So the Wesen could always be seen by humans, but it is for their health and safety to not be seen by humans.
How have you seen your character further grow and develop this season? Have there been new acting challenges as you discovered with the character?
DAVID: Well, I think he’s become far more confident. I kind of decided this year he’s not afraid of Wesen anymore. They’re not something that’s going to scare him. What does scare him to this day is what happens to his loved ones if he don’t stop the Wesen. So that’s where the struggle comes in. And Nick also see himself now as the only person who has like the rare blood to solve some of these cases. So the stakes are raised in a different way now. He’s not afraid of the creatures, but he knows it’s on him to take care of this case or this next case. Like no one else can figure this thing out because they can’t see anything that he can see. I don’t know if there’s an acting like struggle that’s come there, but you got to like make the decision of what is keeping my character so highly invested in each one of those cases, and that’s a decision I made. But the newest thing, is that Nick is now more confident as he has kind of settled into his role. There’s no reluctance there anymore and he’s willing to go kind of rogue more often.
This season we’re starting to see increasing tension between Rosalee (Bree Turner) and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) concerning loyalty to Nick, and you alluded to the Captain as well. Are we going to see Nick eventually lose two members of his support team?
DAVID: You’ll see some wavering, I’ll say that. I don’t want to say I lose them all together. But things are starting to get questioned: Is Nick using Monroe? I just shot an episode where that’s like the central theme, and there’s a big falling out between Monroe and Nick. And it’s great because is he using Monroe? And in the episode that’s what is asked. Nick is sitting with Juliette, and he’s like, “I don’t know. He’s right. I think he’s right.” So I think it’s kind of cool that this stuff’s coming to the surface in Season 3.
What is your favorite Wesen that Nick has confronted over the year and why?
DAVID: Well, it’s got to be Blutbad. They’re like Labradors. They’re so loyal, to a fault. I’ve forged this bond with Monroe. It’s fantastic. And then I would say the Dämonfeuer because they’re just so fun to look at.
Are you happy that you’re portraying a Grimm, or would you rather be a Wesen?
DAVID: I love being a Grimm. I feel like I live inside the character now. I just get it. I know where he’s coming from. You sit with a character for long enough — and it’s the beauty of having a television show that’s running — you really get into it. You don’t even have to try any more. You just kind of know how he would react to a certain situation. And you probably can’t get that in movies. It’s just we spend so much more time with these characters. So I like being a Grimm. I’m sure I would love being a Wesen too, if I were one. But right now, I’m a Grimm and that’s just fine with me.
To see the 2-hour GRIMM winter finale, be sure to tune in on Friday, December 13th at 9:00 p.m. on NBC. Christmas is just never going to be the same again!
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