GRIMM: David Giuntoli Interview re What’s Next Big Wrinkle in the Nick/Juliette Romance (2013)


As if having your fiancé fall under a sleeping spell and then awaken in love with someone else was not enough of a challenge in the Nick and Juliette romance, the latest temptation will be in the form of a Wesen muse who tries to enslave Nick.  The path to true love is never easy, but it is always worth it.  Let’s just hope that the writers of GRIMM do not tread any heavier on our already taxed romantic hearts.  In a recent press conference call, star David Giuntoli provided some candid thoughts about what is upcoming for Nick and Juliette as well as a few more fun teasers about what is upcoming in the second season finale.


With the muse coming in and Nick getting wrapped up with another woman even if it’s only for an episode in whatever way, is there’s going to be a point where he doesn’t want to wait for Juliette anymore. Or is he just kind of going to wait for her forever?
DAVID: I certainly hope he wouldn’t wait forever. I am personally more shocked at the point that she would be interested in him after all he’s done.  I mean truly cowardly moves on his as far as Juliette’s relationship is concerned. I wouldn’t tell her about any of this after she’d lost her mind, went into a coma, just really struggling with memory loss and like what is happening to her — going crazy. And I’m still sitting back like, “I don’t want to tell her. What if she leaves me?” So I hope we have to talk about things in a real way before we get back together.  I think Nick’s a guy who knows what he’s done to her and would probably do anything to get her back. So I think he’d wait for a long time.

What could possibly happen for the season finale of this season? A Nick and Juliette reunion? What about Adalind’s baby? Like maybe Nick’s mom will return? Is there anything you could tell us?
DAVID: All three of which are very much on the table. You could definitely see a Nick and Juliette reunion. And again, in GRIMM fashion they love tearing people apart and bringing them back together and who knows how hard they’re going to make that for Nick and Juliette. What you will be seeing that I haven’t spoken about yet is we deal with the undead in a way that’s really never been dealt – in a way that it’s never been approached before — in very typical GRIMM fashion.  So “zombies” will be coming to Portland. And I would also say the cliff hanger of this season is — I don’t know how the writers are going to get themselves out of this corner that they’ve painted themselves into — one of the cast may not live through the finale.


Do you have a favorite scene or storyline in the episodes that is going to be coming our way in this last month?
DAVID: That’s going to be coming your way. Something about season two that I’ve really loved and going into season three that I’m going to continue to love is more and more of the main characters are in the know sort of speak, which means that certain characters can interact that wouldn’t have during much of season two, all of season one. And it brings a fresh, lovely dynamic to scenes where I’ll be in a room with say, like a completely new group of actors and watching them interact. And there’s comedy to be found in it when someone is learning the ropes of the GRIMM world for the first time. I really enjoy those scenes where we all get to spend the whole day together. I really do enjoy the moment of levity in the dark world of GRIMM, and there was a scene in particular that played in the Volcanalis episode where Russell Hornsby’s character Hank went on vacation. It was almost out of another show like an ALLY MCBEAL episode. But it was very fun. It was fun. And here’s a fun bit of info. That scene was written in reaction to Russell in real life snapping his Achilles tendon. So he can walk we had to somehow keep him in a chair and get him off of the show for two episodes so he can get surgery. Two episodes and then he’ll come back.

Did that injury cause a problem with the story line at all?
DAVID: No problem, really. We just a couple of things had to be tweaked. I’ll do a little more working with Wu, with Sergeant Wu, which was really fun and a pleasure to get to work so much with Reggie Lee. He is just a phenomenal actor. So it shook things up for a little while. But I think it was fresh and really wonderful. And Russell I think is fully repaired at this point.


Were you surprised by the state of the Nick-Juliette-Renard relationships this season?
DAVID:  Nothing really surprises me on GRIMM. Our writers are not afraid to go anywhere. So nothing really surprises me. I want to speak especially to the relationship between the Captain and Nick. I wanted to make sure that even though we are working together I’m not too easy with him. I wouldn’t call it a friendship. I wouldn’t call us pals. We wouldn’t go out and eat together. I think we more or less have a common enemy. When I’m working with the Captain I always think about that picture from World War II where like Stalin and FDR were sitting next to each other with Churchill.  Like how did Stalin get there? But they just had a common enemy. And so we’re working tentatively together. He did after all try to kill my aunt. So as far as Juliette goes I think we’re going to be seeing us kind of patching things up — turning things around a bit. And I’m sure that in GRIMM fashion they’ll find some way to make that as difficult as humanly possible.

GRIMM has so many elements to it — drama, action, romance, fantasy — are there any of these that you enjoy performing in the most or do you appreciate the variety overall?
DAVID:  I do appreciate the variety. Though I will say it is a dark show, and I really love when we squeeze in some more comedic elements. And every now and then we’ll have a more comedic episode, like when we had a Ziegevolk lawyer charming the entire jury and Rosalee was on the jury and Sergeant Woo was testifying, and he changed his testimony. There were a lot of many great comedic moments in that. So I’d say the comedy is something I like squeezing in there.

Nick was temporarily blinded in the recent Mr. Sandman episode, what was it like acting without sight?
DAVID:  Well I could see. I had prosthetics in my eyes. I had lenses in my eyes. That was crazy. But I could see through them. I’d say really fun. It was fun finding new ways to sell especially fighting without seeing. And I was pretty happy with how it turned out. So all in all I was very pleased with the challenge of acting without sight.


GRIMM did great on Friday and then was moved behind THE VOICE. Why do you think your show has worked when maybe some of the others haven’t?
DAVID: A successful television show is a mystery how to make it. But there has to be certain components. We have writers and creators who are seasoned and excited, and that’s a really great combination.  They know what they’re doing. They have found the sweet spot. David Greenwalt has this gallows humor about him as does Jim Kouf — our two main writers, executive producers. And they balance story well with a lot of darkness and a little bit of levity. And there’s some very lovable characters. And that’s what it takes. They just know their stuff.

Have you gotten any hints from David or Jim about kind of Nick’s heightened abilities?
DAVID:  I have not received any nuggets of what’s to come as far as Nick’s supernatural powers. At the end of season one I did get some info that they wanted to turn me more into a hero with supernatural abilities.  But I did not ask what they were. And I just kind of found out a month before the viewer did.  I would imagine going forward we’re going to revisit some of what we kind of teased with my super human hearing and ability to fight fruit with a bat.

What other character if you weren’t playing Nick would you like to play?
DAVID:  Monroe would be fun, but I wouldn’t even want to try that. Because I mean he’s mastered that whole thing. Some – yes, either Monroe or Wu.

Looking at season two have you found any new acting challenges with playing the Nick character? And how did you see Nick sort of grow and develop in season two also?
DAVID: Nick was written as a little more accepting of his role. In a way Nick went through the stages of grief of finding out that he was a Grimm and the loss that that would entail with Juliette, revisiting why his family is no longer with him.  a lot of lies had happened in his life systematically, and he found out about it all kind of at once. So he was denial, anger toward it, befuddlement. And finally I think he’s kind of accepted it, and throughout season two he’s owning it now. So it’s more fun to play — as far as I’m concerned — a very confident guy who’s coming into his own and becoming more of a force to be reckoned with in the Wesen world. So it’s been really fun to play that.


Can you talk a little bit about the Nick-Monroe relationship, how you’ve seen that develop this season? And what maybe you enjoyed most about that relationship.
DAVID: I think Silas put it best. He said, “everybody has seen the cop and partner relationship, the detective and his wife or girlfriend relationship, the detective” — there are a lot of dynamics that have been played out and some really well and some not so good. But in our show we have the detective and this thing, which is Monroe. It’s a totally different thing. And it’s been such a pleasure to work with Silas and have this wonderful dynamic that plays out on screen. The writers have done a very good job with that. As far as the relationship and how it’s grown, I’d say we were always reluctant. We allied in the first season. But he could always turn into a creature, and I could always behead him. And this season we are more, I’ll just say friends.  He’s housing me in his attic for God’s sake. And I love the relationship he has now with Bree Turner, Rosalee.

How did Wesens recognize you as a Grimm? What’s a Grimm face look like to them?
DAVID: It looks like my face believe it or not. Truly. They don’t see anything aside  from they are not used to having their emotions in check. Because non- Grimm human beings cannot see them. And then when they see someone reacting to this or they sense someone knowing what they’re going through and watching them change, they’re on to me.  And they’ve learned from a young age through their storybooks about Grimms and how evil we are and almost like we’re this supernatural thing that may or may not exist. They’ve been told by their family, their parents, and their grandparents about us. So when that actually see them it’s like they’re seeing a ghost, but not literally. But they can’t believe that one actually really exists.

You hinted about Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio coming back as your mother Kelly. So she’s been hanging around Portland a long time. What’s she up to?
DAVID: Well I think she stole a car at the station. And I think she was just pretending. She just didn’t have a train ticket because she’s like, “Why when I can just steal this car and go?” But I do believe she is dealing with the Collins right now. And I believe in the coming episode there’s communication with her.

Which GRIMM story has not yet been told that you are really pulling for that the writers tackle next season?
DAVID:  I actually don’t know. I feel like we’ve hit all the classics. And every time I see a new Grimm’s fairytale I’m almost learning about it as we go through the season. What I do really enjoy now about our show is the fact that we’re kind of straying from the Grimms fairytales. And remember in the lore of our show — in the world of GRIMM — there are only Grimm’s fairytales because they’ve been written about in a book. Now certain things that have not yet been explained maybe they just haven’t been written down yet. So I get to add to that book. And thus a phenomenon or a phenomena that is here to for unexplained gets written down in the Grimms fairytales, and it becomes a legend for kids to learn about forever.   In other words, we’re borrowing from a lot of lore that’s even outside the standard Grimm’s fairytales. And we are adding it to those Grimm’s fairytales.


Looking forward to season three what would you like to see happen with your character — both professionally and personally?
DAVID: Well I’d like to see some resolve to the Juliette storyline.  I love working with Bitsie Tulloch and it’d be nice to be just a couple again. I want to get Sergeant Wu into the fray of the knowing. That would be really fun to work with him in the way that now Russell, Hank, and I can work together and Bree and Silas and the Captain. I would love to get Sergeant Wu into the fray.

Nick deals with a lot of gruesome scenes and gruesome things. Have any of those scenes every stayed with you?
DAVID: Oh god, yes. The horribly gross scenes. One of which when Monroe gouges out the eye of a fly person. I believe the person’s name was David Jinnamuru Xunte, which sounds like someone who’d be touring with Erykah Badu. But it’s the fly person. That scene stays with me. That was hideous.  Another scene that stayed with me was the season one episode maybe five where the rats are… and I remember just before we even shot I was on set and I walked by this car in a parking lot that I didn’t know had a corpse with rats pouring out of his mouth — into his stomach out of his mouth. That ruined me for a good , oh, 90 days. I couldn’t handle. It was so gross.  That was a very strange scene, absolutely life like reproduction, usually just completely dismembered on the ground after you just met them and had lunch with them. It’s so strange. The child in you does not know what’s real and what is not for a split second.

hat’s your favorite weapon that you’ve used, or what weapon are you looking forward to using?
DAVID: Sexist T.V. weapon has to be the cross bow. It’s just so cool. They do those shots that kind of pan up on the crossbow and then the eyes go right above it. But Nick really loves the – I believe it’s pronounced conobo or conabo, which is just a basically a baseball bat with spikes on it — nothing too technically fancy. But he loves it.

It was established that on the episode that La Llorona is not necessarily one of them. What do you think about this great idea of the writers about expanding the motility of the creators – the creatures of this show.
DAVID:   I really enjoyed that aspect of it. I think that it shows you in keeping up with the lore of Grimm the Grimms fairytales are just stories that have thus far been logged in these books. But they’re growing as the Grimms continue to discover more and more I suppose Wesen. And reasons behind phenomena that human beings make up stories to explain. The Grimms can then explain it in this book and try to put it out to the rest of the world. I really enjoy getting to borrow from other folklore legends that had not yet been in the Grimm books.

About working with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Can you just tell us a little bit about what it’s like to have here on the show? And who is on your personal wish list for potential guest stars in the future that you like to work with?
DAVID: Oh gosh. I can’t say that just because there’s so many. I wouldn’t want to offend the people – Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was wonderful to work with. And the episodes that she’s been in have been so work intensive, and she has such a wonderful you know ethic — work ethic. And she’s so fury, and she working with her I get caught watching her all of the time and almost forget that I’m in the scene. Because she’s so captivating and compelling and beautiful and just makes wonderful choices. And that’s what I think about her. I’ve really enjoyed the guest actors we’ve had thus far. And anybody’s who’s decided to come who can swing it we’ll love to have.

Are we ever going to see or hear anything about Grimms in the rest of the country, the rest of the world?
DAVID: Honestly, not as of yet that I know of. You would think that does have to do become a storyline at some point, or are there only a couple Grimms left and they’re just a lot of little Santa’s little helpers out there who are Grimm-like. I don’t quite know. The only Grimm that they really currently want to deal with is me. Because they know that I have one of the keys. Whereas you know as far as the Royals are concerned they know I have one of the keys. And that’s why they even care about me at all. So who knows?

Can you share a little more depth of some broad strokes about some of the plot lines for the remainder of this season?
DAVID:  Absolutely. Nick and Juliette start patching things up. And it’s looking very hopeful for us come the end of the season. A Level 10 — as I like to call it — Wesen comes to Portland who is pulling the strings controlling a lot of other types of Wesen. We can call them the undead.  And he has an army of people under his control that wreak havoc. And this is a longer story arc. We’ll be visited by an actor named Reg E. Cathey. He’s a wonderful actor who’s just been in HOUSE OF CARDS, and he’s been in everything. And he’s great. And he plays this kind of powerful Wesen that we will be introduced to in the next couple of episodes. The Royals get closer and closer to me. They come to Portland, and they want the key. And I learn much more about why it is they want the key. The captain and I start working together. Let’s see, zombies are entering Portland, and also as far as the Adalind storyline is insane. And that’s all I’ll say about that!

To see whether Nick can fight the muse’s temptation and stay true to his love Juliette be sure to tune in for an all new episode of GRIMM on Tuesday, May 7th at 10:00 p.m. on NBC.

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