In the Season 3 finale of GRIMM, Nick Burhardt (David Giuntoli) was stripped of his Grimm powers by Adalind (Claire Coffee), who sought retribution for Nick taking away her Hexenbiest powers and the orchestrated kidnapping her baby. With Nick no longer a Grimm, he is suddenly vulnerable in ways he had never thought he would ever be. For one, he is known to be a Grimm and if the Wesen figure out his powers are gone, he could be a target, along with those he cares about in his life. Fortunately, last season also introduced a new young Grimm Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni), who Nick can now mentor and hopefully she can provide him a protection and assistance as the Wesen continue to strike out when they can.
In a recent press conference call, David Giuntoli shared how tricky it is for Nick to transition to being a normal guy again and what obstacles he may face as a result.
How is Nick going to handle the fact that he doesn’t have his Grimm powers or the ability see the Wesen?
DAVID: Grimm powers are gone from Nick. He’s kind of enjoying his new normalcy in a lot of ways. But he also knows that the Wesen are out there. So first and foremost he’s going to be using Trubel as his seeing eye Grimm. He is going to be tapping Monroe — like he used to do — tapping on his shoulder quite a bit. He’s going to be using his team of Wesen and Grimms to try to do what he used to be able to do. But he doesn’t have his powers anymore, and that means that not only he cannot see the Wesen, he’s just not as powerful as he was.
What has it been like working with Jacqueline?
DAVID: Jacqueline Toboni was just such a breath of fresh air on our set. She’s so fresh and talented and eager. It seems as though Grimms can only be Italian Americans. We had Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, David Giuntoli, Jacqueline Toboni. I don’t know if that’s what they’re going for, but it happened. So we love it. And she’s incredible.
Now that Nick is de-Grimmed, which of his other qualities do you think he’ll be focusing on more?
DAVID: He has to focus on being a cop again. He used to solve crimes without having blatant tells as to who did this. So now, he has to remember that he was a good detective and start solving cases the old-fashioned way. Through evidence.
How will his relationships change this season?
DAVID: Here’s the thing, even though he’s not a Grimm, there’s not like a peace that comes with it. We know about the world. We know what’s going on out there. And they know about us. So the relationship change is he depends more on Monroe. He depends more on Trubel. She and Nick grow very close. Again, she’s much like a young sister or a daughter, and that’s what you’ll be seeing.
The show is called GRIMM. Nick is the Grimm. But now he’s not the Grimm. What do you think about this storyline? And what was it sort of like playing him in a different way? Because for as long as the show has been on, you’ve gotten to play this sort of superhero.
DAVID: It’s fun to just be a normal dude again, who is still somehow tormented by knowing that there is this other world out there though. He’s no longer really a part of it. He’s just kind of adjacent to it. Playing it like it was a great loss of almost like a loved one. Nick hated so much in the beginning — allthese Grimm powers — and then suddenly, slowly, he came to really love and depend on it and now it’s gone. So it was a painful process to go through and, the bright side, it could make things better for Juliette and Nick. But Nick is no longer the Grimm. But there is still a Grimm on screen. So it is true to the title of our show. But it is fun to play a normal guy.
For the first couple of episodes, where do we find all these other characters and how are they dealing with things?
DAVID: So Adalind and Nick are now connected in some magical, horrible way. I don’t know if I can say why. I certainly can’t say how this all ends. Juliette — well, we will see what’s going on. So Monroe and Rosalee, honeymoon postponed due to the chaos that’s ensued. Wu is getting very suspicious of what he’s been seeing. Nick, obviously, is wondering where the Grimm side go? He’s freaking out. And Hank’s just having a good time. Juliette — I don’t know what I can say. But everybody is in a state of chaos. And that never really ends on our show. That’s kind of the fun.
Is Nick really going to step up this season to be more in the forefront?
DAVID: That seems to be the case as these episodes go on. We had some great additions to the cast — Jacqueline Toboni as Trubel — and that storyline rightfully took the forefront for a little while. Then it starts to get more into Nick, Hank, Monroe, and just trying to solve these crimes. But part of the joy of it is that it’s become more of an ensemble. That’s lovely to me. And it’s more fun for everyone else too. Getting to act in all these different dynamics and with all these different people. So it’s a nice thing.
Would you say that Nick losing his powers is similar to someone who might have lost their eyesight or limb or something like that as far as at least his detective work?
DAVID: Absolutely. I mean, how will he deal with losing his powers? Will he be the same cop? The same boyfriend? The same friend? The same threat to Wesen? It is a disability and it changes things for as long as he’s no longer a Grimm.
I would think it would be scary because he knows there’s threats out there now, but he can’t see them and that would be really terrifying I would think.
DAVID: It’s very terrifying on that level and it’s also just difficult on a human level. Because he had this identity and it’s no longer attached to him. It’s like he lost an important job. It’s like he’s no longer the thing he thought. His whole reason for living was to battle these Wesen and had the rare blood to be able to see evil. And it’s gone. So, yes.
Now that Nick’s powers are gone, what does it mean really to be a hero?
DAVID: Good point. a superhero has superpowers, but heroes overcome and are somehow able to lead through the peril of what life is giving them at that point. So, hopefully, I will remain a hero if not a superhero.
What can you tease us about Wesens that we’re going to see in this new season? Will there be any characters that come from Latin American folklore?
DAVID: Yes. Absolutely. One of the fun Wesen — one of my favorite episodes of the season — is we deal with the Chupacabra. We just finished filming that episode. We have many new wonderful Wesen. We have the Gedachtnis Esser — which is the Octopus Man. We have the Schinderdiv demon beast with like chin fangs. We have a golem, which is a piece of Jewish folklore. So we go all over the place through all cultures. But Chupacabra would be the Latin American.
Can you tease a little bit about that particular story? What’s going to happen with the Chupacabra and the whole gang?
DAVID: Gosh, I don’t know what I can say. I can say that we have to use Juliette quite a bit. She has a mastery of the Spanish language so she needs to help Nick and Hank and Monroe out quite a bit. We learn the actual origin of what the Chupacabra is and its relation to the Wesen community. So it’s an interesting take.
What was your initial reaction to getting that Season 3 finale script and seeing that he’d be losing his powers?
DAVID: I don’t know. I mean, I was excited. It’s always fun to play these new situations. I knew it would shake things up as to I would now be needing the use of young inexperienced, kind of off the cuff, Grimm like Trubel. And I knew that that would create a lot of problems. But I was excited to see what would happen with Juliette and Nick’s relationship and how his new identity as just a detective and a normal guy, how that would shape his relationships.
How will the team’s relationship with Trubel evolve this season now that they really need her?
DAVID: She becomes more ingrained in the fabric of their lives. Nick desperately needs to teach her what it is to be a Grimm. It’s not just a free-pass to go kick Wesen ass all day long. He tries to show her the finer points that he would actually try to use the law before he would just go all rogue and Grimm. She also lives under the same roof with Juliette and Nick, so she becomes like a daughter figure to them. And that’s really it.
Will the show ever go back to the key storyline?
DAVID: Oh, yes. Without a doubt. We will be getting back to the key storyline. People are after the key. And the more Grimms out there the more people are going to be hunting for those Grimms to get those keys. So it’s alive.
Will we see more Grimms this season?
DAVID: Yes. Sort of. Maybe.
Given Nick’s relationship with Adalind, will that have an impact on the future for Nick and Juliette?
DAVID: Oh, boy. So, yes, the Nick and Adalind spell links them in a very profound and mysterious way. And something goes down in order to reverse a spell that she has put on Nick that is just crazy. And it affects Juliette and Nick in a very intense way.
Are there any spoilers you can give for Season 4 in terms of that?
DAVID: I don’t think I can give you the spoiler as to how my spell could possibly one day be reversed.
Do you know if Adalind will ever find out where her baby really is?
DAVID: She’s looking hard. But I don’t know yet.
How is Nick going to deal with the fallout of finding out that he actually slept with Adalind?
DAVID: Well, what did Nick really do wrong? He didn’t know he was sleeping with Adalind. When the bodies transform, they transform completely. So like what Juliette ate that day was in Adalind’s stomach. I don’t know where this all ends, but how does he deal with the fallout? He will listen and just nod. He will say, “Yes, thank you.” He will just be very cautious walk on eggshells for a little while.
What still surprises you about going to work every day and doing this show?
DAVID: Well, you get to kind of dig deeper into your character constantly. That’s the joy of being on a long running TV series. This thing can grow with you. And what surprises me? I guess it surprises me how much I get out of it still. It surprises me how much I can still learn from some of the other actors. And, listen, our show isn’t straight down the middle. So you really never know what the next day will hold. I mean, all you have to do is read it out of that book in the trailer and it’s a reality. So it’s a show that can continue to surprise and that’s why it’s such a success.
Do you think Wu will ever find out about Nick and that Wesen are real? I mean obviously he suspects something. So will he ever find out? And do you think he should find out? Or do you think he should remain kept in the dark?
DAVID: That’s a very good question. There’s going to come a point where he’s going to have to find out. I don’t think he should take it too easily. I don’t think he will if he does. But he will at one point have to find out. It’s fun that he does not know at this point. But the poor guy’s being driven insane.
Last season when you had your time of being zombified, you actually ended up getting some extra powers. Now what I’m wondering is those weren’t really tied to Nick’s Grimm powers necessarily. Are those going to help while he doesn’t have the full on Grimm powers?
DAVID: No. They’re gone with the Grimm powers. If Nick becomes a Grimm again he gets the whole deck of cards back. But, for now, he’s just a dude.
Last season we saw what appeared to be Nick dying in his sleep. Was that just a side effect of him being a zombie? Or is there deeper meaning to that? Can you elaborate on what that was all about?
DAVID: Yes. It’s not just sleep apnea. It was definitely one of the side effects of being a zombie. Being undead, and the mixture of that and being a Grimm. So those problems go away when Nick is no longer a Grimm. But if he gets his powers back, there will be those side effects.
Why do you think GRIMM is such a popular show?
DAVID: Part of it is that Portland is a very cinematic town and its environs kind of lend itself to a world of scary creatures. I mean, the woods — the dark, dense forest — these are places that the human subconscious so that it kind of knows that bad can happen out there.The writing. It’s fun. It’s fun TV. It’s popcorn. It knows what it is and it’s not trying to be anything else. And we deliver kind of action packed fun every episode. If decapitating people is what you consider to be fun. Then that’s what we do.
To see whether Nick remains just a normal guy or if his Grimm-nature will find its way back to him, be sure tune in for the Season 4 premiere of GRIMM on Friday, October 24th at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.