The Mary Sue Exclusive Interview: The Cast of Grimm Celebrates the NBC Hit’s 100th Episode
Back in November, I had the privilege of getting to visit the set of Grimm for their 100th Episode celebration during the episode’s filming. It was an absolute love-fest that included the governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, and several Portland (where the show shoots) city officials, all gathered to celebrate this show that has become as much a part of Portland as Portland is to the show. I had the chance to sit and chat with the cast of Grimm about the then-upcoming season (so, if you’re current with Grimm, you know what all the things they’re being cryptic about already are!) and their thoughts on reaching the show’s 100th Episode.
TMS: Congratulations on 100 episodes!
Silas Weir Mitchell: Thank you! That’s sweet of you to say. Who saw this coming? Not me!
Sasha Roiz: I’m the worst. I honestly didn’t think it was going to get picked up. So, what do I know?
TMS: What does 100 episodes mean to each of you?
David Giuntoli: Oh boy, I mean, I’ve learned a lot as a person. How to try to be in some form of leadership. I mean, I’m not really – we have a dynamic ensemble cast – but if I lose my marbles, the whole thing goes to crap. So, I’ve been navigating that. We’re very fortunate. It takes a lot of grit and talent to make a successful show, but it really takes luck. And we’ve been very fortunate.
Weir Mitchell: You know what it means? It means an enormous amount of labor that goes unnoticed. I think people out in the world, civilians to this industry, don’t realize the work that goes into making 100 episodes. If you calculated the man-hours, the late nights…think of it this way: they shoot each episode over eight days. That’s eight hundred days, and those days are often twelve to fourteen hours long. Then what’s 800 times 14 – I’m not good enough at math to do that – but that’s many, many, many hours of really, really hard work.
And this show is hard, too. It’s really hard. We shoot out in the woods in the rain at night. We shoot long, hard hours and try to make it look interesting. It’s our little contribution to the noise of television.
Russell Hornsby: It means five years of employment. [laughs] On the practical side of things. But it also just helps you as an artist – you’re looking for a place where you can sit down in a character for a little bit and find different things to mine. In that, you find different aspects about yourself and about the possibilities of the artistry that you possess. We’ve been having a lot of fun, and it’s changed my life immensely.
Roiz: I feel very lucky. I wish we could take credit for it, but it’s such lighting in a bottle – all these strange, cosmic elements coming together: the right timing, the right fanbase, these amazing writers, this amazing crew – I mean, you saw that [Editor’s note: at the Grimm 100 celebration, the gathered Portland officials couldn’t stop gushing about Grimm. Likewise, those involved with Grimm couldn’t stop gushing about Portland]. That’s rare. That kind of love for a production, and we reciprocate that love. It’s really…it’s been a huge part of its success.
Claire Coffee: I mean, it means that I can afford a mortgage on a house. [laughs] And a baby. That’s big. I’m so grateful that it’s happening with this group of people. I know that sounds really mushy, but it’s honestly true.
Jacqueline Toboni: I think they hired me on to update the actors. Not even for their characters or anything, just to help them use their Twitter accounts. [laughs] No, it means a lot to me. I came into this world, and it was kind of like a fairy tale in my own life. It was a dream come true to be here. And I think hitting the hundred is that for everyone, because it’s such a big step, and it doesn’t happen for everyone.
Bitsie Tulloch: I mean, I fell in love on this show. [Editor’s Note: Tulloch and Giuntoli are a real-life item.] And as an actor, it’s so rare to have this much security and stability. The fact that we’ve made it this far doesn’t really surprise me, because I think the writing is really great, and we have Portland as a backdrop and Portland is beautiful. It’s just an exciting show, and I’m really grateful to have been a part of it for so long.
I always say, too, that sci-fi and genre fans? That’s where you wanna get in and make friends, because they are so loyal, they are so warm. Quite frankly, they’re also really smart. I get a lot of really smart theories on Twitter. There’s been so much love. Everybody’s been really loving and supportive – we wouldn’t be celebrating Episode 100 if they haven’t been as loyal as they’ve been.
TMS: For Woo, it’s been different this season, because he’s in on it now! People can finally tell him things!
Reggie Lee: It’s fun! But now it’s like I want everything to be a Wesen case. In that regard, it’s been really, really fantastic. I mean, being the last one to find out, it kinda gives me room to go somewhere with it. And so, it wasn’t just ‘getting used to it,’ it was like Oh my God, this is a whole new world that so exciting and fun! But then there’s the reality of it, and this whole season is going to be about that. It’s gonna be about this whole uprising, and what are we gonna do with that? There’s only a small handful of people who really know.
TMS: One of the things I’ve always loved about the show is that it does so much for diversity – telling stories from all over the world. Are there any stories that you’re still hoping that they’ll tell.
Lee: Well, you know me. I get tweets from all the Filipinos saying “Please tell them to do this.” It’s interesting, because at one point they were like We don’t want to tie Reggie just to the Aswang episode. We don’t want to tie him to just being Filipino. We want to tie him to the show, but once we’ve done that, we wanna kind of get away from that and have him be a part of the whole thing. So, I think they’ve got different viewpoints on this. You can’t do everything – and right now, they’re so focused on the bigger picture, it’s so hard to fit it in.
TMS: Rosalee is amazing. I love her so much!
Bree Turner: Me too! What I love about her too, and what the writers are so gorgeous at, is her compassion. She’s loving, she’s a peacekeeper. But also…she’s got a short fuse. She doesn’t take any bullshit. She knows that she’s usually the smartest person in the room.
TMS: Something I noticed over the years is that while Rosalee started out as having come from a really hard past and softening, Monroe started out as happy-go-lucky and now, because of the experiences he’s had over the past few seasons, he’s gotten more hard. How are you navigating that as scene partners?
Turner: Being as part of the show for as long as we have now, what’s really fun is that [these characters] are in our skin. We’re always working very hard, but you’re living in this world every day. It’s a really comfortable way to work. That change that you’re speaking of happens really organically, and as he and I get closer as people and friends, and as our characters get closer on screen, the shorthand develops, and it’s really fun to play a real married couple.
And I’m glad that the writers haven’t tiptoed around arguments or disagreements. I mean, they’re madly in love with each other, but they’re also real people, and they’re going to disagree. We just work really well together.
TMS: I love Trubel, and thought she was a great addition to the show. What’s the best part about playing her, and what’s the challenge of playing her, especially as she’s evolved over the past couple of years?
Toboni: The best part about playing Trubel is that she just has no filter. I’m so lucky to play a strong female character. Not having a male counterpart on TV doesn’t happen often, and I think those doors are just starting to open for actresses now. So, I’m very lucky to play someone so unfiltered, she’s totally herself, she does whatever she wants, and she gets the job done. I envy that about her, and I try to be more like that.
One of the difficult parts of playing Trubel is coming up this season. Her character is growing up, which is hard enough as a human! So now as a character, it’s like I gotta do it again!
TMS: Now, Adelind has been someone that Grimm fans love to hate, love to love, and love to hate again. But she’s also sort of been the Royal Baby-Making Machine. In a recent episode, when someone asks her about going back to work as a lawyer, I was like Yes! Finally, something that’s not about making someone’s baby! [laughs] What does Adalind want?
Coffee: I think Adalind wants roots. She wants family – in a grand sense. She has the most dysfunctional relationship with her family, with her mother in particular, in the extreme. We find out that her father left…She has attachment issues. So, I think the fact that she gets to be in Portland, and raise this new baby, and work on this relationship with Nick – it’s a big thing for her. And hopefully, she’ll go back to work!
TMS: What was the tail end of Juliette’s story like for you, Bitsie? You kind of went from being the support system for Nick to being a hexenbiest out for blood!
Tulloch: It was pretty fun! There were a couple of things that popped up in Juliette’s life that were really fun – like when she finally joined the Scooby Squad and got to go on missions and help solve crimes. And the other one was when she went really dark. In the beginning, I was like OK, so she’s gonna be Adalind dark? And they were like, No. She’s gonna be really, legitimately dark. And I was like Yeah! Let’s go for it!
TMS: Now, The Mary Sue is a female-focused site, and…
Giuntoli: What? Ugh! I’ve been playing Nick completely genderless this whole time!
TMS: [laughs] What I love is that Nick has always been hugely influenced by women, which is the nature of being a Grimm [Editor’s Note: Being a Grimm is generally passed down through the women in a family. Male Grimms are rare]. His mom, his aunt…how do you think that translates into his mentoring of Trubel?
Giuntoli: I think there’s something to it. Mythically speaking, a wise woman mother-figure shows up everywhere guiding this young man in different directions. Growing up primarily with women as David Giuntoli, it certainly colors my interaction with [women]. There’s a comfort you get around women. I think Nick has that with Trubel.
TMS: What hopes do you have for your characters moving forward? What can we expect to see beyond the 100th episode?
Hornsby: Hank is there to support the narrative and the story and really be a supportive force for Nick. I think Hank has become, for lack of a more classy word, more badass. And unafraid of getting his hands dirty. That’s one of the coolest things about him. He’s become a bit of a fan favorite, because he is a badass, and he’s unapologetic about being a badass. And understanding that in this world of science fiction and whatnot, you have to be willing to stand in it and own it, and that’s what Hank does. I think that’s what it’s empowered me to do. Owning it. And I hope he’ll continue to walk with confidence.
Roiz: [Renard] is all political this year. He’s got these local political opportunities, and they’re going to be a little weirder than you think. And he’s gonna have some very interesting moral choices to make as well. And a blossoming – dysfunctional – relationship that’s also on the horizon.
TMS: In the past 100 episodes, what’s been your favorite story arc, or element to explore?
Roiz: I love when they tie in real history with Grimm history, and the kind of blur the lines a bit. They do that in a smart way, and I think that it makes fans jump out of their seats a little more, because it’s chilling when you can see the relationship….when it ties into our reality, it almost makes it more scary. It’s more impactful. I like when they do that.
Giuntoli: I think one of the fun things we’re doing – one of the things we lost was this bromance between Monroe and Nick – we’re totally revisiting that this season. They take a trip to Europe together, and there are a lot of two-man scenes between us, which is really fun.
And when we select different myths to kind of break down in our own way. I’m always really excited when we get one from another culture, when it’s like Hot off the presses! I’ve never heard of this before, but it’s huge in Brazil! Or, huge in the Philippines. And then my Twitter feed [explodes]. So we’re doing a lot of that this year.
Happy 100th Episode, Grimm! Here’s to 100 more! (And if you ever need an extra duplicitous police captain, I’m totally available.)
Grimm airs TONIGHT at 9PM/8 Central on NBC.
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