David Giuntoli Talks 'Grimm' Mid-Season Finale
'Grimm's third season is killing it. In addition to building on the Grimm mythology where Nick gains enhanced capabilities, this season fosters a familial feeling by creating an eclectic Scooby gang of Wesen (fairytale creatures), humans, cops and non-cops. In our conference call, star David Giuntoli talked about the upcoming mid-season finale this Friday and dropped hints about the season's second half.
NBC’s ‘Grimm’ surrounds Portland cop Nick who discovers he’s descended from a line of supernatural hunters and the book of Grimm's Fairytales actually describes the creatures his family hunts. While season one surrounded Nick uncovering his fighting skills and meeting crime-committing Wesen; in season three, Nick understands his abilities and burrows deeper into Wesen politics. Unlike his ancestors, he realizes he should not kill Wesen indiscriminately; but, as a cop he doesn’t hesitate to dispatch Wesen evildoers. While in season one, Nick hid his secret from his partner, his Captain and long-term girlfriend, in season three, his closest friend, his boss, his lover and his new Wesen acquaintances all share his secret and assist in Wesen-related fatalities.
Most actors fold a portion of their personality into their character. Hank Griffin, like Russell Hornsby, is a mad cool player. Sgt Wu, like Reggie Lee, is naturally hilarious. Nick Burkhardt, like David Giuntoli, might appear placid on the surface but has ripples underneath. Yes, David is unfailingly polite; but, he’s incredibly sarcastic, and a bit of a geek. He unabashedly and playfully calls bloggers on their questions and analogizes the show with the Mario Brothers. It’s easy to stereotype someone who’s nice as incredibly vanilla, but David, like his character, is anything but. As he slowly unwound layers of his personality on the call, you could clearly see how he blended into ‘Key and Peele’s’ comedy sketch show a couple weeks back. When an interviewer asked if Portland had sewers and if 'Grimm' used them for the alligator episode, David jokingly pointed out almost every single city has a sewer and playfully stated he felt like an “actual man” going into the sewers and getting his “soft city hands” dirty.
Although the show just filmed its fourteenth episode, he's uber-hyped for this Friday's anti-Santa Claus mid-season finale, “Twelve Days of Krampus," surrounding the Norse mythology of a demon Santa Claus.
For the transcript of my interview and additional conference call highlights, read below:
Nick and Monroe's Bromance
During the call, I asked David about Monroe and Rosalee’s increasingly conflicted relationship regarding Nick and the moral quandary of Nick accidentally killing a human innocent in the premiere (while enspelled by a vodoo Wesen). While Monroe and Rosalee grow closer as an adorable almost crime-fighting Wesen couple, they covertly grow apart in their Wesen/Grimm loyalty. Considering Rosalee increasingly relies on the Council over Nick and considering Captain Renard’s caustic comment on Nick’s Wesen killing history, I asked if Nick might lose members of his Scooby gang. In response, David talked enthusiastically about the Nick-Monroe bromance. While in season one I felt Nick used Monroe, in season three I believe the opposite. But, David hinted at a falling out. "Is Nick using Monroe? I just shot an episode where that’s like the central theme, and he - there’s a big falling out between Monroe and I. And it’s great because am I using Monroe?" Additionally, while we will see Captain Renard’s anti-Grimm comment return later in the season, David stated the writers hadn’t mentioned going into the moral quandary of Nick killing an innocent.
On The Show’s ‘La Llorana’ Folktale Diversity
David loves the show’s increasing folktale diversity, especially the high-scoring La Llorona, which no longer restricts the weekly plots to the European fairytales and increasingly touches on the stories we grew up with such as the bogeyman. David also loves the show’s plot diversity because it touches on Bitsy’s Spanish speaking skills. While her accent and slow speaking style is easy for my American high school background to understand, Bitsy’s actually of Spanish descent and spent her childhood in Spain. For upcoming folktale shows, David looks forward to ruining Christmas in this Friday’s mid-season finale.
Nick and Juliette
I’ve always loved the underlying stability of the Nick and Juliette relationship which the producers re-instated this season. It’s refreshing when a show allows its lead to have a long-term relationship bordering on marriage. However, David joked that every single American writer's role surrounds repeatedly tearing apart their couples before briefly reuniting them. While he didn’t drop specific hints, he heavily implied Nick and Juliette might not remain blissfully united, which I seriously hope does not happen.
On ‘Walking Dead’ and other Sci Fi Shows
He calls himself a geek and loves that ‘Grimm’ is a ”freak out the kids” Friday night show. But, he’s noticed an increase in the show’s non-sci fi fans. He loves that ‘Grimm’ managed to stay on for three years and jokingly mocked new up and coming fairy tale spin off shows trying to accomplish what ‘Grimm’ did for 3 years (Was that a diss at ‘Sleepy Hollow’ or the new ‘Wonderland’ spin-off)?
Although he’s a self-professed geek, he doesn’t watch ‘Walking Dead.’ When an interviewer implied another sci fi character claimed the crossbow, he detachedly admitted he never watched it. That's surprising considering his ‘Key and Peele’ sketch surrounded a vain actor in a zombie show.
This Season’s Villains
For this season's villains, David identified Captain Renard, Adelind and Alexis Densiof (after an interviewer spilled the beans) as the new royal who wants immediate access to Nick.
Nick’s Character Development
Totally aware of his hotness, David knows directors love using the crossbow for the “sexy” above the cross bow eyes focused shots. And, they're right. David Giuntoli with his piercing blue eyes and mussed dark hair, looks mega hot with a crossbow (and any tool). Nick’s probably coming into his role, because David’s coming into his. During the first season, multiple male critics accused Giuntoli of wooden acting. Although I seriously disagreed, as the season’s passed, we see Nick go past his good boy surface to reveal darkness underneath. He’d love to tap into that in the future.
Yes, we’ll see the continued effects of his zombie run-in with the Barron and this season will introduce more Wesen royal rebellion members.
Like Nick, David Giuntoli definitely has deep surfaces. A conference call is essentially a five minute interview similar to speed dating, where you don’t have time for the greeting and only have time to ask two questions. Even though the actor’s clearly there to answer questions you can’t stop saying ‘Thank you for coming.’ The first couple times, David covertly pointed out they didn’t have to thank him by equally thaking them for joining the call. But, as each subsequent interviewer continued thanking him you could hear the pause as he mentally sighed. I'm not going to lie. Sometimes we bloggers ask unfailingly stupid question or make insane over the top statements. Some actors will call you out on it, while others will treat your question with the same gravity. Instead, David played with the writers on the line. I understand now why he fit in with ‘Key and Peele’ and I look forward to seeing more of him in both 'Grimm' and elsewhere.
An: Yes. I've noticed that this season we’re starting to see increasing tension between Rosalee and Monroe concerning loyalty to Nick. And then also you eluded to the Captain as well. Are we going to see Nick eventually lose two members of his support team?
David Guintoli: 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, you know. Is Nick using Monroe? Like there’s - I just shot an episode where that’s like the central theme, and he - there’s a big falling out between Monroe and I. And it’s great because am I using Monroe? And in the episode that’s what I ask. I'm sitting with Juliet. I'm like, “I don’t know. He’s right. I think he’s right.”
You know, so I think it’s kind of cool that this stuff’s coming to the surface in Season 3.
An: And another follow-up, going back to another question, is although Nick has killed Wesen before, they’ve always been evil or guilty in some way, but this is the first time that Nick has actually killed not just a human, but an innocent. So will that ever return towards the end of the season?
David Guintoli: I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s going to return. I only get the scripts as for we get - as - you know, a couple weeks before we shoot it, and we’re in Episode 14 now. Aside from the moral quandary, it hasn’t officially really surfaced again, though I'm sure it will.
An: Thank You.
Check out the ‘Grimm’ double header mid-season finale "12 Days of Krampus" this Friday night on NBC!