One of our last round table opportunities, and one of my personal favorites: NBC's Grimm! I got to sit down with other journalists who were as enthused about the show as I am and ask questions of the cat members and writers of the show! We talked about relationships between the characters, how Nick's intense focus on being a Grimm will influence said relationships, and what the heck everyone's going to do with Nick's new baby.
David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf, and Norberto Barba (Exec Producers)
Okay, straight to the point: what's going to happen with the baby? Will it play a role in the new season?
JK: Not really, he's only this big! He plays a big part in [Nick's] life because he's all Nick has now, so he'll be around. He won't be doing much for a while--too young to fight.
Will the baby have powers right out of the gate like Diana, or will its powers be limited to a post-puberty thing? Is it possible its powers may bloom much later, like Nick's Grimm powers?
NB: Diana did exhibit powers at a young age.
JK: Yeah, she aged a little faster and she certainly had some powers.
DG: This is a strange combination, so anything could happen.
The new baby will certainly be a keen topic for this season. What with Juliette gone for good, Adalind will probably move in, if only for Nick to keep a better eye on her and his new child. How will the new baby effect the relationships the show has already established?
DG: It's going to...complicate things. They [Nick and Adalind] have this child, but they really don't know each other. He didn't know, but they have slept together. Kind of twice, if you count the time Juliet turned into Adalind.
Grimm has brought different myths and legends from around the world into their plotlines. Can we expect more cultural tales in the next season?
JK: Yeah, we're turning to fairytales and mythology...we're going to get a little more into the Grimm lore. Nick has suffered a little bit from the loss of life, there, so there may be a way to restore some of those things.
Now, we know Grimm is set in modern day, Smartphones, computers, fingerprint scanners. Would it have been so hard for Nick (or Hank, or Monroe, or Wu...) to put the grimm books and knowledge on some kind of hard drive?
JK: He probably planned to, but every week there's another creature he's got to deal with.
NB: He's too busy.
Fair enough. Grimm duties trump technology.
Speaking of which, Nick put his Grimm duties above his love for Juliette after she went dark. Was it difficult making that decision?
JK: I think it was a really great idea because it turned Nick on his head. She lost her memories, her mind kinda came back slowly; it just seemed like what would drive them apart. It just seemed like a great idea. Also, every time we make a season like this, we want to make it so if something happens to someone, like Sasha coming back to life, we always want to have a cost to that.
David Guintoli (Nick Burkhardt)
So this past season was certainly one wild roller coaster. What with the captain almost dying, becoming Jack the Ripper; Juliette going dark; Adalind getting pregnant. How is Nick going to deal with all of this in the coming times?
"Things happen in such a way that I have to deal with a lot more pressing things. There's a lot of weighing...this I can do now. I'm a very focused guy: try to figure out what happened, why...I just zero in."
Is this going to build to a breaking point? Will any of these "more pressing things" effect Nick's standing with his day job? He's already starting to blue the lines between how he handles regular crime versus supernatural crime.
"I feel like he's going away from the world of being a cop, and going full Grimm. It's not grey anymore. I know...I just don't follow protocol anymore. It's all Grimm rules now. In the new season, [the captain] and I come to head a couple of times, and he wants me to stop doing what I'm doing or else, and I say or else fine. And I do it."
But the captain has always been a player in Nick's role as a Grimm. With Nick turning into such a wild card in the new season, it's going to be harder for Renard to control him. As it is, Nick and Renard are working together to a common goal (though we all know the captain has had more than his fair share of alternate intentions). Will their relationship suffer because Nick is not willing to toe the line between being a cop and being a Grimm, like he has done in the past?
"I've read three of the scripts, and we just started filming the new season, so I don't know about that. But it's a long season, so who knows. I do know a few things for sure."
What can we expect for Daddy Burkhardt?
"It's interesting. I lost my girlfriend, I lost my mom, Trubel becomes imperiled instantly in the next season, and it's like the only thing that I'm around for now is this kid. So I go from revenge to revenge to okay. He's like my fix of humanity."
Nick and Adalind have never been on the best of terms. She's always had a trick up her sleeve to try and knock him down a few (or all) pegs. Will this new season's bundle of (hopefully) joy make them at least cordial to each other? Will she have to move in with him?
"I have no choice, anything that's best for the kid. It's what I have to do. That doesn't mean I have to like her, it doesn't mean we have to get along. There's a child there. If she does [move in] it would be for the kid. I would do it to protect her and the kid. I know he's mine, I know I brought him into this horrible thing, and I know that my house gets destroyed all the time, so I might look for a new location for all of us."
Speaking of that house: it's pretty beautiful. Up until Juliette got offed, they were living the dream. Cute vet, cute cop, living in this great house. Then along comes the supernatural, and the house gets trashed. How do they afford to keep fixing everything on their salaries?
"Home insurance is a major thing. That's why you buy insurance."
They can fix the house, but the trailer is gone for good. All of that knowledge from past Grimms, destroyed. How did that make Nick feel, knowing the love of his life was the one who caused all of that destruction? Why would the writers toy with our emotions like that?
"That was intense. I think that was to make Juliette's character so hateful. I think that was where the show had to go."
So my big question: how is the transformation process? Do you guys get everyone in makeup and then act around it?
"Rarely is that the case. I think that takes too much time. Most often it's just a CGI thing. To morph and then to de-morph is four hours of makeup, so unless someone is doing a full scene, they rarely have full makeup on. But I prefer it when they do, because it makes it easier."
Russell Hornsby (Hank Griffin)
A lot has been happening in the supernatural world. After Juliette turned into a Hexenbiest, Hank and Wu were the only two people on Team Grimm still completely human. How does that make you feel, going into this next season?
"The truth is I really don't know. No, I'm just playing. It's a lot. There's a lot of stuff that's going on in the show, and the truth is it's very difficult to keep up. We need cliff notes, you know what I mean? You forget what's happened from one episode to the next. I look at the show as each script is breadcrumbs. There's either a pot of gold waiting for us at the end of the rainbow, or there's a cauldron. So we'll see what happens at the end of season five."
Nick and Hank have been thick as thieves since the beginning of season one. So much has happened to test their resolve as friends and as partners. With Nick going further into the Grimm business and away from the cop, how will Hank react?
"I am going further into my sidekick-ery. I like to look at myself as having more of this physical presence. Wu has a very cerebral presence. In terms of how we help Nick. That's why, you notice, Hank doesn't need to say much. Oftentimes a scene has been buttoned by a look or a reaction, and that's physical presence, and therefore Hank is able to comment on things and be that button because it's almost like he becomes the audience's reaction. I just want to continue having fun in that role."
Hank and Adalind hooked up a couple seasons ago, and now Nick and Adalind have this physical child as proof of their connection. Will that bother Hank at all? Will he view Adalind any differently now that he knows her past and what she is capable of?
"You can say all you want, he's got to deal with it in whatever way he's going to deal with it. All we can do is give him a soft landing. And if he [Nick] did heed my advice, then it wouldn't be any fun. [In regards to the baby] no, because I'm not in his life in any emotional way, in that capacity. We have a job to do, and you're there as much as you can be there, but it's like anything else: you have to handle your house."
Silas Mitchell (Monroe)
The experience Monroe and Rosalie had with the extremists this past season was a good parallel with human prejudice and the struggles people face. Hate groups are a very real thing, and it was good to see the writers and the actors taking it seriously.
"Thanks, I really enjoyed doing that. As an actor, it's great to play situations that are really extreme, because then you get to investigate the outer reaches of human experience, and that's really fun. You get to envision things that are completely outside your realm of experience, but they're very much embedded in the human experience, and to get to go and play in that water is really fun."
When we first met Monroe, he was doing Pilates in his living room and fixing clocks in his study. He was a reformed Blutbad, a Wesen content with blending in with the human populace. But after his first meeting with Nick, he gets sucked back in to supernatural politics. He falls in love with Rosalee, and their relationship sparks an uproar in the Wesen community. Yet even as he struggled to accept his place back into that community, he has struggled with the power he inherently possesses. Is there a chance we may see more of that struggle?
"I think what's interesting about Monroe, among many things, is the fact that I exist...I'm a different kind of person than a lot of people of my ancestry. I'm in between, and I think one of the things that's fun as an actor is going to the outskirts. It's also fun to play someone who's neither here nor there, because I think that's the truth of the human experience. It's complex, and people are never just one thing."
"I think this year, there's a big new storyline that is kind of kicked off by Chavez, the FBI character, that I think will enable or force me to deal with who I am again. That involves the strength, and that involves the pacifism, and it will be a difficult time. I think this is an arc that will go the whole season."
Nick's child will be a grounding point for him--to keep him from flipping his humanity switch, so to speak. Is there any chance we might expect Monroe and Rosalee to have a kid of their own?
"I think it's not at all out of the question. It's just a matter of what they choose to focus on. There's a lot of stuff going on this year, and there's also a couple of babies already. We'll just have to see. I certainly think it would be fun, but it ain't up to me."
It all comes back to this baby! This little half-Grimm (is the Grimm gene dominant or recessive? Will the baby have both Wesen and Grimm qualities?) is getting more air time before the next season has even aired! Will the arrival of the new Wesen/Grimm lovechild affect Monroe's relationship with Nick?
"What they've both said is that the baby is all they have left. She's totally alone in the world. Her mother's gone. Her royal protectors are gone. Diana's gone. And for Nick it's the same thing: his mother's gone, his girlfriend's dead. He's alone alone alone, and the baby's all they have. So I think...I'm pretty sure that baby is going to be a big part of this year."
Bree Turner (Rosalee Calvert)
The last time we saw Rosalee, she had literally ripped someone's throat out with her Wesen teeth. Who knew Fuchsbau could be so violent? She may look all cute and cudley, but watch out for that temper! How will this event affect Rosalee in the coming season?
"The Wesenrein event really tweaked Rosalee, and she killed someone in that episode. Let's actually not forget she actually ate someone. That, on one level, Monroe and Rosalee are supressing a lot of natural urges as Wesen, and I think that woke up something in her. I also think they chose that part of the season to have Rosalee's fuse a little shorter. She definitely has no problem doing that again if she needs to, I think that's what woke up in her."
That is totally acceptable, girlfriend! Rosalee has been through a lot: taking over her brother's shop after his death, rehabilitating herself after her drug use and jail time, getting back in touch with her mother and sister. It's understandable her fuse burned a few inches off here and there.
"I also think that after the Wesenrein it was exposed to Rosalee that they're in great danger--they are very exposed. They're going along in public saying, "We're bucking this old tradition interspecies marriages. We're doing this, we're friends with a Grimm, we're helping him out." It's not to say that Rosalee wouldn't take a bullet for Nick--she would. But I think she's a little less excited to put herself out there in such a dangerous way."
Rosalee and Juliette definitely bonded in years past. From Juliette coming to terms with the world of Wesen kind to Rosalee having to accept that her friend might never be the same thanks to something she did, personally--it's been a bumpy ride. Will Juliette's death hit Rosalee pretty hard this season?
"Yeah. You know, we just started episode one of the season, and what's discussed with Rosalee in this episode is--everyone's like "Whew! Glad Juliette's dead, because she turned into a monster." But Rosalee says, "Wait a minute, we're to blame, ultimately for her death." She didn't choose to be a Hexenbiest. She didn't choose to take that potion to save Nick--even though she did choose, she was doing it for Nick, for everyone. She was a victim of that, and I don't think that is lost on Rosalee at all. I think she is struggling and will struggle with a lot of guilt about her involvement with Juliette."
But even though she's wracked by guilt, she's not afraid to call everyone else out on their faults. Any hints about what we can expect from her this season?
"She is the moral compass...but she's not perfect either. She has a very complicated past, and so she has her faults. It's exciting what's coming up for her, actually. Her addictions come back this season, and that's going to be a major problem in the marriage, and a lot of bad stuff from her past starts coming back into the fold."
Reggie Lee (Sgt. Wu)
So Wu has finally joined Team Grimm! I'm sure everyone in the fandom (including the actors) cheered when he was finally allowed to know about Wesen and not left to think he was a crazy person.
Which would have been a pretty cold move for Team Grimm. I mean, I know they kill other Wesen in the name of the greater good, but I don't think letting a man think he's a raving loon for the rest of his life falls into that category.
Huzzah for Wu!
"Through that week of finding out, though, I was in complete turmoil. It was such a hard episode to film! I asked Russell, "Was it like this for you when you found out?" Because every day of filming, you're in this state of angst and fear, and I was so exhausted. But it was great, though. I'm lucky to get a story arc like that. They really did a good job."
Even when he finally joined Team Grimm, Wu never lost sight of his duties as a police officer. He's still doing the research and putting in the hours.
"Yes, but now he's so zealous. He wants the crimes to be Wesen. He wants them to be Wesen, and he wants to be [good] in the Wesen world [like he is as a cop]. He wants to be the first one to solve it. And I like that about him, it's fun."
So Wu is a very detail oriented man. He's always researching different things related to his cases--Wesen or otherwise. We've seen him spend countless hours (if the light outside the window is anything to go by) pouring over the books in Aunt Marie's trailer. Is there any chance, even in its smallest instance, Wu might have gotten a photo of a couple dozen pages or saved some of the books on his computer?
"I've been told that's what should have happened. But I'm sure I've got stuff in my house, because I study it profusely. I've got to suggest that part, because I think it goes along with his character. Thanks for the suggestion!"
The show has pulled from different myths and legends before. Is there any chance we might be seeing more of that this coming season?
"I hope so. It's interesting, when we came up with the Aswong episode, I had given them three of the top Phillippino fairytales, and they said, "We're going to do the Aswang." But, um, you don't pronounce it like that, it's Aswong. But there are two more, and many more beyond that. Phillippinos were having parties when that episode came on, they were tweeting me their dinner tables. But I'm hoping."
It was so amazing getting to sit and talk with these guys! Everyone was so nice and open to answering our questions (as long as they didn't reveal anything too big). I also like that Reggie took my suggestion!
So if you see the Grimm books start appearing on tablets or on printer paper in binders...you're welcome.
That wraps up my press panel-filled ComiCon weekend! Check out the coverage from our other attendees!