*The 100th episode of “Grimm” attracted 4.2 million total viewers Friday night, with an episode that found Nick and Monroe plotting to escape Germany with an ancient treasure – a treasure that was first hinted at in the opening episodes five seasons ago. The dark and fantastical series has been a hit with fans of the supernatural, which is set in a world with characters inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
The series stars David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, a homicide detective who is a descendant of a line of supernatural hunters, called Grimms. Russell Hornsby plays Hank Griffin, Nick’s homicide partner, and Reggie Lee stars as the police sergeant who works with them. Silas Weir Mitchell is Nick’s sidekick Monroe, a wolf-like creature who aids with solving the cases. EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with the men – who have been with the show from the very beginning – to talk about reaching the 100 episode milestone and which supernatural themes they hope to explore future episodes.
Have the supernatural themes explored on the show so far challenged or helped shape your personal beliefs in any way?
Russell: I believe in spiritual essence, but I’m grounded. If it ain’t in front of me it don’t exist. That’s what made Hank fun for me, because as Russell has evolved, Hank as evolved. They didn’t really give Russell a template for Hank, as to who this guy is really. So I had to create him and that’s actually more fun because I’m not stuck in one paradigm, or one type of character. It allows me to take whatever I’m feeling on any given day and infuse it into the work. My philosophy has always been as an actor: you go until they tell you to stop. So I keep trying sh*t until the director says, ‘Okay, you’ve gone HAM long enough.’
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Have you personally experienced any supernatural phenomena?
Reggie: Ya know, the Philippines is very hip on supernatural phenomenon – so yeah, as a kid, I would think that I did, and I like it. I like the whole “ghost idea.” The Philippines is huge on Sci-Fi, but I feel like it’s people that know what’s on the other side. And I enjoy that. I had experiences at my grandparents house, they said, ‘Oh, that’s just the little boy who used to live here.’ Ya know, he was just sitting at the top of the stairs. And I was like… ‘Okaaay!’….I was six.
Silas: Not really, but my brother claims he’s seen ghosts. I know people say they’ve seen ghosts. If someone says it, I take him for his word, but I haven’t seen anything.
Reaching 100 episodes could net the series a profitable syndication deal, something every actor dreams of – as it’s such a rewarding and defining moment.
Silas: It has nothing to do with syndication, although that’s discussed. I don’t know what the deal is. I don’t know what we’re going to see (or) when we’re going to see it. I think in today’s world, it ain’t all that. They are shaving pennies in network television right now. So it ain’t like the old days where you hit syndication and it’s a big payday. I think you hit syndication now and it’s a payday for somebody else.
Nick: I feel fortunate but when the show ends, everything will hit me, cause right now it’s like, focus on the work, but after the show goes off the air then everything will hit me. Which I expect will feel very overwhelming. I will feel like, I didn’t know what I had when I had it. And I will be very proud.
Russell: It’s gratifying and the reason why is because as a black man, who stepped into the business with no kind of plan, I just gave it all I have from the beginning, and ya know – people say, ‘What’s your plan B?’. And I didn’t have one – didn’t know to have one. And for me to be here, that’s the blessing. That’s really where the elation comes from, and I don’t take it for granted. I come to work on time everyday. I come to work prepared. I come to work loving myself. I come to work with energy and ready to participate, to get the best out of myself and the best out of others, and I think that’s all one can ask for.
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Folks love to be scared, and the supernatural makes for thrilling television. There are endless scripted series and reality shows that explore this theme, so why do you believe “Grimm” resonates so well with the audience?
Reggie: The writing has developed constantly in terms of the characters, and it continues. The writing is very organic. They won’t write the next moment until they’ve got this moment finished. They won’t go to the next arch. They’ll just keep going, so in that regard, the characters evolve, and also I think there’s something for everybody. Each character has their own quirks. Obviously Wu has his “Wu Sass.” Everyone has something going on that they can relate to as human beings.
Silas: It’s not a kitchen sink drama. We’re not in a studio in Burbank, shooting ten hour days or 8 hour days in kitchens and living rooms. We’re running around the woods in the rain in December, at three in the morning. It’s inspiring when you see people working that hard to try to make something as good as it can be.
What’s been most surprising for you to explore in terms of your character’s development over the past five seasons?
Nick: As a procedural show, I’m just lucky that I get heavy stuff to do. Otherwise, you get stagnant. Like, I found my mom’s head in a box… Ya know, these are very emotional scenes. At the end of every season, I know that I’m going to be put through an emotional stinger, and I’m lucky I get that. I don’t look forward to it, but it’s good for my acting.
Silas: It’s just fun when they put us in perilous situations. Whether the peril is internal or external. There was an episode, which was like this Neo-nazi group captured me because I was involved with someone of another Wesen orientation, that’s external peril. But then there’s internal peril too, where it was fun when my parents didn’t want me to be with Rosalee, or when Rosalee is threatened. So anytime they put you in extremists, it’s fun to play that.
In Season 4, Nick was forced to tell Sergent Wu everything about the Wesen after he started losing his mind. You’re finally one of the cool kids!
Reggie: I had to learn a bunch of new names. At first, when I would read the Wesen in the script, I would pass through that cause I didn’t want to know anything about it. I didn’t want to have that kind off subjectivity in my mind. So now (Wu) became the smart one in the group that knows all the Wesen, and I had to go back and do my homework. It was a fun discovery, but also as a character, it’s just a blast to be part of this in-crowd.
What supernatural themes are you hoping to explore in future episodes?
Silas: I think the broad outlines of what the show is about, from the beginning, is enough. The idea that a lot of us have this inner element, and that the real history of the world is written by Wesen. One of my favorite things in the show is when we explain the real reason why something happened, which is within the Grimm world. And then what we think happened – what “history” has told us – is really a sort of white wash. I think that’s fun when we’re making up the real history.
Reggie: I would love for them to get kind of real and get into the afterlife theme because it’s very real to me. I enjoy that idea of like.. “a God” – that would be something else to tackle. To go beyond that realm, whatever creatures may abound there. I would love that, cause even as an actor, you make this stuff real for yourself and it’s fun to play. You get scared sh*tless. It stretches me as an actor and as a person to go ‘What is beyond?’. It gives me a realm of possibility.
“Grimm” airs Fridays at 9/8 c on NBC. Get caught up on past episodes by logging on to NBC.com.