SILAS Weir Mitchell was perfectly cast as Monroe in horror-crime series Grimm. The former My Name is Earl (Donnie Jones) and Prison Break (Charles ‘‘ Haywire’’ Patoshik) regular gets a kick out of playing disturbed characters.
What frightens you?
Well, I’ll tell you when I was a kid what frightened me. I lived out in the country and summer nights you sometimes wind up far away from the house.
Suddenly it was dusk and then it was dark and you had to get back home. And it’s pretty scary walking through the woods alone at night when you’re little. One of the things that really scared me was if I started thinking about the guy who was chasing me or the guy who was in the woods. If I started behaving as though the guy was really there, I started running. If you just went slowly and calmly and realised that it was just in your imagination, you would be fine. As soon as you actually start running, you’re done.
What kind of research did you do into werewolves for Grimm?
Reading. I’m presently at arm’s length of a book that was written in 1933, on lycanthropy. There are pages of it in Latin and pages of it in middle French, where the werewolf is (believed to be) a real thing. In France in the 18th century, there was a guy who terrorised the French countryside, running around at night stealing children. And, you know, mutilating them. And what’s our answer to that? One of the ways of addressing that is to say you’re a monster, you’re a werewolf. And so the research for me was reading these stories sometimes, when these were real. It wasn’t mythological. I think now we recognise that the werewolf is a myth. Reading stories from a time when the werewolf was a real thing is pretty intense when you put yourself in the shoes of someone who believed that a transformation took place and that a beast roamed the hills.
What attracted you to the Monroe role?
It was a job really. I mean there was an audition for one of the leads in the pilot so there you go. I read the script and I thought it was cool. Now that I’m doing it, what does attract me to the role is the inner conflict.
Did you grow up having a favourite fairytale?
I didn’t really grow up on fairytales per se. There was one book I had as a child called Slovenly Peter. It’s an old German book. It had cautionary tales in it and they were pretty grisly. There’s the little girl who played with matches and what happens if you play with matches. In the book she’s burnt to a crisp — a pile of ashes. Grimm, Channel 7, tonight, 8.30pm
Programming is ridiculous
Patience has run out