Start­ing to look a bit Grimm

An un­likely mon­ster hunter is the star in this in­no­va­tive new se­ries, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TUESDAY EXTRA -

BRIM­MING with murder, mad­ness and mu­ti­la­tion, the 19th-cen­tury fairy­tales writ­ten by the Broth­ers Grimm tend to live up to the authors’ sur­name.

So it’s only fit­ting the new se­ries Grimm rein­vents the old sto­ries as mod­ern-day po­lice pro­ce­du­rals with a su­per­nat­u­ral twist. Po­lice de­tec­tive Nick Burkhardt is the last in a long fam­ily line of Grimms, a se­cret or­der of heroes with the abil­ity to sniff out strange crea­tures – some good, some de­cid­edly not – liv­ing among us dis­guised as hu­mans.

‘‘Nick has al­ways had this deep-down feel­ing he was dif­fer­ent be­cause he came from a weird fam­ily that was al­ways on the move,’’ says David Gi­un­toli, who plays Nick in the se­ries. ‘‘He just didn’t know how dif­fer­ent.’’

The show has aired on pay TV, but gets its first free TV run on Chan­nel 7 and re­gional af­fil­i­ate Prime7. Tell us about the set-up of and the sit­u­a­tion your char­ac­ter finds him­self fac­ing.

The way I see it is the big­gest as­pects of the show are these two worlds my char­ac­ter Nick Burkhardt is liv­ing in: cop by day, mon­ster fighter by night. And he likes keep­ing those two worlds sep­a­rate; he’d rather not have them at all. This job of myth­i­cal hero has been thrust upon him. He must go out and kill the bad mon­sters and pro­tect the good ones, when he’d re­ally rather be home watch­ing movies with his girl. He just wants his nor­mal life but since they’re there he wants to keep them sep­a­rate. As the se­ries goes on, ob­vi­ously life doesn’t go neatly, so the two worlds start to blend to­gether. Loved ones start to get threat­ened. The mon­sters aren’t go­ing af­ter per­pe­tra­tors any more – they’re go­ing af­ter me, and I’m al­ways near my loved ones. So it’s like, how long can I keep this lie about my true back­ground go­ing? What ap­pealed to you about when you first read it?

I thought it was re­ally cool. I re­ally liked the hu­mour and I re­ally liked the pro­ce­dural el­e­ments. I was never a big genre fan, or a big genre guy, and I’ve played lawyers, boyfriends and those types of char­ac­ters in the past. Grimm is so ex­cit­ing: it’s me play­ing pre­tend with mon­sters. I go to work with ogres, and the guy be­hind me in the lunch line has four hours worth of troll pros­thet­ics on while he’s talk­ing about sports. Nick is kind of thrown into the deep end of this new world early on, isn’t he?

Ex­actly, and I love the idea of com­ing into a story with a char­ac­ter where the ex­cit­ing in­ci­dent hap­pens about five pages into the se­ries’ first episode. My life changes right away; you barely see me prior to his reve­la­tion. That re­ally, re­ally ex­cited me, be­cause it goes from ‘Am I in­sane?’ to ut­ter dis­be­lief: ‘What is go­ing on? This is hor­ri­fy­ing!’ And as the se­ries pro­gresses he goes through the griev­ing process, where he first de­nies it, doesn’t ac­cept it, gets an­gry and then kind of suc­cumbs to it and em­bod­ies the role. That’s what’s so fun about my char­ac­ter. There’s a lot of mythol­ogy within the world of it seems. Is that go­ing to be ex­plored as the se­ries pro­gresses?

I’d say the be­gin­ning was largely pro­ce­dural, and it’s still a pro­ce­dural show; a crime does get solved ev­ery week. But some of the most fun of it is the mythol­ogy, and the story – who’s com­ing back for me, and which mon­sters work to­gether? Who’s good? Who’s bad? Who’s re­formed? And who’s re­form­ing? All of that grey area is a re­ally nice play­ground for us. The beauty of Grimm is it can sat­isfy that pro­ce­dural de­sire but we also get to play around with it. That’s what Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer and An­gel did, that’s what The X-Files did.

Tuesdays, 9.30pm, Seven, Prime7.

Si­las Weir Mitchell and David Gi­un­toli.

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