Starting to look a bit Grimm
An unlikely monster hunter is the star in this innovative new series, writes
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.