A Not-So-Grim Hour of Grimm

Photo by Dave Nelson
Photo by Dave Nelson

On Saturday at 5:30PM, Reggie Lee, Jacqueline Toboni, Sasha Roiz, Bitsie Tulloch, and David Giuntoli of Grimm joined their fans for a rollicking hour of questions and answers. The actors entered the Sheraton’s Grand Ballroom to roars and applause from the audience.

Moderator Marc Lee started things off by asking how the show came to be on the air. Giuntoli said it was the idea of Todd Milliner, who was looking for something that was in the public domain and thus free. He hit upon the Grimm fairy tales. Giuntoli received the script during pilot season, which he described as a depressing time of year. He noted that projects that are different stand out, and Grimm did. He agreed to do it, hoping it would catch on, and it did. Tulloch added that they shot the pilot at the end of March and found out in mid-May that the show was picked up.

A member of the audience wanted to know what would’ve happened had Lee’s character, Sgt. Wu, not learned the supernatural truth about what was happening around him. Tulloch said, “Remember when he was in the asylum? More of that.” As the audience laughed, Lee added that Wu would have come out of the asylum and stalked Nick and Hank. He added that one of his favorite scenes was the one in the asylum he played with Tulloch.

A questioner asked Lee, whose character he described as the audience’s eyes, how he thought Wu felt when he learned what was really going on. Lee said he was warned that he would have to work more days, something he didn’t believe until he worked eight out of eight days on the first episode after the revelation. “I don’t want the David Giuntoli schedule,” he said. He thought Wu had been well developed over four or five seasons because of everything that happened to him. “That might change in season six,” he said but added that he couldn’t reveal more.

The moderator asked the cast how they felt about the way Grimm had developed. Tulloch said they were all very proud of the show, as well as grateful. They shot 22 episodes per season, until now. The sixth and final season will be 13 episodes. Lee said the cancellation announcement had given them some perspective on the show, allowing them to look back organically.

Roiz described knowing about the cancellation in advance as fortunate. It allowed them to finish with a great story. He added that Giuntoli directed the sixth season’s first episode. Giuntoli said that the season had been fun so far, focusing on the core cast.

When asked which Wesen the actors would be if they could pick, they listed various choices. Roiz said he’s happy as the Wesen he already was. Tulloch said she once would’ve picked the sabertooth tiger from the second season, but then her Eve character appeared. She said she worked out and pumped iron preparing for that role. Giuntoli answered that he didn’t think he would make a good Wesen but if he were one, it would be one of the anxious species, like Bud, who is a beaver. Toboni responded that she used to say a Lebensauger, but now, “if you don’t say Eve, you’re an idiot,” though a powerful witch would be a good choice.

A fan asked Giuntoli what Nick’s mother had done with the three coins. Giuntoli noted that there had been a lot of storylines on Grimm, some with long lives. “She took them to Greece,” he decided. Looking at Roiz, he said, “So they’re in Greece. Are they not?” Roiz responded that he had no idea, and the questioner said he had just learned the question was answered in the comic book, not on the show. Giuntoli allowed that he needed to become more familiar with the comic books.

After congratulating Tulloch and Giuntoli on their engagement, to applause from the audience, another questioner asked whether there was any chance of a movie after the show and, if so, whether the actors would want to be in it. Tulloch emphasized that the series’ end was not the actors’ choice, adding that they wanted to keep doing it forever because they love each other and Portland. Roiz added that if the Save Grimm petitions led to a movie, “we’ll be there.”

The subject then turned to Giuntoli’s directing debut and how he felt about it. He admitted to getting a bit teary in Tulloch’s trailer one day, noting that directing leads to knowing the cast and crew in a different way. He said everyone had been great, making the episode work and making it better. He didn’t consider himself the most qualified to direct but knew he was well positioned for it.

Roiz said working with Giuntoli was a lot of fun and demonstrated how much of a family they had in the show, as everyone came together to help Giuntoli succeed. Lee added that Giuntoli knew what shots he wanted when they started and that, after six years, they had conversational shorthand. Tulloch described Giuntoli as a natural director and pointed out that despite his “brutal” schedule, he had been shadowing the show’s directors whenever he could for the past two years to learn the job.

A fan asked how much fight training Giuntoli had to do when Nick stopped using his gun and went to hand-to-hand. Smiling, Giuntoli said that his “handsome and talented stunt man” had “removed lots of fight-training hours.” He added that Roiz had had a lot of scenes that required a couple of days of preparation before shooting.

Tulloch said the stunt people did much of the work. She told the audience that she’d spent the day before the panel dangling from the ceiling in a harness, which hurt and made breathing difficult. She would’ve been happy to let a stunt double do that.

Giuntoli prompted Toboni to discuss her character’s fight scenes. Toboni responded that she’d never been in a harness and wasn’t sure “they trust me that much.” They won’t let her ride Trubel’s motorcycle. When she asked, she was told it was a very expensive, BMW bike and she wouldn’t be riding it.

A questioner from the audience said the characters are so complex that she doesn’t know who to love or hate because they change every week. She described Lee as giving Wu “an amazing walk” and said that at work she emulated the way he walks up to a desk and cocks his head. Chants of “Reg-gie, Reg-gie” from the crowd persuaded Lee to demonstrate, to great applause.

Another fan asked Tulloch how she felt about the evolution of her character. Tulloch noted that Juliette’s being comparatively passive and kept in the dark at first served the stories. Eve was robotic and controlled, but now she’s feeling some guilt and emotion. As Eve changes, Tulloch feels as though she’s moving into a fourth role on the show. She hopes Eve will express remorse at some point for the pain evil Juliette caused.

The actors said they found out about the storylines and characters as the writers developed them. Roiz said he had no idea he was a Zauberbiest until he read the script in season two. Giuntoli said everyone reads the same scripts and that there are things the writers know but haven’t passed along to the cast.

One questioner wore makeup resembling the Fuchsbau state of Bree Turner’s character, Rosalee. The makeup was so good that Roiz texted a picture of it to Turner. “She’s texting me,” he exclaimed, and said she was thinking of doing some cons. “I’m trying to get her to come,” he stated.

The topic turned to the actors’ experiences with costar Silas Weir Mitchell. Lee said he and Mitchell had the same acting coach and were doing a scene together when they were cast for Grimm. Toboni noted that the show was her first job and said she had learned a lot from seeing Mitchell’s work ethic, powerhouse research, and approaches to scenes.

A fan asked Giuntoli about his Buddymoon costar, Flula Borg. Giuntoli explained that Buddymoon is a movie he wrote and directed. Borg is an old friend whom Giuntoli met when he first went to Los Angeles. At one point, they roomed together. Borg appeared on Conan, and now the show is going to Berlin to spend a week with him.

The panel ended with a standing ovation, which Roiz filmed on his phone.

Author of the article

Nancy Northcott is the Comics Track Director for ConTinual. She's also a lifelong fan of comics, science fiction, fantasy, and history. Her published works include the Boar King's Honor historical fantasy trilogy and the Arachnid Files romantic suspense series. Collaborating with Jeanne Adams, she also writes the Outcast Station science fiction mystery series.