After a month-long hiatus, Grimm returns tonight on NBC and fans will finally learn how Nick (David Giuntoli) reacts to Juliette’s biestly confession. In this season’s major turn, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) discovered that Nick’s transformation back into a Grimm also transformed her into a Hexenbiest – and not just any old Hexenbiest, but one of the most powerful, deadly creatures in the history of the series (she took down a Manticore without breaking a sweat!). After Juliette laid it all out in the final moments “Trial by Fire”, let’s just say Giuntoli doesn’t foresee a fairytale ending for Grimm‘s lovebirds.
While visiting the set in Portland, Oregon last month I had a chance to speak with David Giuntoli about Grimm. We talked about how regaining his powers will change Nick, why Juliette might become the show’s biggest bad, his favorite scenes to film, who he’s like to have more screen time with, and more.
How has losing and regaining his Grimm abilities changed the kind of Grimm that Nick will be now?
DAVID GIUNTOLI: I think that Nick is going to be – Once you lose something, you realize how badly you need it. So he owns it more than he ever had in the past, and he respects it more than he ever had.
How do you think losing that for a while changed his relationships to the people around him?
GIUNTOLI: I think I realized how much peril there was out there in the world and how impotent people are in fighting it if they don’t have the Grimmstincts. I was able to use Trouble to kind of help me out, but I kind of realized how essential I am in the balance.
What’s it been like for you guys now that Trouble’s not around?
GIUNTOLI: Oh, she’s so great to have around. We miss her so much, but…I think we will be seeing her again in the near future, definitely this season, and team up, become tag team partners.
Absolutely, there’s room for more than one Grimm in this town.
GIUNTOLI: Yeah, there is.
I just found out that you guys aren’t quite as far ahead in terms of filming as I thought you might be.
GIUNTOLI: No, I don’t know anything.
But you are a few episodes from where audiences are. What can you tease for fans about what’s coming up?
GIUNTOLI: Well, Nick is going to find out a little bit about Juliette’s situation and it’s going to go badly. As you can see, the furniture is arranged differently than it used to be. That may tease something about our relationship. I turned her into a hexenbiest. It’s terrible.
That’s obviously a huge character turn, and it’s going to change the game of the show. Where do you think Juliette is headed now that she’s a hexenbiest?
GIUNTOLI: Oh boy, either she goes full evil and becomes the evil character of the show, which would be rad, I think…I don’t know. I know it’s going to tear us apart in some way. That’s how you make nice TV. Get a good thing and tear it apart. I don’t know if we’ll come back together. I don’t know. It hasn’t been written.
The best villains are usually the ones who didn’t start out evil.
GIUNTOLI: It’s religious.
GIUNTOLI: Yeah! Exactly. Good turned evil – and because of something I did.
Sure, there’s a little pathos there.
GIUNTOLI: Yeah, there you go.
Unlike a lot of genre shows, Grimm doesn’t kill off members of the core cast all the time. What’s it been like for you as an actor to not just be able to stick with this character, but with the same cast and crew for so long?
GIUNTOLI: Yeah, it’s lovely. It’s lovely. I mean, I know they’re going to ramp things up this season, so I don’t know. I don’t want anybody to get killed, but I don’t know what to think when they say ramp it up. We have become kind of like a family. We all love each other. We’ll miss each other. It’s great. All family stuff happens with our family of cast. It’s been fun watching – finding new things about my character. You don’t get to do this for that long. You don’t get to act five years in one character – ever. Nobody does that. So it’s a rare opportunity to find new things and explore. It’s fun to go deeper and watch how certain events create a fork in this person’s life, and he goes down this path instead of what he thought was going to happen.
Obviously, when you come into the show, you shoot the pilot, you have an idea of who Nick is in your head. How much has that changed over the years? He can’t stay the same person, but he has to remain the hero of Grimm.
GIUNTOLI: It changes all the time. I never thought I was going to be in love with Grimm, which I was for a little while. I never thought I would lose my powers and want it back. I don’t know. He’s just a completely different person from what he was in 2011.
As it should be. I’m a totally different person from who I was in 2011, as I imagine you are.
Grimm is drama, procedural, action, romance – do you have a favorite type of scene to shoot?
GIUNTOLI: I like it when it goes really deep. I love the procedural stuff, but as far as acting, I like when it’s personal, me and Hank confiding in each other about something instead of just talking about the case. I will do that with him about Juliette. I love when it’s emotionally rooted stuff, as opposed to just “Let’s go fight this Wessen”.
We just toured around, and I’m obsessed with the sets. Do you have a favorite set to work in?
GIUNTOLI: This is the one. This is it. You can plop down anywhere. They say “cut” and you just sit down on a nice cushion. It’s wonderful.
You’d never get me to leave the Rosalee’s apothecary or the trailer.
GIUNTOLI: You’d leave the trailer eventually. It gets a little claustrophobic in there. Especially once there’s like 50 people in there and giant cameras. That’s what we’re dealing with all the time.
Yeah, that makes a huge difference.
GIUNTOLI: This set’s big and open and easy. I like it.
What’s a day in the life of the lead on a full season broadcast show look like? What is your work day like?
GIUNTOLI: Well you show up, you get your sides and then you’re here for long days. It’s like 12-14 hour days every day, so it can be a slog, but it’s very fun. You also get to be the guy on the billboards. It’s fun seeing people come in and out. I don’t see a lot of the cast. They’ll all hang out, but I’ll be working, so I don’t see them until they work. There will be weeks where I don’t see somebody and it’s this great reunion. It’s fun.
Is there a character you wish you had more scenes with?
GIUNTOLI: I wish I had more scenes with Monroe still. We used to have a lot of scenes together, and we don’t have as much anymore. Yeah.
I miss that as a viewer, to be honest. I’d like to see that come back a little more.
GIUNTOLI: It probably will.
Is there something fans get really amped to talk to you about? How often do people ask you when the key story is coming back?
GIUNTOLI: I know, I want to know what’s going to happen with the keys. That’s something I would like to see get wrapped up. I don’t know if they’re going to deal with that yet.
Grimm returns tonight at 8/7c on NBC.