When the NBC drama series Grimm returns tonight, Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) is back and ready for vengeance. After having learned what’s really been going on, Nick and Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) finally go head-to-head, while Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) and Renard’s undeniable attraction reaches dangerous new heights. The show also stars Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, Reggie Lee and Bree Turner.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, show star David Giuntoli talked about where things will pick back up, the big fight he had to shoot with co-star Sasha Roiz, how Nick and Captain Renard have to still find a way to work together, what kind of roommate Nick will make for Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), what it was like to get to explore the mother-son dynamic with actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, how much he’s enjoyed the change in the Nick-Hank (Russell Hornsby) dynamic, who else he’d love to find out about Nick’s secret, and what he’d like to see from the Nick-Juliette relationship. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
DAVID GIUNTOLI: Yes, he’s the cuckolded Grimm!
So, where will things be picking back up now?
GIUNTOLI: We literally pick up where we left off. I’m immediately out for blood and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) is freaking out because he doesn’t know what I’m going to do to the Captain (Sasha Roiz). I don’t know what I’m going to do. But, I immediately get called to investigate a murder that I did, so that gets hairy for me. I’m just barely holding it together when it comes to the Captain. We end up having a knock-down, drag-out major fight in the third act.
Was that fun to finally get to do, since it’s been building for some time?
GIUNTOLI: Sure! I’ve found out who he is and he explains why everything is happening to me. The fight was 45 minutes to an hour outside of Portland, at night in the forest, and we both had rehearsed with stuntmen, but we’d never really done it with each other and we had never done it with our lines. When you rehearse a fight scene, you remember all these moves, but then, when you say something, and it ruins everything. It gets in the way of your brain’s circuitry. So, I kneed him in the face, at one point. He kicked me so hard in my thigh. There are photos of the size of the bruise. It was hideous. We had so many bruises and cuts. It was fun, fighting with Sasha Roiz. There were a lot of laughs. It truly was ridiculous! It was such a long fight and we were so battered in the first run, but the cameras were very far away. We were laughing about whether we could continue.
How will Nick and Captain Renard get past that to keep working together?
GIUNTOLI: That’s a very good point. It makes it quite difficult, working with the guy you just fought to the near death. It’s one of those things that Nick Burkhardt has to bottle up.
Can Nick at least share his feelings about what’s going on with Hank (Russell Hornsby)?
GIUNTOLI: Yeah! There’s a great scene coming up that’s a dinner scene and all the people who know are talking about my new discoveries. It’s a good dinner scene with Rosalee (Bree Turner), Hank, Monroe and I.
GIUNTOLI: I’d say that Nick Burkhardt is a tidy roommate, so that’s a good roommate, right? Monroe is very nervous. He doesn’t know what I’m going to do about the Captain. He almost doesn’t want me to leave that house because he doesn’t know what I’m going to do and whether I’m going to fly off the rails. If I lose my mind and go ape shit, the balance of the world is thrown off.
How surprised have you been by the dynamic between Nick and Monroe, and how much that’s grown since the show started?
GIUNTOLI: It’s not surprising. The initial dynamic of this cop with this other thing was cool, and he’s such a great actor. Now, I just think Nick and Monroe trust each other enough that he’s not going to rip my throat out and I’m not going to behead him. He’s part of Nick’s surrogate family. Nick doesn’t have any family, so he keeps trying to collect these people who can be a line into the world of the Vessen. He’s someone who can help me sort all this out because I really had no one until my mom (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) came back, and she’s now gone again. But, we’re good buddies now and we fully trust each other.
What was it like to get to explore that mother-son dynamic?
GIUNTOLI: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is a great actress. When I was doing scenes with her, I found myself watching her often, when the camera wasn’t on me, instead of maybe being fully engaged in the scene. She’s brilliant. As far as what it did for the show, it really gave a good emotional base for Nick. It really gave him more of a rooted backstory. He was totally abandoned by his mom. She lied about being dead, so that was rough.
Are you hoping she’ll return?
GIUNTOLI: Of course! She’ll be back.
GIUNTOLI: Oh, yeah! I think the Hank-Nick dynamic is so much better now, and Russell is having a lot more fun with the character. He just has a lot more to do, instead of constantly being in the dark. If Season 1 was me repressing things, Season 2 is about more being revealed. We can actively police these cases together. It’s fun.
Is there anyone else that you’re hoping will find out about Nick’s secret?
GIUNTOLI: Yes, Wu (Reggie Lee)! My god! Bring Wu into the fold! Season 3! I always think that at least a sub-sect of the precinct will become this monster-fighting task force, and Wu would have to be involved, at some point. Reggie is great. What he does with his lines and what little he’s given, he’s highly respected.
What’s it been like to have so much physicality on this show, with all the fights and stunts?
GIUNTOLI: I dread it, but it’s always great. I’ve learned a lot. In the first season, as first seasons go, it was like, “All right, we’re doing a fight scene now. Okay, let’s go!” And I didn’t really rehearse. Now, we’ll go a day in advance and try to get an hour at lunch and a couple hours after work to rehearse. That’s really helped. You learn these little tricks for stage fighting, which are really tiny and you wouldn’t think of them, but it makes all the difference in the world. I love it!
How much fun was it to have Adalind (Claire Coffee) come back and cause more trouble?
GIUNTOLI: She’s so fun to work with. Adalind is this crazy, literally soulless woman. What a perfect nemesis! And Claire has a weird flirtation with Nick. She enjoys being mean and evil. It’s strange to sit across the table with this woman who’s enjoying creating havoc. She had so much fun with it.
Now that Nick had that moment and snapped a bit, how will that continue to affect him?
GIUNTOLI: There was a moment that he gave himself permission. He was like, “To hell with this cop line! I’m gonna cross it.” That was a decision that probably changed him a little bit. Once you break that, it’s hard to go back.
GIUNTOLI: I should probably stay away. I think Nick is going to stay out of her life a little bit, but keep an eye on her life. I want distance, but I want vantage. I want to watch her, but I don’t want to get too involved.
Are you personally hoping that all of that will somehow work itself out and that Juliette will get her memory back again?
GIUNTOLI: If Juliette finally finds out the truth about me, she’ll hate me for what I put her through. I wonder what will happen. Of course, I want the relationship to go on, but we’ll see. The writers made some really cool decisions in Season 2. They paint themselves into corners, and it’s fun to try to deal with those impossible situations.
Grimm airs on Friday nights on NBC.