The fantasy/supernatural procedural Grimm premiered on NBC two weeks ago to surprisingly strong ratings and mixed critical reviews. Grimm is a cross between Supernatural and The X-Files with a little bit of the comic book Fables thrown in. The first two episodes of the season have focused on setting up the characters. In a recent interview series star Silas Weir Mitchell said that the show will eventually create its own slant on well-known fairytale myths.
The X-Files element comes in the form of police detective Nick Burckhardt (David Giuntoli), a man who discovers that he is the last in a long line of monster hunters known as Grimms. His job is to find the demons that hide in plain sight and take them out. He gets help from Monroe (Mitchell), a werewolf trying to stay on the straight and narrow by not eating people.
On the eve of the show’s second episode, Mitchell met with TV writers during a press call, noting that his character’s name is Monroe – just Monroe. “Somehow the name Eddie Monroe mistakenly got out there and now everyone assumes my character’s name is Eddie Monroe – for the record it’s just Monroe.”
According to Mitchell we do not know too much about Monroe’s history. “Everything you hear in the pilot about my character is all we get for now. I’m a blutbad that is trying to stay on the straight and narrow. We do not get into my history right away.”
The pilot episode is dark, but also has a touch of lightness, thanks to the humor that Monroe brings to the otherwise “grim” proceedings. Silas got the role because he’d worked with series creator and Executive Producer Jim Kouf on a short film called Fork in the Road.
“We hit it off and had a good working relationship. There are lines that he’s writing specifically for me, because we get along very well and I understand his sense of humor.”
Silas went on to say that the most challenging things for him while shooting the pilot were the lack of having a production infrastructure in place as well as the pressure of not knowing whether the show would get picked up.
“For me specifically, I’ve been in a lot of series but I’ve never been one of the central characters, so there was a lot of pressure. Luckily it is a great environment to work in. It was really tough trying to have fun, while keeping the pressure of shooting a pilot and not worrying about whether or not it’s going to get picked up.”
He doesn’t see the show changing relocating from Portland any time soon. “Portland has numerous different locations that can be used including beaches, city, woods, etc.”
One of the things that is going to make or break this show is the chemistry between Monroe and Nick. “We were very lucky in the sense that we really love working together. Establishing a rapport with him was easy. One doesn’t really calculate developing a rapport, either you have it or you don’t. I don’t know if there is a formula for it, but the casting director really did a great job casting this project.”
Silas talked a bit about how his wolf make-up is done. “When someone morphs they don’t just transform into a werewolf. They don’t transform generically, they transform into what they would look like as that creature.” He added that make-up effects are done in three stages – prosthetic, make-up, and then CGI.
He comes across as being serious, but you get a hint of the playfulness underneath in some of his comments. But there is no doubt that Silas has done his homework, doing a lot of research into lycanthropy.
“I’m presently reading one of the classic books on lycanthropy. It was written in 1939. There are pages that were written in French and Latin. Werewolves are a very real thing and not just a mythological animal. The research was based on finding out the real story behind lycanthropy and what goes through a person’s mind when they change into a monster.”
The show will get darker in the coming weeks and we will see some representations of classic fairytale characters in future episodes. When describing Monroe he says, “It is great to play someone who is not crazy. Monroe is definitely a unique person and not evil.”