Interview with Grimm's David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf

Interview with Grimm's David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf

As you know, I’m a lover of Grimm and its intense bromances. So, I danced for joy when I sat in on a conference call with producers David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf. For those who don’t know (but should), Grimm surrounds the adventures of Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), a Portland cop who discovers that fairytale creatures DO exist and he’s descended from a long line of Grimm reapers who profile and dispatch the fairytale baddies. As I said in my preview (which producer Sean Hayes tweeted!), it’s essentially the male version of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.

What makes conference calls enjoyable (other than talking to cool people affiliated with shows I like) typically surrounds listening to my fellow bloggers’ enthusiasm for the show. If the people asking the questions are uber-fans (and not just specific producers or actors), that says a lot for the show. However, even more this go-round, I enjoyed listening to David and Jim respond to the tongue-in-cheek names of our sites when the operator introduced us individually. Their favorite site name, so far? “TV is my pacifier” (TVisMyPacifier).

I asked them a few questions about casting the awesome Russell Hornsby (Hank Griffin), competing Once Upon a Time storylines (OUT just did a Hansel and Gretel plot and Grimm will do one this week), and shaking up the show’s formula. David answered frankly  that they chose Russell because he proved the best guy for the part. He came across as really warm and really cool in the audition. They both sounded incredibly excited for one of his storylines featuring lady troubles. The woman in question might include Adalind Schade (Claire Coffee), the Hexenbiest lawyer from BeeWare, who Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) sent to charm Hank. At the same time, IMDb only lists Coffee for four Grimm episodes (all of which already aired). Regarding the creature-as-perpetrator-of-the-week formula, that will probably stand 80% of the time. But, they’ll try to shake it up by involving a normal human or setting up a creature as the victim. Concerning possible Once Upon a Time storyline conflicts, they gave the standard answer of not having enough time to track other shows (yeah, right). But, they’re both right, the two shows are incredibly different. And, luckily, for fans of sci fi and fantasy, they’re both incredibly well done.  For the interview transcript, see page two.

Other things I learned from the conference call, included:

  • Greenwalt and Kouf deliberately picked Portland (their first and only choice) for its looks. They also worked with Steve Oster (producer), Marc Buckland (pilot Director), Clark Mathis (pilot director of photography), Eades (construction design) and one of the show’s production designers to finalize its stylized “grim” aesthetic.
  • Rick Marvin does the show's music. Remember the classical and club component of the "Danse Macabre" pied piper episode? He did the music for both of the genre styles in the episode.
  • The writers deliberately keep Hank in the dark to have a non-supernatural reason for the crimes.
  • They went with Grimm's fairytales for the public domain permissions. And, I liked that honesty.
  • They are going to do more fairytale reversals where the passive creatures overtake the dominant ones as in "Of Mouse and Man."
  • They already planned the Nick and Monroe mentor-mentee relationship. However, their chemistry proved a pleasant surprise, so they can take it to deeper levels. (Hopefully, they'll take it to bromantic levels).
  • Monroe's ass-kicking by his fellow creatures won't affect his ability to help Nick.
  • Creatures are actually called “Wesen” (pronounced Vesen).
  • Despite the Thursday night trial, they’re going to stay on Friday night for now. David pointed out that Friday at 9 is the X-Files’ old slot.
  • This season will feature 22 episodes.
  • We’ll get more of Marie’s backstory in the future.

Whedonverse Guest Stars:

  • Azura Skye will guest star in an episode involving Juliette, possibly in April.
  • In the “Terentella” February episode Amy Acker will guest star as a Black Widow.

A new Grimm episode featuring Hansel and Gretel will hit this Friday, February 3rd, at 9pm on NBC. For the trailer, go to: http://www.nbc.com/grimm/video/hansel-and-gretel/1380813.

For more information on Grimm, check them out on facebook or on twitter (@nbcgrimm).

For the transcript of my interview with David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, click to the next page.

An: Hi. I had a quick question about Russell Hornsby. I love that actor and I loved him when he was on ABC Family. How did you go about casting him as Hank Griffin?

David Greenwalt: He was the best guy who came in and we had a lot of great guys that came in and read for that role, but Russell was -- there’s something really special, really cool but warm at the same time about Russell. And we just fell in love and he -- you know, he won it in the casting process.

Jim Kouf: Yes. He brings an authority to the role which is great.

David Greenwalt: Yes. An ease and authority. And we’ve got some really cool stuff coming for him, and he’s -- his world is going to get rocked by a woman.

An: Will it be the creature that he does not know is a creature?

David Greenwalt: Say it again? Will he see the creature that he does not know is a creature?

An: No. Will it be the creature that he does not know is a creature? The one that the Captain set him up with?

David Greenwalt [pause]: Might be.

An: I have another question then as well. I like the current formula where you currently have a covert reveal of the monster at the beginning of the episode. But, will you eventually change that or actually have a human as the perpetrator for the crime?

David Greenwalt: Well, we did it initially in the episode last week in this "Of Mouse and Man" in which the man, not the mouse, was the perpetrator of the crime. So -- but you know, we’ll do all kinds of different things. And sometimes there’ll be a good -- what we call a Wesen. You know, a good creature. And sometimes yes -- sometimes the bad people are just normal humans and it’s the Wesen or the Grimm creatures who are in trouble. We’ll mix it up.

An: And my final question is I love the show, like everyone else, and its originality. But do you ever watch Once Upon A Time and hope or cross your fingers that they won’t cover a similar story right before you cover it?

David Greenwalt: You know, we don’t really have time. We’re not watching any other shows. We -- you know, we’re kind of living here in the office and doing this show. And you know, we wish them the best and we wish ourselves the best.

And you know, I think there may be some fairy tale characters that are similar, but our -- the shows are so incredibly different that I don’t think it matters.

An: All right, great. Thank you very much. I look forward to seeing more.