A month ago, Michael Noble, and I spoke to the amazing Reggie Lee (Persons Unknown, No Ordinary Family) who dropped spoilers for Grimm's first season and listed his hopes for the second season. Some events have already occurred, some have not. However, for the .01% who don't know, Reggie Lee plays Sgt. Wu, the wise-cracking snarkdorkable uniformed sidekick of crimefighting fairytale slayer, Nick, and his day partner, Hank, in the freshman drama, Grimm created by Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, and Jim Kouf. This Friday will release the season finale.
Reggie Lee's charm as the snarktastic Seargeant Wu on NBC's Grimm made me both a fast fan of the actor and his character. I literally want to take Sgt. Wu off the shelf, put him in my pocket, and listen to him quote Wu-isms all day. In fact, when I initially saw the commercials for the film Safe, I didn't want to see it because of Jason Statham, but for Reggie Lee who co-starred as Quan Chang. Unsurprisingly, his humility and sense of humor came through during our brief chat.
Whenever I have a kickass interview, I need a couple days to come down from the contact high. This time I needed a month. An interview is like a first date. When you initially meet the person, you make small talk about the weather and where you've lived, to identify places in common. When Reggie asked Michael and I about our hometowns, I appreciated the effort and his infectious enthusiasm. When you listen to the recording, it's clear he made us laugh all throughout.
In between the laughter, Lee talked about Wu's troubles, Nick's world closing in on him and wanting to get more involved with the mythology. Wu's curiosity (which didn't kill the cat), attracted him to the show. And, although his character remains nameless, he continues to contemplate alternative first names like "Lu" or "Reggie." Did you know he initially tried out for the role of Hank, Nick's partner, but they gave it to Russell instead? Did you know they created the role of Sgt. Wu just for him and that he created the inquisitive, snarky personality based on one line? If you didn't, then clearly you need to read this interview!
The season finale will offer more questions (and, hopefully, some answers) to ongoing issues.
For the voice recording, view the embedded videos below. For a transcript excerpt, click to the next page. You can also check part one of our journey with Reggie Lee.
Grimm is an incredibly quirky, atypical crime drama, what attracted you to it?
I love X-Files. I love something that was not your standard procedural. I know that David Greenwalt and Jim Cobb come from Angel and Buffy and X-Files and that kind of quirky drama. I really wasn't in to do a procedural. I don't think anyone was. I think we all were in basically because we really loved the mythology part of what they were pitching us in terms of our characters. That for me was way more interesting than solving crimes every week.
I think that that's the direction they always wanted to go and starting to go now.
They pitched this character to me which wasn't in the initial script. I had actually auditioned for the part of Hank, Nick's partner. It came down to me and Russell Hornsby and another guy. So it was the three of us. I walked out of that test and turned to Russell and said "if I don't get it, I hope you do." I'm a big stickler for ethnic minority being cast. Seriously, an hour later, he got the call. My manager got a call saying I didn't get the role.
They called back and said, "listen, we really liked him and we'd like to create a role for him. Is he still available?" I really liked what they pitched me as a character. They pitched me this character of this cop who is kind of sarcastic, quirky, very intelligent, and gets into a bit of trouble later on down the line in the series. And I like the getting into a bit of trouble later on down the line in the series part and I like how he dealt with that aspect.
It's always nice to have someone create a role for you. That in itself kind of boosts my ego.
Can you talk more about Wu's trouble?
My character is how I like to be in terms of this Sgt., this cop. I like to stick my hands in people's business. I think it has a little bit to do with that and it gets him into a bit of trouble.
Where do you want this character to go next season?
That's a really great question. I think for all of us, we'd really love to be more involved. If I had more druthers, I'd like to be more involved in the mythology aspect of things. Nick's entire thing about seeing people morph and how he's able to solve crimes and the trouble with his world closing in on him. Obviously, everyone's got to find out at some point what's going on. I just like for me to be more involved in that aspect of things, in the mythology.
Now, in terms of my character since my character is someone who likes to get into people's business, I'd like to get into more trouble and find a way to still keep my job and still keep face. There's a lot of ways they could go with this. Obviously, we probably don't know a lot of things that the writers are talking about back at the office. But, they're also probably going episode by episode. David Greenwalt said we all have a general arc to all our characters. And, we've been pitched some of those things. We were talking about my home life and all that stuff with the producers.
With your character and the two detectives, you're always first on the scene. Is there a possibility you might be promoted to detective?
I love how you think. Aside from the fact I'd love to get involved with the mythology aspect of things. I would love a promotion. Yes. Interesting sidenote. I'm a Sgt. actually in this script. When I did research on this, a seargant would be above a detective. A Sgt. manages a group of detectives. That's actually the reason, in my own mind, I'm first on scene, because a Sgt. usually assess and hands off to the detectives.
I'm actually the liason between the captain and the detectives, is how it would work in real life. But, there is also a Detective Sgt. That's actually the promotion I would love. That is a guy that would be a plain clothes detective that would be out on the scene that would still be a Sgt.
I get that from a lot of viewers, especially on twitter: "can you please be promoted now." There's also something really great if they would write something in about a struggle, in getting the promotion.
If you could call them and suggest that I'd appreciate.
You mentioned that Greenwalt is going in a new mind-blowingly awesome trajectory in season two where our minds will implode and explode and re-implode again. Can you give us hints?
I don't even have hints. I'm going to see Greenwalt on Saturday, may I use that sentence? I'm going to say we need their minds to implode, explode and then implode again. I just believe that they're going to go in a more mythological pattern this next season. There are certain things when a series starts off. Everyone's a little bit cautious. It becomes a ratings thing. You try to figure out how to get viewers. Once you've got them, I think you go OK, now we can go full force in the direction that we really wanted to go.
I'm hoping. It's not a fact. I'm hoping they go in that direction which would be the whole mythological aspect. I believe they're gonna go way in that direction. You'll find out more about each character and there'll be more conflict.
Most supernatural shows have two worlds. Will we have that with Reggie Lee where he notices there are too many supernatural or wierd occurrences. I just said Reggie Lee. I meant Sgt. Wu.
That's OK. You can say Reggie Lee. I don't have a first name, yet. I'm going for Lu. Lu Wu.
I think that what you'll see more of is Nick's world closing in on him in that aspect. It can't happen to everybody because I think that would end the show quickly. It has to happen a little at a time. I think you'll start to see his world close in on him more as we get closer to the end of this first season. Him having to deal with more people noticing things here and there.
As you can see, Reggie Lee is an interviewer's dream. If you're interested in learning what happens to Nick, Monroe, Juliette, and, of course, Sgt. Wu, watch the season finale this Friday!
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