In the NBC dark fairytale series GRIMM, there are creatures which seemed to have stepped right out of one of your nightmares. But not all creatures are to be feared. Known as wesen, some are good and some are evil, just like their human counterparts. Having just found out about the wesen world, Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) also found out that he is a descendent of a special lineage known as Grimms. In the first couple of seasons of GRIMM, Nick’s fiancé Juliette was living blissfully unaware of the wesen world and the particular new duties of her fiancé outside of his detective work. But finally as the end of Season 2, Nick revealed his secret life and this other supernatural world to Juliette. Unfortunately, just as Juliette was beginning to take it all in stride and get used to the idea of living with wesen all around, up came a zombie apocalypse.
The Season 2 finale left our hero Nick entrapped and exposed to the zombie venom, with Juliette and their friends Monroe and Rosalee left to fend for themselves against the encroaching zombie mob. In an exclusive interview, co-star Bitsie Tulloch talked about what obstacles our heroes face in Season 3 and where the Nick/Juliette romance is headed in the midst of all these huge revelations. Bitsie also talked briefly about her new film “Parkland” which debuts in theaters on Friday, October 4th.
Where does GRIMM return in Season 3? Where’s Juliette at?
BITSIE: The show picks up exactly where it left off in the Season 2 finale. In the penultimate episode of Season 2 Juliette found out — well, by that point Nick had been trying to tell her what was going on but it was not until Monroe and Rosalee morphed for her that it was a “seeing is believing” kind of situation for her. Once she saw that she realized (a) she wasn’t crazy and (b) Nick wasn’t crazy. So she kind of got thrown into the fire right away as far as joining the Scooby Squad or Grimm Gang, or whatever you want to call it. They all have to join together ’cause not only is Nick in danger of dying and being a zombie, but their lives are in danger because there is a zombie invasion. Monroe, Rosalee and Juliette get separated from Nick, so it’s kind of the three of them against a zombie army. So for Juliette, she’s getting thrown into this right away; whereas Monroe and Rosalee obviously have a little bit more experience with this kind of thing. But they really all have to have each other’s backs and everybody needs to work together to save Nick and to save themselves. So for the first couple of episodes coming back, we’ll be focused on the zombie storyline.
With everyone in peril, have you been pushing the writers about Juliette acquiring some fight skills, particularly if she’s going up against a zombie horde?
BITSIE: There have been a couple allusions to Juliette being tougher than she seems throughout Season 1 and Season 2. In “Game Over” in Season 1, she runs into the house as Nick was being attacked by the ogre and her survival instincts kicked in immediately and she grabbed a pot of boiling water and threw it at him. Then in the episode where Nick and Juliette go away for that romantic weekend, and it was made clear in the episode before that Juliette is pretty handy with a gun and then she runs out into the forest and scares the bad guys by shooting. So she’s kind of a tough cookie. She has been very patient and understanding with Nick this far, but she’s stronger than she looks and she definitely has a lot to add. She has this science background. She’s actually a doctor. So I always say, it’s like Rosalee is a wesen doctor with potions, but Juliette really has the science and chemistry background to back it up. It’s fun going forward as everybody brings certain skills to the table and having them work together.
Is it going to be Juliette saving Nick this time around once they find him?
BITSIE: Everybody is joining together to save Nick and everybody contributes to trying to work it out. That’s what I think is so appealing about it. In order to form the solution, everybody needs to add their piece to the puzzle.
What will things be like between Juliette and Nick once he has been found?
BITSIE: At this point, they are actually going to be able to move forward. David and I have been having a blast shooting Season 3 because their relationship just totally changes. He has been having to hide this from her for two seasons and it just completely changed everything. They are now actually able to talk about this and its strengthening their relationship and their bond. It’s also just such a relief for him that he doesn’t have to keep things from her and it’s a relief for her that she doesn’t think she’s crazy anymore — ’cause there was a point where she totally thought she was losing her mind and feeling very vulnerable. And now she’s getting that confidence and power back. It’s going to be nice for them to go through this together as a team, as opposed to what happened in the past.
At this point has Juliette fully embraced the wesen world and decided to be a part of it?
BITSIE: She has and she hasn’t. For the most part, she’s so relieved to have her man back that she’s down to do whatever it takes to be included and to be a part of it. But at the same time, I’m sure there will be obstacles moving forward. She’s the only character that’s not either a cop or detective or wesen. So she’s sort of the human and she’s going to make mistakes. This is all totally new to her and it’s more unfathomable for her than it is to Rosalee or Monroe. There was a scene last season when the tow truck driver is in the spice shop and she says, “What kind of wesen are you?” She was almost overly excited. That was obviously purposeful on the writers’ part to set up the fact that there would be some obstacles about Juliette not quite knowing what she can and cannot say and when.
One of the things kind of abruptly dropped last season, was the sticky relationship between Captain Renard and Juliette as their were under the spell. Will there be upcoming any scenes where there might be some awkwardness between them, or is that simply never addressed again?
BITSIE: I would say: never say never. For now the primary focus is on Nick and Juliette’s relationship and the two of them going through this together. That said, Sasha and I have sort of chosen to every so often in a scene where we’re together, there’s a subtle acknowledgement of some weirdness between them because of what happened. But overall, the scenes where the Captain and Juliette are together, there’s a lot more going on that is more important than any awkwardness.
What would you say is the biggest issue or theme that they all have to deal with and face in Season 3?
BITSIE: The wesen just getting more bigger and badder. Nick is growing and getting stronger and smarter about them, but now there’s more and more. There’s the royal families and they are all figuring out Nick as well. So it’s like everybody’s getting a little bit smarter together. They have done an amazing job delving in deeper into the mythology and addressing more about how threatening the royal families are. I think the fans are really going to like that. The first couple episodes back in particular are so grand in scope. There’s a ton of stunt doubles and background extras. It feels like a small movie. Norberto Barba, our director, did an amazing job. I really can’t wait for our fans to see it. I think they are really going to love it.
We’ve heard that Alexis Denisof is joining the show this season as a cousin of Captain Renard. Is he going to make an appearance right away?
BITSIE: He has something to do with the seven royal families, but he’s not in it right off the bat. He’s going to play a major recurring role, but we’ll be a few episodes in before he shows up.
And what about Adalind (Claire Coffee)? She’s been hanging out there long enough. She’s about due to come back to Portland.
BITSIE: I don’t know what I can say about her that I’m allowed to say. She’s integral to the story as well as only a hexenbiest can be.
Then what’s up with Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee)? We’ve heard he’s going to come face to face with a wesen. Is that going to rock his world and he’ll be joining the Scooby Squad, or will that just be a one time incident?
BITSIE: (Laughs) I’m not sure. I haven’t read that episode yet. But I can share that there’s a special Christmas episode which is called “The Twelve Days of Krampus.” It’s so awesome! We just started filming it and it is such a twisted take on Christmas. It’s one of the scariest episodes we’ve done.
With your new film “Parkland” coming out on October 4th, maybe you could talk about what drew you to the film and the role of Marilyn Sitzman?
BITSIE: The script was phenomenal. So that was why I was drawn to the project in the first place. It was Peter Landesman’s first feature film, who is a novelist and journalist. The script was one of the best scripts I had pretty much ever read. It was really beautifully written. It’s just interesting because its a movie about the JFK assassination. It’s not really about JFK or Jackie or Lee Harvey Oswald. It’s about all the secondary characters that were so important in their involvement as unwilling, inadvertent participants who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I play Marilyn Sitzman who was Abraham Zapruder’s secretary and she was super important because he had shown up to work that day without his videocamera and she made him go back and get it, and if she hadn’t done that, he wouldn’t have gotten that insane footage of the actual kill-shot. It’s interesting to me that it is so much focused about the secondary characters and how their lives totally changed in that split-second. It is obviously a historically important moment, all over the world it was a tense moment for everybody, but for the doctors at Parkland Memorial Hospital being tasked with saving the President and for Zapruder and Marilyn who were 20 yards away from JFK when he was shot. Then there was Robert Oswald, who was Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother. It was just all these people who ended up being so tragically involved in this story. I saw the film at the Toronto Film Festival and Peter just did a great job making a movie about a story where you know the outcome — JFK dies — but the movie is still very gripping. The way it was shot, edited and written, it still instills some hope that JFK’s going to pull through. So there’s a moment in the theater where you’re like, “Why am I — of course he’s not going to pull through.” I thought that was pretty impressive feat for Peter, as a director, to do a movie about the assassination where you’re sitting there watching the President dying on the operating table and still hoping he’ll pull through.
There was also quite an amazing cast on this project. What was it like working with them on the film?
BITSIE: Amazing! I was so nervous when I was flying to Texas to shoot it, especially since I worked with Paul Giamatti and Billy Bob Thornton exclusively, because there’s three separate storylines. The cast is amazing. There’s Jacki Weaver, Marsha Gay Harden, Jackie Earle Haley. I was super intimidated about work with Paul Giamatti. I think he’s such a tremendous actor, and the same for Billy Bob Thornton. The good thing about it is that once you’re in the scene and in the character, all of that stuff goes away. You’re not really you anymore. So the nerves went away pretty quickly. And they’re awesome. Paul and I remained friends. We were hanging out in Toronto. He’s so humble and so incredibly talented. It was an amazing experience.
Make a point of checking out “Parkland” in theaters near you and do not forget to tune in for the Season 3 premiere of GRIMM on Friday, October 25th at 9:00 p.m. on NBC. Just in time for Halloween, the zombie apocalypse cometh!
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