David Giuntoli sat down to dish with the media about the very “Grimm” Christmas episode airing in a special double episode, mid-season finale. “12 Days of Krampus” plays on an old German myth about what happens to the naughty boys and girls who don’t get gifts from Santa, but instead, get kidnapped by Krampus and eaten. Plus a lump of coal thrown in for good measure, like being eaten isn’t bad enough.
“Krampus is pretty wild,” says Giuntoli, who plays Detective Nick Burkhardt on the series. “When I walked onto set and I saw the actor dressed … I mean first of all, we hired a gigantic guy to play this character. And then when I saw him as Santa with these horns, I actually had a visceral reaction to him. I was kind of frightened in a way. It was a disturbing thing…
“There’s an actual legend of Krampus out there, and we’ve had German people asking us to do Krampus over and over again, and we finally tipped our hat to the fine people of Bavaria and we’re bringing this legend to life. We ruin Christmas for everybody and it’s gory and it’s wonderful.”
But gore isn’t just for Christmas, as “Grimm” delves into the darker side of fairy tales all year round, twisting them into a more horrific direction. Something which Giuntoli embraces head on.
“We want to be that brand of creepy, and we love being a Friday night, you know, stay in and kind of freak out the kids kind of show. It’s what we love. And yet, oh my gosh, I see so many other shows popping up. Some more successful than others. Some better than others… When I’ll read about the next kind of fairy tale spin show or, you know, modern day blah-blah-blah show, I kind of — I have this little sense of pride… I didn’t create the show, but I do have a little sense of, ‘Oh, we’ve been doing this for years, you guys. Get on board.’”
Giuntoli’s character on the series isn’t just your ordinary, every day detective, but part of a long line of monster fighters known as Grimms. His ancestors created the fairy tales of the same name based on the creatures they fought and killed, which was revealed to him in the debut season of the show when the metaphorical torch was passed to him by his Aunt Marie. But instead of actively seeking out and killing the monsters — or “Wesen” as they are called — he has formed alliances with some of them. Having said that, some of them do very bad things and have to be killed, and when it comes to that, Giuntoli gets to play with a whole slew of fancy weaponry he inherited along with Aunt Marie’s trailer. And he gets a new toy: An arm band with a knife that shoots out of it.
“That was really cool,” says Giuntoli. “I mean that’s one of the first kind of practical (weapons) — you know, I’ve always been a huge fan of the crossbow. It’s so great for those little sexy director moments where they, like, pan up and then you see the eyes above the crossbow. I just think that seems so cool.
“But no, this weapon here would be my favorite. I can’t remember what it’s called right off the top of my head right now… But it’s rare that I get a weapon that actually has some type of functioning mechanism on it, and this was really cool.”
On “Grimm,” Detective Burkhardt’s relationship with his girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) has been strained at times, to put it mildly, but since revealing this world of Grimms and Wesen to her at the end of last season, things have been going smoothly — a little too smoothly, actually — but will they live happily ever after?
“Oh, there’s no way we’re going to live happily ever after. I mean, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but if there is a relationship, it is the job of the writers of America to tear it apart, at least temporarily, you know. So I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can guarantee you there’s going to be something thrown into the works here. I just don’t know what that is yet.”
As for other developments the rest of the season, expect the Portland-based series to go global.
“You know, there’s going to be a big plot line that’s going on in Europe. I — Nick — is not too involved with it, at least through mid-season, though I know that’s going to start changing soon,” says Giuntoli. “We’ll be doing quite a bit abroad. The passports have all been stamped, so we’re overseas quite a bit.”
“Grimm” airs Friday nights on NBC.
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