Sitting Under the Lemon Tree with David Giuntoli…

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Yes,  you read that right – yesterday’s media conference call with Grimm lead David Giuntoli took place while he was sitting under a lemon tree in Los Angeles. You thought I meant that I was sitting under that lovely tree with the gorgeous actor, didn’t you? That would have been fun especially after you read the Q & A which took place in which Giuntoli spoiled a few Grimm scenes that are coming up. Some just may be in tonight’s episode, Endangered.

David Giuntoli: I’m seated in a – underneath a lemon tree in Los Angeles, California.
Question: Will you all be back in Portland again to shoot season three?
David Giuntoli: Of course we will be. I mean unless there’s some major plans that no one knows about yet we’ll all be back in Portland for season three — probably in mid-July — just after the best part of the year.
Q: Well that’s good news. And how do you feel about the season three pick up and the move to Tuesday night?
David Giuntoli: I think it’s all very exciting. I think that NBC is showing a lot of faith in Grimm by moving us to Tuesday nights. I think actually what they wanted to do was hopefully The Voice can start getting some of our followers. I know that show’s been struggling.
So – no we’re very excited to expose Grimm to an entirely new audience and, you know, scare and befuddle the whole new segment of the population.
Q: Grimm has so many elements to it — drama, action, romance, you know, fantasy, you know, everything. Are there any of these that you enjoy performing in the most or do you appreciate the variety overall?
David Giuntoli: Well I do appreciate the variety. Though I will say it is a dark show, and I really love when we get – squeeze in some more comedic elements. And every now and then we’ll have a more comedic episode — one of which would have aired maybe three weeks ago. We had a Ziegevolk lawyer charming the entire jury. And Rosalee was on the jury. And Sergeant Wu was testifying, and he changed his testimony. There were a lot of many great comedic moments in that. So I’d say the comedy is something I like squeezing in there.
Q: Nick was temporarily blinded in the recent “Mr. Sandman” episode. I was wondering if you could share what acting without sight was like.
David Giuntoli: Well I could see. I had prosthetics in my eyes. I had lenses in my eyes. That was crazy. But I could see through them. It was – I’d say really fun. It was fun finding new ways to make that work — to sell especially fighting without seeing. And I was pretty happy with how it turned out. So all in all I was very pleased with the challenge of acting without sight. And I was very happy to get those contacts out of my eyes.
Q: If you told fans at the start of the season that, you know, we’d be this far into the season and Nick and Juliette would be apart and Nick and Renard would be working together so closely, I think they’d be pretty surprised. I’m wondering if that surprised you and what you think of, you know, the state of these relationships.
David Giuntoli: That’s a good question. It does not – nothing really surprises me on Grimm. Our writers are not afraid to go anywhere. So nothing really surprises me. I want to speak especially to the relationship between the Captain and Nick. I wanted to make sure that even though we are working together I’m not too easy with him. I wouldn’t call it a friendship. I wouldn’t call us pals. I wouldn’t – we wouldn’t go out and eat together. I think we more or less have a common enemy.
I always like to think – when I’m working with the captain I always think about that picture from World War II where like Stalin and FDR were sitting next to each other with Churchill. You know, like how did Stalin get there? But they just had a common enemy. And so we’re working, you know, tentatively together. He did after all try to kill my aunt.
So as far as Juliette goes, you know, I think we’re going to be seeing us kind of patching things up — turning things around a bit. And I’m sure that in Grimm fashion they’ll find some way to make that as difficult as humanly possible.
Q: There’s been so many other, you know, sort of Sci-fi action adventure shows that have struggled — that have not made it in recent years. Why do you think your show has worked when maybe some of the others haven’t?
David Giuntoli: I think we have – listen it – a successful television show is a mystery how to make it. But there has to be certain components. We have writers and creators who are seasoned and excited, and that’s a really great combination. They know what they’re doing. They have found the sweet spot. David Greenwalt, you know, has this gallows humor about him as does Jim Kouf — our two main writers, executive producers. And they balance story well with a lot of darkness and a little bit of levity. And, you know, there’s some very lovable characters. And that’s what it takes. They just know their stuff.
Q: Have you gotten any hints from David or Jim about kind of Nick’s heightened abilities. Have you gotten any intel on what that’s going to mean for the character in the coming season.
David Giuntoli: I have not received any nuggets of what’s to come as far as Nick’s supernatural powers. At the end of season one I did get some info that they wanted me to – they wanted to turn me more into a hero with
supernatural abilities. But I did not ask what they were. And I just kind of found out a month before the viewer did.
I would imagine going forward we’re going to revisit some of what we kind of teased with my super human hearing and ability to fight fruit with a bat.
Q: Awesome. And then working off of the Nick and Juliette tip, there’s going to be a point where he doesn’t want to wait for Juliette anymore. Or is he just kind of going to wait for her forever? What’s your take on that?
David Giuntoli: I certainly hope he wouldn’t wait forever. I am personally more shocked at the point that she would be interested in me after all I have don – I mean truly cowardly moves on my part as far as Juliette’s relationship is concerned. I wouldn’t tell her about any of this after she’d lost her mind, went into a coma, just really struggling with memory loss and like what is happening to her — going, you know, crazy. And I’m still sitting back like, “I don’t want to tell her. What if she leaves me?”
 GRIMM -- "Kiss of the Muse" Episode 220
So I hope we have to talk about things in a real way before we get back together. You know, I think Nick’s a guy who knows what he’s done to her and would probably do anything to get her back. So I think he’d wait for a long time.
Q:  What about Adalind’s baby? Will Nick’s mom will return? Is there anything you could tell us?
David Giuntoli: All three of which are very much on the table. There – you could definitely see a Nick and Juliette reunion. And again, in Grimm fashion they love tearing people apart and bringing them back together and who knows how hard they’re going to make that for Nick and Juliette.
What you will be seeing that I haven’t spoken about yet is a lot of – we deal with the undead in a way that’s really never been dealt – in a way that it’s never been approached before — in very typical Grimm fashion. So zombies quote unquote will be coming to Portland. And I would also say the cliff hanger of this season is — I don’t know how the writers are going to get themselves out of this corner that they’ve painted themselves into — one of the cast may not live through the finale.
Q: Do you guys find like you’re more settled into your characters season from say last season knowing that you have a long run ahead of you?
David Giuntoli: Yes, you know, I speak with other people who have been on shows that have lasted for several years, and there is a typical psychological arc that takes place or phases that you go through the first season. You’re really concerned with the acting. You don’t quite know what the show is in the beginning and so that forms underneath you. And it’s – everybody’s kind of starts to gel together by the end of the first season and the second season. But there’s always an energy of – it’s being spent on just wondering how long this will last. And you’re whole – and your personal life — am I going to live in Portland, for how long.
And now it’s to a point where we kind of know we’ll be there for a while. So it’s very comfortable. And there’s a lot more room to play with the characters, because a lot less anxiety is involved in our actual lives.
Q: Do you have a favorite scene or storyline in the episodes that is going to be coming our way in this last month?
David Giuntoli: I mean, something about season two that I’ve really loved and going into season three that, you know, I’m going to continue to love is more and more of the main characters are in the know so to speak….which means that certain characters can interact that wouldn’t have during much of season two, all of season one. And it brings a fresh, lovely dynamic to scenes where I’ll be in a room with say, you know like a completely new group of actors and watching them interact. And there’s comedy to be found in it when someone is learning the ropes of the Grimm world for the first time.
I really enjoy those scenes where we all get to spend the whole day together. I really do enjoy the moment of levity in the dark world of Grimm. And there was a scene in particular that played in the “Volcanalis” episode where Russell Hornsby’s character Hank went on vacation. It was so – it was almost out of another show like an Ally McBeal episode.
But it was very fun. It was fun. And here’s a fun bit of info. That episode – that scene was written in reaction to Russell in real life snapping his Achilles tendon. So he can walk we had to somehow keep him in a chair and get him off of the show for two episodes so he can get surgery. So this is kind of some of the behind the scenes info that I always find very interesting. Russell tore his Achilles tendon while watching the Super Bowl — literally. And sober as a judge.
GRIMM -- "Nameless" Episode 216
Q: So he’s going to be out of the next episode as well then?
David Giuntoli: Two episodes and then he’ll come back.
Q: Did that cause a problem with the story line at all?
David Giuntoli: No problem really. We just a couple of things had to be tweaked. I’ll do a little more working with Wu, with Sergeant Wu, which was really fun and a pleasure to get to work so much with Reggie Lee. He is just a phenomenal actor. So it shook things up for a little while. But I think it was fresh and really wonderful. And Russell I think is fully repaired at this point.
Q: So my first question is what other character if you weren’t playing Nick would you like to play?
David Giuntoli: Oh, boy. Someone with like a glandular problem, because I want to eat whatever I want to eat. I want to get, you know – I just want to be a slob. I would – you mean what character on Grimm?
Q: On Grimm, yes.
David Giuntoli: Oh, my gosh. I can’t say Juliette because that’d mean I want to kiss myself. That’s a whole other kind of show. I would say – boy I mean Monroe would be fun, but I wouldn’t even want to try that. Because I mean he’s mastered that whole thing. Some – yes, either Monroe or Wu.
Q: Great, now my other question is it seems really interesting and it’s great that you’re focused so much on Portland in this show but surely there have to be other Grimms out there. And we know obviously Nick’s mom. But are we going to see or hear anything about Grimms in the rest of the country, the rest of the world?
David Giuntoli: Honestly, not as of yet that I know of. That – you would think that does have to do become a storyline at some point, or are there only a couple Grimms left and they’re just a lot of little Santa’s little helpers out there who are Grimm-like. I don’t quite know. The only Grimm that they really currently want to deal with is me. Because they know that I have one of the keys. Whereas you know as far as the Royals are concerned they know I have one of the keys. And that’s why they even care about me at all. So who knows? That’s a good question.
Q: Looking at season two have you found any new acting, or do you find I should say any new acting challenges with playing the Nick character? And how did you see Nick sort of grow and develop in season two also?
David Giuntoli: Yes, season two I wanted – Nick was written as a little more accepting of his role. In a way Nick went through the stages of grief of finding out that he was a Grimm and the loss that that would entail with Juliette, revisiting why his family is no longer with him. You know, a lot of lies had happened in his life systematically, and he found out about it all kind of at once.
So he was denial, anger toward it, befuddlement, you know. And finally I think he’s kind of accepted it, and throughout season two he’s owning it now. So it’s more fun to play — as far as I’m concerned — a very confident guy who’s coming into his own and becoming more of a — I’d say — force to be reckoned with in the Wesen world. So it’s been really fun to play that.
Q: I love the Nick and Monroe relationship, and I love the fact that they’ve become roomies this year. And it’s just – the chemistry between you and Silas on the screen is just great. And just in general can you talk a little bit about that relationship, how you’ve seen that develop – further develop this season? And what maybe you enjoyed most about that relationship.
David Giuntoli: I think Silas put it best. He said, “everybody has seen the cop and partner relationship, the detective and his wife or girlfriend relationship, the detective — you know, there are a lot of dynamics that have been played out and some really well and some not so good.
But in our show we have the detective and this thing which is Monroe. It’s a totally different thing. And it’s been such a pleasure to work with Silas and have this wonderful dynamic that plays out on screen. The writers have done a very good job with that.
As far as the relationship and how it’s grown, I’d say we were always reluctant. We allied in the first season. But he could always turn into a creature, and I could always behead him. And this season we are more, I’ll just say friends. You know, he’s housing me in his attic for God’s sake. And I love the relationship he has now with Bree Turner — Rosalee.
And I think I believe in this next episode there’s a very — that airs tomorrow night — funny scene where I perhaps walk in on a moment I shouldn’t have walked in on. So that’s fun to play with.
Q: How did Wessens recognize you as a Grimm? What’s a Grimm face look like to them?
David Giuntoli: It looks like my face believe it or not. Truly. They don’t see anything aside – from they are not used to having their emotions in check. Because human beings – non- Grimm human beings cannot see them. And then when they see someone reacting to this or they sense someone knowing what they’re going through and watching them change, they’re on to me.
And they’ve learned from a young age through their storybooks about Grimms and how evil we are and, you know, almost like we’re this supernatural thing that may or may not exist. They’ve been told by their family, their parents, and their grandparents about us. So when that actually see them it’s like they’re seeing a ghost, but not literally. But they can’t believe that one actually really exists.
Q: I think you hinted about Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio coming back as your mother Kelly. I wondered when that was going to happen, because she still has those coins. And she faked going into the station. So she’s been hanging around Portland a long time. What’s she up to?
GRIMM -- "The Kiss" Episode 202
David Giuntoli: Well I think she stole a car at the station. And I think she was just pretending – in my head when I saw that –which was a great scene…she just didn’t have a train ticket because she’s like why when I can just steal this car and go. And I believe in the coming episode on Tuesday (April 30) — unless I’m wrong and it was in another episode — we’ll – there’s communication with her. And I believe that that is tomorrow night if I’m not mistaken.
Q: I was just on Facebook and they had a little ad here for tomorrow night that said, “What is a Grimm?” Is that going to be answered tomorrow?
David Giuntoli: What is a Grimm, is that going to be answered tomorrow. I think we learn a little bit more about what a Grimm is every couple of episodes. I don’t think this episode coming up – first of all forgive me. I know what’s happening on our show. I just don’t know when it gets billed out. You know what I mean? I usually don’t watch it on Friday nights. I usually watch it well before that. But certain storylines I know exactly what happens I just don’t know in which episodes what happens in that storyline.
So I don’t know if it’s tomorrow, but we do – the Captain will be giving me a stern captain-esque lecture as to my – a little bit about my history and the Royals and why they want me and me in particular.
In this coming episode I believe we’re going to be seeing – I know we’re going to be seeing something very paranormal – I want to say almost X-Filesy that is not a standard Grimms fairytale and almost like we’re dealing what people on the Earth think are aliens. But we tell you what they really are — the real explanation for them.
NiceGirlsTV: Which Grimm story has not yet been told that you are really pulling for that the writers tackle next season?
David Giuntoli: The sausage and the fork go to town. No, I actually don’t know. I feel like we’ve hit all the classics. And every time I see a new Grimm’s fairytale I’m almost learning about it as we go through the season. What I do really enjoy now about our show is the fact that we’re kind of straying from the Grimms fairytales. And remember in the lore of our show — in the world of Grimm — there are only Grimm’s fairytales because they’ve been written about in a book. Now certain things that have not yet been explained maybe they just haven’t been written down yet. So I get to add to that book. And thus a phenomenon or a phenomena that is here to for unexplained gets written down in the Grimms fairytales, and it becomes a legend for kids to learn about forever. Was that the most confusing sentence that’s ever spoken?
NiceGirlsTV: No, I get it. I did understand it. 
David Giuntoli: In other words, we’re borrowing from a lot of lore that’s even outside the standard Grimm’s fairytales. And we are adding it to those Grimm’s fairytales.
NiceGirlsTV: You are also – you’ve also been voted our Nice Boy of the Week this week. So I wanted to ask you what is the nicest thing a fan has ever done for you?
David Giuntoli: Well I mean they’ve affirmed me over and over and over again all the time, which is lovely. But what is the nicest thing? Well a really great thing a young man did for me – I met him at I believe Comi-Con. And he read somewhere – he said I always use like ChapStick. And I didn’t have any that day. And he got a brand new package for me and gave it to me. Because I’m addicted to Burt’s Bees ChapStick. And it was very kind.
I’m sure there’ve been so – I mean there’ve been so many things that people have done and said and written. And I love it all. But that moment kind of sticks out. Because I was in such need of it. And he happened to have it and
give me this gift.
Q: Can you just give us a – I guess a little more depth of some broad strokes about some of the plot lines for the remainder of this season?
David Giuntoli: Absolutely. Nick and Juliette start patching things up. And it’s looking very hopeful for us come the end of the season.
GRIMM -- "Ring of Fire" Episode 218
Two, a level 10 — as I like to call it — wesen comes to Portland who is pulling the strings controlling a lot of other  types of wesen. We can call them the undead. And he has an army of people under his control that wreak havoc.
And this is a longer story arc. We’ll be visited by an actor named Reg E. — the initial E — Cathey. He’s a wonderful actor who’s just been in House of Cards, and he’s been in everything. And he’s great. And he plays this kind of powerful wesen that we will be introduced to in the next couple of episodes.
The Royals get closer and closer to me. They come to Portland, and they want the key. And I learn much more about why it is they want the key. The captain and I start working together.
Let’s see. Zombies are entering Portland. And also as far as Adalind goes – the Adalind storyline is insane. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
Q: Looking forward to season three what would you like to see happen with your character — both  professionally and personally?
David Giuntoli: Well I’d like to see some resolve — some real closer — to the Juliette storyline, some, you know, – I love working with Bitsie Tulloch and, you know, it’d be nice to be just a couple again.
I want to get Sergeant Wu into the fray of the knowing. That would be really fun to work with him in the way that now Russell, Hank, and I can work together and Bree and Silas and the Captain. I would love to get Sergeant Wu into the fray.
Q: Okay, and looking back now that you’ve completed two seasons what has this whole experience meant for you as an actor?
David Giuntoli: Oh, gosh. I look back at the beginning of season one, and I’m like who is that kid, that supple little kid. It has been just an absolute gift to me and a blessing. And I’ve learned so much. I feel like I get paid to learn every day.
And I’ve become very good friends with a lot of my cast. And, you know, we live in Portland together. And they’re my group now. It’s been so lovely. And there’s the producers and the writers and my bosses are also giving. They leave us alone. They give support. You never feel, you know, criticized. It’s a very healthy place to be. So I’m very grateful.
Q: Nick deals with a lot of gruesome scenes and gruesome things. Have any of those scenes every stayed with you?
David Giuntoli: Oh God. I – yes. The horribly gross scenes. One of which when Monroe gouges out the eye of a fly person. I believe the person’s name was David Jinnamuru Xunte, which sounds like someone who’d be touring with Erykah Badu. But it’s the fly person. That scene stays with me. That was hideous.
Another scene that stayed with me was the season one episode maybe five where the rats are. And I remember just before we even shot I was on set and I walked by this car in a parking lot that I didn’t know had a corpse with rats pouring out of his mouth — into his stomach out of his mouth. That ruined me for a good , oh, 90 days. I couldn’t handle. It was so gross.
Q: So, how do people react to you know when they see you now that you’re playing this sexy action hero?
David Giuntoli: Sexy action hero. That’s funny. I guess – I don’t know. I definitely notice people looking at me a lot. In Portland and certain towns that are not L.A., I get approached quite a bit, and it’s lovely. I love it. Because all of us actors have the saddest little frail egos, and we need to be inflated constantly and flirt with narcissism. So that’s nice.
Q: Well along those lines are we going to be getting more shirtless scenes?
David Giuntoli: That depends how I’ve been eating. I think there will be some more of those. I’m seeing they’re training me really hardcore — pretty heavily — this summer in preparation for season three. So I just got back from my trainer in fact. So if it gets to that point if I don’t think America will cringe and turn off their televisions then there will be more of that.
Q: What’s your favorite weapon that you’ve used, or what weapon are you looking forward to using?
Grimm - Season 2
David Giuntoli: Sexist T.V. weapon has to be the cross bow. It’s just so cool. They do those shots that kind of pan up on the crossbow and then the eyes go right above it. But Nick really loves the – I believe it’s pronounced (conobo) or (conabo), which is just a basically a baseball bat with spikes on it — nothing too technically fancy. But he loves it.
Q: I want to know on the show Nick really never gets a lot of down time. So what do you think he would do if he actually had some time to himself? Do you think he would play video games or, you know, what kind of shows would he watch? And what do you do during the down time of the show in between takes and such?
David Giuntoli: That’s a very good question. I think Nick’s a Palm Springs kind of guy. He wants to get down there with a group of friends. I think he probably drinks canned beer and wine. He’s nothing too sophisticated though. Now with Monroe introducing me to a whole other world of foods and wines maybe I’m enjoying the finer things.
But he needs some sun. So I’d say like Palm Springs, Hawaii, Mexico. It’s all kind of west coast.
Let’s see what else he does. In the real downtime between sets, between takes, I mean it’s just – you would get so annoyed with us. It’s hijinks really. We laugh all of the time, talk, I mean ongoing jokes, play games that you’d play in like long car rides when you were a kid.
One game we play is dictionary which is – this is Silas’ game of course. You just go into your dictionary app on your phone, find a word that’s pretty hard that you probably know it, and you tell another person the first letter of the word, the part of speech, and the first definition. And that person has to figure out what that word is — makes you smarter.
Q: Do you see a Grimm video game being a possibility in the future? And would you be up for working on something like that if it was?
David Giuntoli: I would be completely up with that. That is what I like to think of as a revenue stream for me. But I don’t know if a video game is in the works. I have some very good friends who have voices on video games. A good friend of mine who’s on the show Being Human — Sam Witwer — is a voice for someone in one of the Star Wars video games. I think like the main dude. And he loved it. So I would love to get into more voice acting.
Q: Well how did you mind working on the episode “Nameless” which was about video game Black Forest 2? Did you find that episode fun?
David Giuntoli: I enjoyed the episode “Nameless”. I thought it was really smart. It was written by a really smart girl, and I thought it was such a kind of, you know, a current thing that we’re been dealing with.
Q: Do you actually play any video games in real life, or do you actually have any time to?
David Giuntoli: I was a good Call – I mean I do have time, but I don’t now on set because I’m so busy. But most recently I was a big Call of Duty guy. That’s the last video game I really got into. It’s been a couple of years now.
Q: You were talking about sort of getting used to, you know, living part of your life in Portland. I’m just wondering how you’ve adapted to doing that. And whether you have some kind of rituals that you’ve settled into when you’re here.
David Giuntoli: I purchased a seasonal effective disorder lamp. I really did. Though I didn’t need it this year. And I don’t know if that’s because I’ve adapted to the rain or because the winter was so mild. But I don’t really notice the rain as much as I used to. I guess that’s probably a typical thing that Portlanders go through.
I adapted – I’ve become a absolute food snob, coffee snob — absolute coffee snob. I brought Stumptown coffee home with me so I could make it here and not have to suffer the inferior coffee shops of Los Angeles.
We all kind of settled in the Pearl originally. And now people are kind of – I’m thinking about purchasing a home there. You know, people are kind of spreading out and settling down a little bit. And I think that also comes with knowing that we’re getting a season three and if we get a season three then we’ll probably get a four. So, you know, that security of knowing where we’re going to be in a couple of years.
I’ve become a – out of nowhere I’ve become a basketball fan because of the Blazers. And the tickets I get to those things I get to sit on the courtside, which is amazing. So I’m a big fan. So these are all adaptations that have been slowly happening.
Q: And just one last question. There’s, you know, – those of us that live here recognize a lot of Portland actors who appear on Grimm. And I was just curious what’s – what you think of some of the actors, you know, who are Portland based actors that you’ve worked with on the show.
David Giuntoli: I wish I could remember all of their names just right off the top of my head. Portland has such a – I can remember a lot of them. But I don’t want to forget some. Portland has a great theater community. I’ve talked to a lot of these actors about why. Possibly because it’s raining so much that it’s nice to get into the theater. And people are willing to kind of sit through longer form entertainment than they might not be willing to do in some other cities.
Portland — and Seattle too — both have great actors, and it has been really lovely to work with these men and women who working in T.V. is just – sweetens the pot a little bit. And but their heart is in theater. And they’re always emailing me and texting me. I’ll give them my info (unintelligible) going on about – they’ll tell me what shows are going on. I just had one guy named (Jonah Westin) tell about this one man show he was doing I think like on the roof of some venue in Portland but I was of course in L.A. It’s great to meet these guys and girls.
Don’t forget to tune in for tonight’s episode of Grimm, on its new day and time, on NBC.

Liz is a wife and mother of three from the Nashville area who likes being able to discuss her favorite TV shows with adults sometimes. She is addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse novels and was a huge fan of the HBO series based on the books, True Blood. Her other favorite shows include Chuck, Grimm, Pretty Little Liars, Blindspot, Heroes Reborn, The Goldbergs, Sleepy Hollow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, just to name a few. Contact her at