Grimm Postmortem: David Giuntoli on the Finale's "Crazy Aggro" Zombies
[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Grimm's Season 2 finale. Read at your own risk!]
Happy endings will have to wait until another season on Grimm.
On Tuesday's finale, the evil Baron Samedi (Reg E. Cathey) sprang his trap and unleashed his horde of zombies on the Grimm Nick (David Giuntoli), his girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), and pals Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner). Unfortunately, Samedi also spewed his Cracher-Mortel poison at Nick, causing him to fall into a death-like trance that will eventually resurrect him as a zombie. Poor Nick was then tossed into a coffin and given a false identity, to be shipped... somewhere. Thanks for another cliff-hanger season-ender, writers!
From The Originals to Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Check out all the new fall shows
TVGuide.com caught up with Giuntoli to get his take on zombies, coffins and more:
This episode was like your own mini zombie movie. How did you like running from a horde of people?
David Giuntoli: I had a visceral reaction to it because our zombies are full speed. They're not like lumbering and dragging their legs. They're sprinting, and one of the last scenes we shot, was Rosalee, Monroe, Juliette and Nick out amongst the containers and we realized it was a setup. And we had the dialogue as the zombies are running at us, sprinting full speed. We had to say all of these words before they got to us, but they were running so fast that it was panic. I love how they're full-speed and crazy aggro.
We got another cliff-hanger ending. Have you been clued into what's going to happen next season at all?
Giuntoli: I'm in the dark. There was talk of ... Europe next season. You know, Vienna. I, of course, love that, but I think what practically that would be like. It would be such a pain; finding new crew, the jet lag ... But I really have no idea. I imagine that I'll have to go through the whole zombie metamorphosis, but other than that, your guess is as good as mine.
Speaking of that, what was it like to put on that "dead" makeup and lie in the coffin? Was it disturbing?
Giuntoli: The hardest thing about the dead makeup is most definitely the eyes. We have to put in contacts that are kind of the size of a silver dollar. Thank God we have great lens techs because it would be a really uncomfortable experience if we didn't have the best people doing it. But the dead makeup is a cakewalk. Here's some powder. Done. And lying in the coffin, I was surprised how snug it was in there. I was cool with it. It didn't bug me in any way. I think a wooden coffin would be a little more disturbing.
The new fall TV schedule day-by-day
The Cracher-Mortel guy had a pretty nifty outfit with the top hat and all. Do you get a little wardrobe envy because Nick is fairly plain?
Giuntoli: The top hat is true to life for the Cracher-Mortel. It's an actual piece of voodoo folklore in voodoo or Haitian culture. There are famous depictions of this man, and he's wearing a top hat. They did not make that up. But I think if you're a guy who's trying to keep a low profile, a top hat is not a good idea. There was a character who was the Jinnamuru Xunte, the fly character. He drove a 1950s, cherry red Cadillac. And I always thought, "If you're going to commit crimes, just get a Taurus. You can blend in a little bit."
Nick had an epic fight with the Cracher-Mortel. How much of that was you? Any injuries?
Giuntoli: All of it was me, and it was shot again with Not-Me, the stunt guy Brian [Patrick Collins]. People think we're the same guy when we're standing next to each other. He's had people come up to him and like, "Thanks for the show, man. We love it." But I did the scene all very carefully with us because we of course had Russell [Hornsby], who was already on crutches, and they were scared to death of me [also getting injured].
Exactly how did Russell get injured in real life, inspiring Hank's parallel onscreen injury? Is it a sports injury?
Giuntoli: Well, he was viewing sports. He was watching the Super Bowl, and doing the little dance because his team, San Francisco, did something positive, and he was doing a little Russell Hornsby jig that tore his Achilles tendon. So we had to write a scene in where he was seated at the desk and we wheeled him out to do the episode because he couldn't walk. It was ridiculous. It was a scene that maybe felt a little off, it felt like a scene from Ally McBeal that was written in at the last second to try to get him out so he could have surgery.
Add new fall shows to your watchlist
Is there any significance to the name Thomas Schirach, the name on that blank passport that they assigned to "dead" Nick?
Giuntoli: We have this history buff named Jim Kouf — he's one of our creators — who's always reading about World War I and II. I believe he told me that these names were actual guys out of something called The Berlin Diary that was a last name from that book. All of these things are rooted in basically mid-20th century European history.
Poor Sgt. Wu! He seems to get injured a lot in really crazy ways. Is there any word about him finally getting in the loop about the whole Grimm and Wesen secret? It might save him some grief.
Giuntoli: Well, you know, when you have a man who won't even tell us what his first name is, it's hard to tell him that you're a Grimm. I feel there should be a give and take. There is fan speculation and cast speculation as to what Wu's first name is. And Reggie [Lee] knows, but he will not tell. He knows his character's full name. ... I like to think [his first name] rhymes with Wu. It will come out eventually. Maybe it'll be like when Wu has to sign a receipt and we'll see it. Hank and Nick next season, that should an ongoing prank, trying to get him to say his name. It's kind of like Pat on Saturday Night Live, trying to find out his/her gender.
Since this is usually such an action-y show, how was it playing all lovelorn for that Musai creature?
Giuntoli: That's kind of fun. That episode, "Kiss of the Muse," was so different. And I had to work for that a lot because how do you play it? It's a one-off. I had to create in my head in the week leading up to shooting, what exactly goes through my mind when I get kissed, and what levels I hit in various scenes. There was no in-point for that. I hadn't seen it done, so that took a lot of me just sitting around alone at bars just thinking about it. [Laughs]
Well, Nick's not as confused about Adalind (Claire Coffee). He hates her. But at this point, has he written her off as a threat?
Giuntoli: I think as far as I know, she's been snuffed. I Frenched-bled into her mouth. How great is that?
PHOTOS: Our favorite TV crime-solving duos
It was nice to see the spice shop set get used more this season. Is it distracting to be around all of that stuff all the time?
Giuntoli: Oh yeah, I'm used to some of the crazy bric-a-brac in the spice shop and the trailer ... but Bitsie was new to the spice shop. And famously, on set, she opened up one of these potions that were sitting around -- God knows what it was made of -- and she was about to put it to her lips as a joke, and Silas and Bree were like, "No! That's been there for years." So it when you're new to the set ... you're looking at everything and getting disgusted by things. There's a jar of what I think are probably sheep eyeballs with some lashes still on them. It's pretty gross!
Monroe mentions in the episode that there's no voodoo in Portland... except for Voodoo Doughnuts. Have you been? And what are your favorite things to order?
Giuntoli: I've been to Voodoo Doughnuts. Listen, they're tasty doughnuts, but it's kind of more about the experience and the novelty of some of the doughnuts they have. There's an X-rated doughnut that I think is really funny. It's very popular at bachelorette parties. That's all I'll say. At one point, I think there was a Nyquil jelly-like doughnut. I think the FDA put an end to that. But it was just so Portland the way they do this. It may as well be on the Portland flag, Voodoo Doughnuts; it's part of the culture.
If you were a kind of Wesen, what would you be?
Giuntoli: I'd probably be like the lonely horse. They run together sometimes, they're kind of wild. But you always see one standing alone in the corner of the chain-link fence and doesn't want to be around everybody else. And then, at the end of my life, I'll get turned into a glue stick. That's kind of how I am. I'm like the irritable saddle horse. "Oh, you don't want that one. He's a little shifty."
How did you like the Grimm finale? What do you want to see in Season 3?