It’s Christmas “Grimm” style with two episodes airing back-to-back on Friday, the 13th — “Cold Blooded,” followed by “Twelve Days of Krampus” — and the latter features a version of a Santa Claus with horns that no one would like to see come down their chimney.
“We just ruin Christmas for everybody,” says David Giuntoli, who plays Nick. “There’s an actual legend of Krampus out there. 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. It’s gory and it’s wonderful.”
It all begins with the “Cold Blooded” episode in which a century-old urban legend takes shape in Portland’s sewers and becomes Nick’s latest case. Then in Europe, Adalind (Claire Coffee) meets Prince Viktor (guest star Alexis Denisof), who’s come to bring those responsible for his cousin Eric’s demise to justice. And Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) responds to the recent attempt on his life.
Then, in “Twelve Days of Krampus,” after a string of delinquent teens go missing, an old Wesen tale of an evil Santa, who brings more than just a lump of coal may be the prime suspect.
warptown.com had the chance to chat with Giuntoli about the two episodes, which mark the mid-season finale for “Grimm” and get the inside scoop on going down into the sewers of Portland, his new “Grimm” weapon, what’s up with the Royals and Adalind and much more!
The first part of the finale — “Cold Blooded”– is about alligators in the sewers, which plays on the childhood fear of some people. Is there something like that growing up that you were afraid of?
I get this question so much. I was afraid of ghosts. I couldn’t handle the thought of them and I felt constantly watched. It was like the worst thing in the world. But no, I didn’t have the fear of creatures coming in through the toilet.
Did you actually do some shooting in the sewers for “Cold Blooded“?
Yes, we did actually. We did some trickery of course. We went into an actual sewer in Portland and then we shot on a sound stage that we built.
The set looked awesome.
Yes. That episode’s going to look great. I think everything’s getting better and better all the time. We’re very lucky to be on the air as long as we are. Any show that’s on the air is lucky to be on the air, and you’ve got to really find how to do it and constantly improve. It’s been fun and I think the season’s better than ever.
For the “Cold Blooded” episode, you pulled out yet another new weapon from your arsenal. Is there one in particular that you really loved playing with?
That’s the one that had the knife that shot out of it, right? That was really cool. I’ve always been a huge fan of the crossbow. It’s so great for those little, sexy director moments where they [pan] up and then you see the eyes above the crossbow. I just think that’s 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. I feel ashamed. But it’s rare that I get a weapon that actually has some type of functioning mechanism on it, and this was really cool.
What was Krampus like?
Krampus is pretty wild. When I walked onto set and I saw the actor dressed — 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 frightened in a way. It was a disturbing thing.
What is the hardest thing that Nick has had to deal with in this series?
The creatures get more difficult and more difficult to deal with. I’m trying to think of what the strongest creature would be. Our show’s much like Mario Brothers. With every level, they just get stronger, and stronger, and stronger, so, obviously, Season 3, I’m dealing with some over-the-top, resilient, ruthless Wesen.
I think some of the grossest things I’ve seen are the corpse when they’re all set and bloodied. I remember in Season 1, the craziest thing I ever saw was walking on the set and seeing a body in a car being eaten alive from the inside by live rats. The rats were pouring out of the mouth of this dummy and it was awful. And my colleague Russell Hornsby ran away like a scared, little boy.
I think the most difficult thing for me was the initial discovery that I was a Grimm and that this whole other world was out there. It’s something we play on in the series a lot. Whenever anybody else finds out, who’s not ready to find out about the world of Grimm, it’s very delicate because mental institutions are lined with people who weren’t ready to see something, and they did.
So that’s the most difficult part, I think, emotionally of the season — or of the whole show — was finding out that I was a Grimm. And then Hank had to find that out. Then later on in the season, maybe someone else is going to find that out. But you think you’re going crazy, and that’s the most difficult thing for the character to deal with.
Nick went through a big change at the beginning of the season with becoming a zombie, are we going to get more of that after the break?
Oh, yes. Yes. We’re going to be playing on this one for a little while. It’s funny. Every time Nick gets harmed, he’s left with this useful side effect. We’re going to definitely be seeing more of that after the break.
There’s been a lot happening with the Royals and Adalind so far this season. As you move into the second half of the season, is there one person that’s going to emerge as the villain?
The writers have done a very good job of what I like to call the slow reveal. I would say coming towards the mid-season, we still have probably two or three contenders for the villain. We have a new character that emerges, who is one of the, I’d say, two villains, but we have a new character who is one of the greater villains that we’re going to have on the show. But, I still place the Captain as a possible villain, and definitely Adalind as a villain. Then there’s one more guy who’s showing up here soon.
Can you tease a bit more about what’s ahead in the European side of the story?
There’s going to be a big plot line that’s going on in Europe. Nick is not too involved with it, at least through mid-season, though I know that’s going to start changing soon. We have the Verrat [a powerful Wesen organization] and we have the Royals. These are all bad guys. The Verrat I see as kind of the SS, and the Royals, such as Captain Renard, and his cousin Viktor, will be having a major conflict overseas. His cousin wants to get access to me. And, he comes very close very soon. And then we have the resistance. A group of rag-tag people trying to overthrow the Royals. So, we’ll be meeting some new characters overseas. Also, keep an eye on Adalind.
Your relationship with Julia has had so many rocky problems in the first two seasons, and it seems to be going maybe a little too smoothly this season, except for the whole zombie thing. Are we about to see some more problems between you guys, or are you guys going to live happily ever after?
There’s no way we’re going to live happily ever after. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but if there is a relationship, it is the job of the writers to tear it apart — at least temporarily. 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.
Earlier in the season when Nick was starting to deal with the aftermath of the zombie period, Captain Renard made a very interesting statement when he asked if you had a bigger problem killing a human versus killing a Wesen. Is that going to ever come up again? Are you aware of it?
Yes, it will. It will come up again. It’s a very good point that somehow Nick never really thought of, but it will come up again. It’ll be a theme that is addressed.
This season we’re starting to see increasing tension between Rosalee and Monroe concerning loyalty to Nick. Are we going to see Nick eventually lose two members of his support team?
You’ll see some wavering, I’ll say that. I don’t want to say I lose them altogether. But things are starting to get questioned. Is Nick using Monroe? I just shot an episode where that’s the central theme,. There’s a big falling out between Monroe and Nick. Am I using Monroe? And in the episode that’s what I ask. I’m sitting with Juliet. I’m like, “I don’t know. He’s right. I think he’s right.” So I think it’s cool that this stuff’s coming to the surface in Season 3.
Join “Grimm” for its two-hour fall finale with back-to-back episodes starting at 9/8c this Friday the 13. Then it returns with new episodes on January 3.