'Grimm' Exclusive Interview: David Giuntoli Talks About the Show and His Fear of Oompa Loompas
'Grimm' Exclusive Interview: David Giuntoli Talks About the Show and His Fear of Oompa Loompas
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to visit the set of NBC's new fairy-tale procedural, Grimm. In addition to touring the various sets and watching filming of a scene involving a ridiculous number of rats (think "Pied Piper" for an explanation), I chatted with the show's star, David Giuntoli, about Grimm. His responses were entertaining, to say the least.

Click here to watch the first 23 minutes of Grimm right now!

What can you tell us about your character?
David Giuntoli: Well, my character's Nick Burkhardt. And he discovers that he's, you know, that he's of this like crazy line of Grimms who can see monsters and has to protect... He's shouldered with the burden of protecting himself and his fiancee and everybody from these monsters.

How does a typical episode of Grimm go?
David Giuntoli: Well, the pilot I lived in an almost perpetual state of shock, you know. And since then, it kind of, I have like normal life things happening to me. Basically, an episode goes like this: There's a crime, a terrible crime, a hideously-disfigured victim, and my senses start to suss out whether this crime has anything to do with these new beasts that I've learned live. And I usually do find out that something like that is going on. And I have to find a way to solve the crime without showing that I've seen this thing.

And I learn mythology along the way, and I have people helping me, I have Monroe [Silas Weir Mitchell] helping me. But I'm keeping the secret from Juliette [Bitsie Tulloch] and Hank [Russell Hornsby].

So speaking of mythology, what has been your favorite favorite fairy tale from the show?
David Giuntoli: My favorite fairy tale... There was one called "Three Bad Wolves," I think. And there was a lot of stuff going on. We had like a pig-man and a wolf-person -- they all have German names -- and they were enemies, and I had to keep them from killing each other. That would be my favorite.

It's fun learning about these stories. I've never heard it before.

Did you have a favorite fairy tale before you started this?
David Giuntoli: No... I mean, I knew what everybody knew. I knew like the... I'm 30. I'm 31 now. You know, I'm not reading them much anymore. But what did I like when I was a kid? You know, I was only familiar with like "Red Riding Hood," "Three Silly Little Bears..." What are they called? Three...

David Giuntoli: "Goldilocks and the Three Bears!" The silly little bears... [laughing] No, I didn't really have a favorite, necessarily. I'm such a terrible interview. I'm so sorry.

What would be an attraction for people to watch the show?
David Giuntoli: It's such a fun, fantasy show. You're shocked. There's a lot of gore. There's a lot of humor happening. There's a lot of things jumping out of the darkness. But the best thing about it is that it's a procedural, in that there's a result at the end of every show. And there's just a lot of fun along the way that's unlike your standard procedural show.

Your character is a "Grimm." Are we going to be meeting other ones?
David Giuntoli: I hope so! All I know so far is I'm the only one. I'm always kind of, as I'm solving these crimes and seeing these monsters, I kind of want to ask them, "So, what else do you know?" Like, I'm trying to get knowledge wherever I possibly can, as quickly as possible. And I have very few resources to do that.

What scares you?
David Giuntoli: Man, I'll tell you what scares me. As a kid, The Exorcist. I should never have watched The Exorcist when I was a kid...

Probably not as a kid...
David Giuntoli: The Exorcist, The Shining... Do you know what else scared me? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

That's a terrifying movie.
David Giuntoli: It's horrifying! There are adult themes going on that I didn't understand there. Like sloth and, you know, gluttony. And the Oompa Loompas scared the hell out of me.

They're terrifying.
David Giuntoli: They are, aren't they?

I agree with you completely. They're little, scary monsters.
David Giuntoli: I went as an Oompa Loompa two Halloweens in my life. I kind of mastered the dance with a couple of friends of mine.

That's also kind of scary.
David Giuntoli: It was, it was. It didn't win any favors with the ladies, I'll tell you that.

Oompa Loompa costumes rarely do.
David Giuntoli: Do you know what scared me to death as a kid that no one even remembers this movie, maybe you do... Darby O'Gill and the Little People! Do you remember this?!

David Giuntoli: There's a banshee!

Yeah, that was weird...
David Giuntoli: Nobody else remembers seeing this thing.

I remember seeing that movie.
David Giuntoli: That horrifying movie. Absolutely horrifying. It was a weird, like '60s, Disney movie, where they were incorporating this new type of animation in with actual people.

[Note to BuddyTV readers who have indeed forgotten this movie: It stars a pre-James Bond Sean Connery, features leprechauns, and was released in 1959. Of course it was scary.]  

I'm only vaguely remembering it, because I think I saw it when I was about 8... But what little I remember, that was a creepy movie.
David Giuntoli: Oh, it was terrifying. Darby O'Gill and the Little People scared the hell out of me when I was a little kid.

So you don't want any leprechauns or any characters like that on Grimm?
David Giuntoli: It's kind of more ghosts. Ghosts scare me. I kind of don't believe in ghosts, they still... The idea of ghost movies scared, terrified me. The Exorcist movies, because I was raised really Catholic, and that like doubly resonated with me, and I'm like "ahhh!"

Getting back to Grimm, what would you compare this show to?
David Giuntoli: Buffy the Vampire Slayer's similar. Except we're not as... I mean, I hate to say the word "campy." That's not a pejorative term at all! And The X-Files, I would say. It's like a marriage of the two, in a way.

How did you feel about the rats?
David Giuntoli: I loved the rats! It's funny, because, when we're filming these things, we find each character gets freaked out during a certain episode. And Hank, played by Russell Hornsby, is just like horrified of rats. But to me, they're like little pets. Cockroaches would ruin my life.

So they're probably going to have cockroaches soon?
David Giuntoli: I don't know... Probably.

That's all from us, so thank you!
David Giuntoli: Thank you so much. I love your website!

Obviously, David Giuntoli is a man of good taste.

Is Grimm worth watching? Check out our review here!

Want more Grimm interviews?

Grimm premieres on Friday, October 28 at 9pm.

(Image courtesy of NBC)