David Giuntoli Talks 'Grimm', His Character's Identity Crisis And His Former MTV Days
Think of "Grimm" as a fairytale gone horribly wrong. There isn't a princess or Prince Charming in sight -- only a world full of big, bad wolves in disguise. Or are they called blutbads? Welcome to the world of "Grimm," NBC's new dark cop drama.
It all starts when homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) learned he was descended from the brothers Grimm, which means he can see demons -- and that it's his job to destroy them. And in this twisted fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood never makes it to her grandmother's house.
Giuntoli chatted with HuffPost about his character's identity struggles, his blutbad buddy and his former MTV days as a contestant on "Road Rules: South Pacific" in 2003.
Tell us a little about "Grimm" and what made you want to be a part of the show.
It deals with monsters and fairytales, but it's not overly confusing or difficult to follow. I just loved the script for its simplicity. The fairytales aren't really the main focus -- it's really a cop drama. So that was the exciting part for me. It's like "CSI" meets "X-Files."
Were you ever a fan of the Grimm fairytales?
To be honest, I never really read them. I wasn't well-acquainted with them beyond the sanitized Disney versions that we've come to know. But I've always been a fan of getting scared, and I think "Grimm" is a show where you have a bit of humor, some crime-solving and an added element of fear. You'll definitely go to bed scared.
Not everybody wants to go to bed scared though.
Okay, then you can watch "Grimm," get a little scared and then turn on "30 Rock" before going to bed.
Do you feel any pressure from the other fairytale show currently on air, ABC's "Once Upon a Time?"
No, not really. I think we're two very different shows, and from everything that I've read, I think they're a little more enchanting and, perhaps, light. We're definitely a lot darker. If anything, I think they're going to compliment each other. People are talking about fairytales, and we offer two very different stories.
"Grimm" is pretty dark. The first case we see you working on in the pilot is the murder of a teenage girl.
We start with a dismembered teenage girl, and we're only getting worse from there. So, I'll let your imagine wander on that one. We go very dark, very gruesome, and there are a lot of thrills. That's not to say that there won't be a little humor in there.
One of the more humorous parts of the pilot was the relationship that your character Nick forms with the friendly blutbad creature. Is there going to be more banter between the two of you?
Nick has a new identity, and he doesn't know anything about it. His aunt dies, and all he really has are some books and this one blutbad creature, who may or may not want to kill him, and we kind of form this tenuous alliance, I would say. Throughout the show, we both have our own impulses and needs, and we start to become buddies ... eventually. We kind of help each other out. There are definitely some fun buddy stories coming up.
What can we expect from Nick this season?
He's going to come to terms with the fact that he's the last living Grimm, and that's going to be his main struggle throughout the season. I think viewers are really going to root for him in the show, but he's not going to have it easy. He's trying to keep one part of his life separate from another, and as you can imagine, it starts to really affect his life. He and his fiance are going to go through some troubles.
You were working in finance before you decided that you wanted to act. What made you want to be an actor?
I didn't know what I was doing. I was never one of those people who knew what they wanted to do right away. I was working in finance, but it really wasn't what I wanted to do. I didn't know acting was an option. When I was in college, I was in a bar and someone asked me if I wanted to go to the South Pacific for three months, and I was like, 'Absolutely!' That ended up being MTV's "Road Rules," so I did that, and it was really fun. I won some money on that show, and it allowed me to take some time before finding a job. That's when I started to get interested in theater, and it all went from there.
Are you still a fan of MTV?
I wouldn't say that I was ever a fan of MTV. I was a guy on MTV. I don't think I was ever in the demographic of people who watch MTV. I never really watched MTV, so I'm definitely not a fan of "Jersey Shore" or anything. Fame for fame's sake is never a good road to go down. For me, it was just a fun experience. I traveled around the world when I was 21 years old -- on somebody else's dime. It doesn't get any better.
"Grimm" airs Fridays at 9PM ET on NBC. Watch a sneak peek of this week's new episode below.