It’s not easy being a grimm’s friend and being a Blutbad.
No one knows this better than Silas Weir Mitchell who plays fan-favorite role of ‘Monroe,’ the reformed wolfen Wieder-Blutbad creature and supernatural aid to Detective ‘Nick Burkhardt’ (David Giuntoli) in the NBC hit series Grimm which was recently renewed for a second season. TV Equals had the chance to chat with the very fascinating Mr Mitchell about his character, his place in the series and even the idea of spin off for his character.
Check out what he had to say below and don’t miss him in the latest episode of Grimm “Big Feet” which airs tonight Friday May 11 (10-11 p.m. ET) on NBC.
Congratulations on getting a second season. Are you excited?
Silas Weir Mitchell: It is. It’s delightful and somewhat unexpected to have been the first show that NBC renewed. We felt like it was going in the right direction, but we didn’t expect it to happen so soon because it was about two weeks, or three weeks, before any other show was picked up again. So, we were pretty psyched.
What you can tease about what’s coming up for the rest of this season?
Silas Weir Mitchell: this Friday is a really cool episode. It’s a pretty Monroe heavy episode, but what’s cool about it is that it deals with the real human problem of having a creature side to you. There’s a psychology element and an element of how people deal with this problem of having an inner creature that comes out sometimes when you don’t want it to. There’s a character who shows up who’s trying to cure himself of this affliction and it goes terribly wrong.
I love the episode because one of the things that I think is fun about the show is how it deals with the creatures as a very human with a creature side to them. It’s the sort of mythical way the psychosis or the creature behavior is addressed, but really it’s a human problem. When you look around the world there are plenty of creatures out there.
Monroe is a good example of that, in that he’s not just a creature, but has layers and a humanity behind that. What’s been the fan reaction to your character?
Silas Weir Mitchell: I think that what makes Monroe a sort of important character in the show is not only am I Nick’s entry into that world, but beyond that sort of role in the story, on a human level the struggle that Monroe has is an internal struggle.
Inner conflict is a very dramatic thing. Conflict is drama and inner conflict is attractive to a spectator because you’re watching someone and you’re not quite sure how it’s going to go, if he’s going to give in to these things, how he’s going to deal with it when they come up. I think Monroe’s conflicted nature is one of the things that makes him attractive.
People are attracted to him for the fact that there’s a real innocence and then at the same time this darkness that could erupt at any time. That allows for the humor as well. When you’re straddling two worlds there’s a chance for humor there.
How differently do you approach Monroe than you did compared to the first day?
Silas Weir Mitchell: Well, I don’t really approach it different because I’m still playing pretend. I’m doing the same thing that I did on day one. What has happened is the recent history of the character is being written. So, you just have to absorb that into the work, as opposed to when we shot the pilot where there weren’t twenty episodes behind me. So, there’s a familiarity there, but the approach is the same.
I think more to what you’re asking, rather than the approach being different, are you asking what element of the character feel more integrated into me, that kind of thing? I would say for me that it’s probably the ability the way that Monroe thinks is becoming clearer to me, the rhythms of how a thought turns into a another thought. It feels more fluid. It flows better rather than feeling as though I’m constructing it. It would be hard to put it into any more specific language than that.
You’re one of the few leads on the show that has to wear makeup. Do you have to do that often and does that affect your work?
Silas Weir Mitchell: I’ve only put the makeup on once. It takes so long. It takes eight hours to do that.
It’d be painful to do that every episode.
Silas Weir Mitchell: I remember that there was some story about when Jim Carrey was playing the Grinch, that one day he just lost his shit and ran up out of the makeup trailer and ripped the shit off his face, saying, ‘I can’t take it.’ Eight hours is a long time. It’s not long if you do it once. Eight hours is not long for one shot. Eight hours is long if you’re doing it everyday.
The relationship between Monroe and Nick has evolved. Is that friendship established or will it still be tested?
Silas Weir Mitchell: I certainly think you’re right. Ever since I helped him save Juliet from the dragon’s layer, that’s why she initiated this idea of having a dinner together. Ever since then, I feel like the danger level between Nick and Monroe has reduced substantially, but what the result of this friendship is though is that dangers from the outside start to accumulate more.
People that don’t want Nick to be alive and then people who I think want to use him. If certain people in the creature world knew what I was doing, there would probably be some bounty on my head. So, I think that’s the direction that we’re going in, that yes, the friendship, the trust level is definitely there between me and Nick in a way that it wasn’t at the beginning.
At the beginning, we were natural enemies. We’re sort of beyond that now, where he can trust me to go to the trailer and get something for him. What’s happening now is that forces from the outside are starting to impact both of us, and that’s where I think the future lies, combating these darker forces.
Is the relationship with Rosalee going to evolve because Bree Turner has been announced as a regular for season two, right?
Silas Weir Mitchell: Yeah, she’s back and I think that relationship will evolve. I don’t know exactly what direction it evolves in, but I do think that there’s a connection there as two people in the world with these creature ancestries. We’re sort of misfit outsiders. She was a drug addict for a while and I think that I’ve probably had some issues with that which is why I had to go straight, but it’s very fraught. The idea of having a partner is very fraught for Monroe. Monroe is a loner.
If you were king for a day and could tell the writers whatever you wanted them to write, what kind of story would you wish for your character?
Silas Weir Mitchell: That’s an interesting question. I would like look at, and this next episode kind of addresses this, but I would like to look at the idea of betrayal. I think it’d be interesting to see how Monroe would deal with really being put in a position where the desire to do violence was very strong and he had to resist it.
Your character is so popular. Do you think there would ever be a possibility of a spin-off for Monroe?
Silas Weir Mitchell: I’m not even going to touch that one.
I have a title for you if you ever go in that direction.
Silas Weir Mitchell: What is it?
Silas Weir Mitchell: How about ‘Monroe’? Just ‘Monroe.’ That’s very funny. I certainly think that one of the attractions that people have to Monroe is the uniqueness of the situation the character finds himself in, being this creature and not wanting to be the creature. I think people can relate to that. I think that people can relate to the idea of having inner stuff that they have to deal with that’s difficult and is private, and yet you have to live in the world and deal with your shit.
It’s sort of something that’s familiar, but also completely other. I think the whole show is that way. The show is something, like, there’s a cop and a police station and there’s a girlfriend and he has a partner, but at the same time there’s a mythological & psychological side that the guy is seeing and dealing with. That makes it very different. I think the writers have created the cocktail that is enough familiar and enough different that it really works. People like things to be new, but they don’t like things to be completely and utterly new and unfamiliar.
Are you guys going back to Comic-Con this year?
Silas Weir Mitchell: I would be very surprised if we did not go to Comic-Con, but I don’t think we’ve gotten the final word yet.
If you could guest star on any other TV show, you’re pick of the litter, which one would it be?
Silas Weir Mitchell: Game of Thrones.’ I would really like that. I love that show and I love the books. It’s good storytelling, man.