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Grimm “Natural Born Wesen” Post Mortem Plus More on What the Future Holds for Silas Weir Mitchell’s Monroe [INTERVIEW] 

Photo Credit: NBC
Photo Credit: NBC

I’ve loved Silas Weir Mitchell‘s Monroe from the very beginning. Actually I’ve loved him since he did a two episode arc on Cold Case many, many years ago. I’ve watched his career for a while and was so excited when he was cast in Grimm. It’s been so much fun to watch his relationship with Nick grow and change since the beginning of season 1. And his sense of humor makes this often dark, violent show have much needed moments of humor and lightness. It’s also been fun to watch his developing relationship with Rosalee. 

TV Goodness participated in a press call just before “Natural Born Wesen” aired. We talk a little about the episode and what’s ahead for Monroe, as well as what Silas Weir Mitchell has enjoyed about the series and season so far.

Can you talk a little about the episode?

Silas Weir Mitchell: “The bank robbery was intense.” “…they were firing off full loads with automatic weapons. And it was loud and it was scary. And it reminded me of the bank robbery in Southern California about…10 or 11 years ago where the guys walked in – I mean I’ll never forget these guys walked into a bank with automatic armor piercing bullets and full flak jackets. And they just walked into a branch in the valley in LA and just started firing off. And there was a huge shootout in the parking lot. And it was crazy. And so it reminded me of that and it’s weird. It’s weird to be in a big high ceiling echoy room with people firing off full loads. You know, it was intense. I hope that comes across on screen because it was pretty cool to be there.”

What’s your favorite episode so far this season?

Silas: [“Natural Born Wesen”] because it deals with the Wesen mythology.” “…it’s fun to push into that world because we have the royals, we have the Wesen, we have the Grimm, and we have all these different sort of groups and mythologies that are adhering to each different group.”

What is the Wesen code of honor?

Silas: “…you’re really not supposed to show your inner self in order to take advantage of the normal people in the world.” “…it’s immoral and it also could sort of tear at the fabric of reality for people. It’s just – it’s a big no, no because it exposes too much of the way the world really works….” “[Wesen] have to behave a certain way. And if you go outside of that, you are in big trouble.”

Is there a rule or code against against interspecies Wesen relationships? 

Silas: “That’s a very interesting question but I would have to say…I don’t really know. I can’t say that we’ve discussed the rules surrounding that. I think that there probably isn’t – I would guess – a code violation as it were for inter-Wesen. Because there’s a lot of us out there you just don’t know who we are. And if Blutbad always had to be with a Blutbad I think that would be onerous…. I don’t know what would happen if a Blutbad with a Blutbad and Fuchsbau have babies. I don’t know if they’re going to be Blutbad or Fuchsbau, you know.”

Why is Monroe’s relationship with Rosalee different than his relationship with Angelina?

Silas: “…Blutbad are more generally the way that Angelina is, which is sort of like powerful badasses and aggressive. I don’t know if you remember Angelina’s brother he was very – he was a nice guy but also kind of out there and aggressive in his way…whereas Rosalee’s just a different person and a different type of Wesen. So she’s not as gung-ho as Angelina. Not as much of a troublemaker.”

Can you give some hints as to what might be happening with Rosalee?

Silas: “Rosalee is back which is delightful. And as far as romance goes…it’s a slow burn but there’s definitely an attraction there…we get something we need from each other for sure. We have a lot of similarities. And I think we’re both sort of damaged and we’re tip toeing towards the end of the diving board.”

Will Monroe continue to work at the spice shop and learn more about what Rosalee does now that she’s back?

Silas: “I think probably, yes.” “…it’s her shop but it’s also kind of a…group effort at this point. I’m learning and she needs the help. And it’s a nice – nice place to work. And, yes, I think that you can probably count on seeing Monroe in the spice shop along with Rosalee a fair amount. It’s their little hideout.”

Is Monroe happier now then he was in season 1?

Silas: “…that’s very perceptive of you actually. I do think that Monroe is happier. I think that Nick… [forced him] out of his little cave. And now he’s nosing around in the world. And I think it’s kind of fun out there….”  “And I’ve got a girlfriend and I have little adventures that I do with my weird pal Nick. And I think that the whole idea of doing good in the world…that’s how it wound up making sense to me that I came out of my little world of clocks and maps and things and…that I was doing good in the world. And if it’s a Grimm so be it. I’m not going to stand aside and let bad things happen just because he’s a Grimm. Because he’s different – he’s a different kind of Grimm and I’m okay with that. And I think it’s nice to be able to behave and live in the world.”

What changes do you go through as an actor when Monroe turns in to a Blutbad?

Silas: “…there’s a mentality shift, there’s a physical shift. The CGI is so advanced now that it goes – it follows along with your facial expressions.” “If I’m scared versus angry…there are several variations or situations under which a Wesen will reveal himself. And one of them is [an] aggressive and angry, purposeful morph. And then…sometimes if you’re really, really sad or scared or nervous your inner self will burst out because your guard is down. So in the event that you do it one way versus the other you’re going to have a different aspect. And the CGI is able to capture that. So it’s not just a big thing that goes on top of you and obfuscates your emotional life. It’s prime enough that it can see what you’re feeling. You know, it can react to your face.”

What have been your favorite or most memorable fight scenes to shoot?

Silas: “I haven’t really had that many fight scenes. I kind of lunge and attack and it gets done with quickly because I dispatch whatever needs to be dispatched with a lackquidity.” “…the most…involved fight scene I was in was the…cage [fight.]” “…we had a bunch of background actors kind of screaming and yelling…and we were out in a barn way out in the woods. I mean it was pretty intense.”

You and Sgt Wu get all the best lines. Do you ever get to contribute to Monroe’s sense of humor in the writer’s room?

Silas: ” [I enjoy that levity] very, very much. [Monroe’s is] a really fun mind space to live in. And, yes, he does get very fun lines. And I do help – I mean ‘help the writers’ is a little much because these guys are…the only way that one could say that I help them is if I happen to catch some minor inconsistency that is the type of thing that actors always find because we dive all the way into it. And writers can only go so deeply into each characters narrative. Because…there’s eight of us that they have to deal with and sometimes more. So…help them not so much. But do I find things – like, oh, maybe this might work better here because – that happens, sure.”

Why do you think audiences are drawn to supernatural shows like Grimm?

Silas: “…first of all…people enjoy being scared and I think that’s part of what’s fun about Grimm. We continue to try to make every episode have something in [it] that’s either going to make you jump or turn away or close your eyes and look through your fingers.” “…that’s why horror movies are big business. As far as the supernatural thing goes…there’s always going to be a type of storytelling that allows a person – both the writer and the reader or the creator and the spectator – to paint with a broader brush in a way and imagine the world in a way that it could be but we don’t see it as being that way. And I think that’s exciting…it’s still [a] recognizable [world] but it’s other. I think that there’s always going to be a segment of the population that wants to experience that type of reality as opposed to something that’s just taking place like a lawyer show or a hospital show. There [are] always going to be people that want to imagine the world as slightly tweaked.”

You’re got a great resume. Why do you like darker, more serious roles?

Silas: “That’s a really good question and I think it has a lot to do with, yes, physiognomy is part of it. Just, you know, I’m tall and dark and quote unquote glowering. But my inner life is sort of much – that’s why Monroe is a great character for me because my inner life is not like that. I just have access to it because I’m actor. We should all have access to everything. That’s what our job is – to live in [an] imaginary world. And…whatever that calls for, we need…to have an elastic inner life, an elastic imagination like an acrobat.”

What’s the best part of being on the show?

Silas: “Well, there’s nothing I don’t really like about this show. I like the town I’m in which is Portland. It’s a great place to live and work. I like the people I’m working with. I like the character I’m playing. I like the way the storylines are drawn. I mean what more can you say? Gainfully employed with people I like on a show that’s fun to do and it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Grimm airs Fridays at 9/8c on NBC.

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