Building a ‘Blutbad’ from the ground up a highlight for ‘Grimm’s’ Silas Weir Mitchell
Silas Weir Mitchell may now have settled comfortably into his role as a craft beer-drinking, cello-playing, Pilates-practicing Blutbad on “Grimm,” but the actor admits that he wasn’t always so confident the show would take off the way it has.
“I really liked the character I was playing and the people I was working with. I was thinking that that was too good to be true so I didn’t think it was going to be a big splashy thing,” Mitchell tells CTV.ca.
“I thought we would make a little noise . . . but I didn’t think it was going to be what is now sometimes classified as a ‘hit.’”
Now in its second season, “Grimm” has gained an extremely loyal fan following – just plug the hashtag #ThankGrimmItsFriday into Twitter!
Mitchell has been called the “breakout” star of the show and has been praised for his sharp comedic timing in the portrayal of Monroe, but the actor shies away from taking any credit.
“That’s just acting honestly. I don’t mean to be glib . . . it’s written the way it’s written and then it comes through me the way it comes through me, like any actor doing any role,” says Mitchell.
But he does say that he’s influenced how his character has developed.
“It’s an organic, symbiotic thing so at the beginning, they wrote Monroe a certain way and then I absorbed that and started behaving (that way) and they see what I’m doing and then it kind of grows like a tree.”
Throughout his career, Mitchell has played many memorable and disturbed characters on television, including insane prisoner Charles 'Haywire' Patoshik on “Prison Break” and ex-con Donny Jones on “My Name is Earl.” He’s also made guest appearances on everything from “CSI” and “Cold Case” to “Dexter,” but says he’s really enjoyed being able to build the character of Monroe from the ground up on “Grimm.”
“It’s not so much the feeling of being in charge of what happens or impacting the arc of your character or story but more a sense of being involved in a collaborative level with the writers in a way that you don’t get when you drop in out of nowhere and do your thing and leave.”
Mitchell had previously worked with one of the creators, Jim Kouf, on a small film a few years ago. In the film, Mitchell says he was cast by Kouf for a role he wouldn’t typically play but it was a decision that worked out really well. The pair continued this good working relationship into “Grimm,” Mitchell adds.
“There’s a little bit of a sense when I got in to start playing Monroe that I had a relationship already with it in a way that was slightly different than the other actors. Maybe they had a relationship with the writers, I don’t know, but I definitely did,” says Mitchell.
“So I think there was a sense with Monroe from the beginning that it fit me really well.”
As well as being a reformed Blutblad, Monroe has become Nick’s right-hand man when it comes to fighting Wesen, and has even had some time to build a budding relationship with spice shop owner Rosalee (Bree Turner).
Mitchell can’t say enough about how much he enjoys working with Turner.
“She’s a dream. She’s just fantastic. We enjoy working together, we enjoy being on set together and that’s another stroke of luck. They cast it really well.”
He says fans can expect to see more of Monroe and Rosalee’s relationship develop as the season progresses.
“I think it’s fair to say they’re going to build on that.”
Mitchell says he’s excited to for more good storytelling on the show – something “Grimm” already does really well.
“Reversals and people being in peril and the unexpected – I think this show does a lot of fun, unexpected stuff that the writers are really good at building in.”
They’re also good at creating a world of monsters, but Mitchell says there is no handbook of creatures he can refer to for reference.
“I’m sure the writers have something like that but we just take it as it comes as the characters would. I don’t go home and study my glossary,” he says with a laugh.
But he adds, he does really enjoy the challenge of pronouncing the German-sounding creatures – Gefrierengeber, Lausenschlange and Ziegevolk are just a few examples.
“I enjoy it enormously, the challenge of putting these strange made-up words into my mouth.”
Don’t miss the fall finale of “Grimm” Friday at 9 p.m. ET. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.
About Sheri Block
Sheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!