‘Grimm’s’ breakout success has changed everything for Russell Hornsby and Reggie Lee

‘Grimm’s’ breakout success has changed everything for Russell Hornsby and Reggie Lee
(Left) Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin, Reggie Lee as Sgt. Wu
by: Sheri Block

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Since “Grimm” became a runaway TV hit, life has certainly changed for actors Russell Hornsby and Reggie Lee.

Hornsby, who plays Nick’s partner Hank Griffin, and Lee, who plays Portland police officer Sgt. Wu, say while all the success of the mythological crime drama has been a pleasant surprise, it has forced them to make some changes to their daily lives.

“My late night adventures have diminished quite a bit,” Hornsby tells CTV.ca with a laugh during a recent conference call. 

“It’s surreal to be honest,” adds Hornsby, best known for his roles on “Lincoln Heights” and “In Treatment.” “(Reggie and I) have been in this business quite a number of years, and . . . people actually know my name for the first time ever, you know what I mean? . . .  My wife just keeps telling me, ‘Don’t let it go to your head.’”

Lee, who has appeared in the movies “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Fast and the Furious,” is also thrilled about the show’s success but is trying not to get ahead of himself.

“You don’t want to get too excited that it’s going to get great reviews and keep going. Yet you have your hopes that it does,” says Lee.

Since the show, which is inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales, premiered last fall, it has gained a loyal following of fans and has already picked up a renewal for Season 2.

“We’re so fortunate that people have tuned in and we’ve gotten this cult following. And people have gotten a little bit nuts. People make T-shirts, they make little cartoons. We’ve gotten so many cartoons tweeted to us,” says Lee.

“This morning I went to breakfast and people just recognize you and it’s great. Who doesn’t like that? It’s awesome.”

While “Grimm’s” David Giuntoli, who plays homicide detective Nick Burckhardt, and Silas Weir Mitchell, who plays blutbad Monroe, are at the centre of the action each week, Hornsby and Lee hope that they will get to explore their characters back stories and be featured in more prominent storylines as the series goes on.

On the most recent episode, titled “Island of Dreams,” Hank got a chance to do more than just assess a crime scene after Adalind Schade, a lawyer with a hidden agenda (she’s also a Hexenbiest), gave him a batch of poisonous cookies, causing him to believe he is in love with her. 

“That chocolate chip cookie had some magical wonderment in it. And I think I'm falling deeper and deeper in love, and so we’re going to see Hank fall for Adalind Schade and they’re going to (develop) a relationship unbeknownst to Nick,” says Hornsby.

“There’s going to be some hairy situations between the two of them, where Nick has to kind of come to the aid of his partner because he’s in danger.”

Hornsby also hopes Hank will eventually find out that Nick is a ‘Grimm.’

“I think that the way the stories have been laid out, I think it’s a wonderful journey for the audience as well.”

Lee adds that the writers have given them a “slow burn” of storylines, which has allowed both them – and the audience – to stay interested in their characters.

“I think they’ve done a great job in keeping the audience’s attention and keeping our attention as actors,” Lee says.

“So it’s great that they give us not just a procedural aspect of things, but the mythological aspect . . . I think the slower the burn, the greater it is for us to be able to sit in there and kind of investigate our own lives.”

'Grimm' airs Fridays at 9/8C on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.


About SheriSheri 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!



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