There are only THREE MORE DAYS until the Season 3 premiere of Grimm, so we were even more thrilled than usual to talk to one of the show’s stars, Bitsie Tulloch! She gave us some great insights into Juliette and Season 3, and don’t worry – she was very careful not to give any spoilers beyond what you’ve seen in the previews!
What are you most excited about fans seeing in the new season, both with Juliette and with the show as a whole?
The truth is if you’re going from season to season, and I really do believe this: Season 2 was better than Season 1, and I think Season 3… I’ve finished up to episodes nine now. It’s better than Season 2. It’s getting better, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Jim and David Greenwalt and the show runners have been really been able to delve deeper into the mythology aspect. And, I think that’s really what the fans like.
The procedural stuff is fun, but they’re into this mythology and they’re into this Wesen family tree that’s been created and connecting all of the dots, and now they’re going further into these Royal families.
Episode 1 coming back – 1 and 2 really, considering they’re both still dealing with zombie storyline – they really feel like movies. This is the first time I’ve seen an episode of Grimm that feels like a one hour film. And there was a lot of action, and I was doing a lot of stunts, which I had a blast with. At one point, Bree and Silas and I were basically dangling from the top of a container yard that was like 50 feet high.
It was just really fun and I think what I’m most excited about is the fact that every script that comes in, and I’m like, ‘Ahh, this is so great.’ I’m loving all the scripts and everything. I usually shoot with David for the most part. I’m getting to shoot more with everybody else because Juliette is now part of the Scooby squad, and that’s been really fun for me. I think that in the past, the main thing was Nick having to hide it from me. Dave and I have just been having so much fun shooting together this season, because it changes everything for us. The fact that I get to be involved, and I get to help him solve storylines. But even just the fact that we can talk about this stuff has changed everything for us, and it’s been really great.
Last season, Juliette had amnesia and Nick was trying to win her back. As that happened, will she now have a chance to have a more active role in Nick’s Grimm fights?
Yes. Definitely. They’ve eluded to the fact that Juliette – even though in some ways she was a somewhat passive character due to the amnesia – she’s quite capable: she’s smart and she’s kind of a badass. She knows how to use a gun. I think that’s definitely a direction that the character is going in.
But then in the last 2 episodes of Season 2, she was literally thrown into the fire. She has no background in this world. She has doesn’t know what is going on, and then it’s the first time she’s sort of part of the Grimm gang and helping out.
There’s this zombie invasion. But she’s thinking, ‘I will be damned if I’m going to lose him now. I just got him back.’ I always have to give credit to the show runners again. They didn’t want this relationship to be like a lot of TV relationships – breaking up and getting back together, and breaking up and getting back together.
They established early on that we’ve been living together for years; we’ve been through a lot together and there’s a lot of love there. And I think that it’s really a testament to that love that no matter what they’ve been through, they always find their way back to each other and so, she’s very pissed. She’s angry. She’s scared that she’s going to lose him again, because he’s in a severe amount of peril right now, in the first three episodes coming back in particular and I think that she’s going to do everything in her power to make sure that they get him back. Hopefully… safely, before it’s not too late.
With the increased focus on serialization instead of the procedural aspect, does that change how much you know about the season as it goes forward?
No, honestly we don’t know that much more than we always have, which is that I have a general idea of what’s coming up, what the main twist is going to be towards the end of Season 3 – which is great by the way. I have a general idea, but otherwise, we don’t really know and the truth is the writers were way ahead of the game this season.
Usually we would get the scripts for the next one while we were shooting the previous episode. This time, we have four or five scripts out, and a lot of us just stopped reading them, because it’s too much information. You totally get confused if you’re in one story but you’re shooting another one. I don’t know that anybody really wants to know that much out.
I have the general plan. Everybody has the overarching plan. I know David for sure does not read the script until the day before he starts shooting it because it’s just too much.
It’s so good. Just for the record, it is. The fans are going to love it. Everybody – we just had a screening of it with the cast and crew on Sunday – had their minds blown. It’s really, really good. I’m so excited for Friday.
You just talked about how Juliette doesn’t want to give up her man now that she has him back, but does she think long-term? If she goes ahead and marries him and they have kids… this would be her kids’ life because they would be Grimms. Or is she just living in the moment?
Well, to be honest with you, Juliette does not yet know that there’s a genetic connection. So that wouldn’t be a concern yet. But I also think that for the time being, as far as anybody getting married, then it’s going to be Monroe and Rosalee. I think Nick and I really just need to have some normalcy in our life and get back to having a normal relationship, and I think the main focus is figuring out how to navigate this together now that Juliette knows. In the second to last episode, Juliette messed up and asked that tow truck driver what kind of Wesen he was. It’s not going to be smooth sailing.
She’s the only character of any of the series regulars who’s either not Wesen or not a cop or a detective. So she’s really kind of the normal one. This is exciting for her – she feels like she’s a little bit in a detective story. But every so often there’s something bumbling because to her, this is almost like a fantasy land that she’s stepped into. She’s not used to it being a reality yet.
Does Juliette deal with Nick as a zombie?
Yes, you’ll see a lot stuff happens. In the first two episodes, he is a zombie and that’s pretty frightening, but again I think you guys are going to see a really different side of Juliette this season because, as I said before, she’s very capable.
This is the first time she’s really been able to be a tough cookie, and she’s always been that way, but she couldn’t be that way when Nick was hiding stuff from her. She didn’t have the opportunity to be strong because she didn’t know what was going on, and then in Season 2 she was poisoned, in a coma and had amnesia for most of the time.
I think she was slightly passive but through no fault of her own. There are certain things that are going to be really scary for her, but it’s definitely been fun for me to be able to show her true colors now that she actually knows what’s going on.
You touched on it very briefly when you said you got to do some stunt on top of a container… is this a much more action-oriented season for you, and did you prepare yourself physically for taking this on?
It’s definitely more action-oriented just because of the fact that my character is involved now, and I’m tagging along to certain things. As far as preparation… at the Season 2 wrap party I had torn my radial collateral ligament in my hand, so that stuff was really hard for me to shoot. There wasn’t a lot I could do to train because I was in a removable cast. I was supposed to have surgery, but I couldn’t because episode one of Season 3 was a continuation of the Season 2 finale, so I couldn’t all of a sudden have a cast on.
So my hand surgeon had to make one that I could take off and Bree would say, ‘Bitsie, what are you doing?’ Because I’m right-handed and it was my right hand, my natural inclination was play Juliette as myself, so I would put my right hand out on my wrist. It was actually kind of brutal having to shoot some of that stuff considering the fact that I was still pretty hurt, and I was in physical therapy.
But at the same time, there’s so much adrenaline pumping – you have all of these zombies, stunt guys running after you, and I was having a blast. I loved all of that physical stuff. I have a scene coming up in another one and I’m already just so excited about rehearsing with our stunt coordinator and getting to do that. So, definitely a lot more action just by virtue of the fact that my character is in the “know”.
Now in Season 2 you had a lot of scenes that were just you, by yourself, reacting to things that were CGI. Are you going to miss having the entire focus of the set on you at all?
No, because I got lonely. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it. I actually did like it – as an actor. It forced me to use muscles I’d never used before. Not only because I was working with more green screen, and that’s really just you and your imagination, and you’re putting yourself in the location in the scene and you’re seeing things, none of which are there.
But just to having to see ghosts and stuff and there’s nobody there – that was actually challenging in a fun way for me. But when that happens I’m also on set by myself. We all congregate in our cast chairs in between takes and we’re chit chatting: ‘What’d you do this weekend?’ ‘Oh, the funniest thing happened!’ and Bree’s showing us videos of her kids and it almost feels like college. We prefer the scenes where there’s at least somebody else in it with us. It’s more fun.
If you can tease at all – the next time Juliette and Renard are in a scene together, is there awkwardness between them, or are they acting like it never happened?
For now it’s a touch awkward, but the question that pops up again and again is: are we going to see Juliette and Renard together again? I just say never say never, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s really about Nick and Juliette figuring this out together and strengthening their relationship now that everybody knows this information and are going forward together, as opposed to on diverging paths.
Will Juliette ever get to the point where she realizes that Adalind was the one who did this to her, and do you foresee – dare I say? – a catfight?
That is an awesome question that I do not know the answer to, but I always mention it to the writers. When is Juliette going to figure it out? This woman screwed up her life: almost killed her; she almost lost the love of her life; she was involved in this love affair with somebody she barely even knew; and she had amnesia. I’d been reading this book by Oliver Sacks when they first gave me that storyline about the amnesia – it was called The Mind’s Eye, which is about postal prognosia, or people with facial recognition problems, but obviously not what Juliette had.
But I always remember in the book how sad it was that a wife couldn’t recognize her husband or she would have to touch his face or smell him to know ‘that’s my husband.’ And that always broke my heart. Then two weeks later they said, ‘Oh, you’re going to have amnesia.’ So I always just thought what cruel, cruel thing it was especially because were so specific in that it wasn’t that she forgot everyone and could just start a new life over: she forgot just Nick. So I would think if she figures it out, she’s going to be pretty angry. Adalind’s storyline is basically in Europe right now. So I haven’t seen anything coming up as far as that, but I wouldn’t mind seeing that. I think that that would actually be pretty fun.
We know that significant plot point from the first two seasons worked to keep Nick and Juliette apart. It seems like there’s a move away from that, and the focus is going to be more of the two of them working together and being a team. Is that correct?
As far as episodes I’ve seen, yes. Which is not to say that every time he’s out on location or been called to a murder, I’m there, but it’s really more about she’s actually helping him for the first time as opposed to unwittingly being an obstacle.
You’ve talked several times about her loyalty to Nick. Why do you suppose she is so loyal to Nick? In light of all that we’ve seen in the first two seasons, what makes Nick the right person for her?
I always remember getting asked a lot during Season 1: ‘Why is she being so naïve? He’s lying to her!’ I guess it was mainly that I’d done enough to her story. We’d been together by that point for three years. And I had been with him and had gone through Aunt Marie dying, which was really traumatizing for him.
Basically his mom – the woman who raised him – had died and so, I always sort of interpreted it as she’s being patient and she’s being understanding and letting him grieve. And she kind of thought that the reason that he was being so weird had to do with not getting over Marie’s death. Like in the proposal scene, when he proposed, she says, ‘Not until you let me back in again.’ So she kind of assumed that – she obviously didn’t know about anything that was going on with the Grimm and the Wesen.
She thought that he was just shutting her out because of Marie’s death. So, in that sense, you can kind of understand the patience. It just feels like they’re not really fighters, and they’re just comfortable – like a little old married couple – and they really love each other a lot.
If the new storyline has Juliette getting involved more, he’s going to look at her in a different light because he didn’t realize that she was such a badass. And you’re going to see more of that. And I think there’re going to be scenes where he’s a little impressed: ‘Oh crap, I didn’t even know this side of her. Look at this. This is interesting.’
Do you have a favorite episode and a favorite Wesen so far this season?
Yes. My favorite Wesen is the evil Wesen from the Christmas episode. It’s just such a twisted take on Christmas. You would think that maybe for a Christmas episode, they would sort of lighten things up a little bit, but… it’s so scary. So that one is going to be really fun with the fans – it is really creepy.
And then my favorite episode so far… it was very tough shooting the first episode back because we were on splits, which means you’re shooting half the afternoon and then all night long until the sun comes up. And it was cold – it was weird even though it was in July. That was definitely hard on all of us because there were a lot of stunts and the hours were tough.
But that episode, it’s just so cool. I think Norberto did a fantastic job. It really feels like a one hour feature film and it’s just amazing. I think the fans are going to really love it. So that one was fun, but the scripts have really been super cool and really great this season. I kind of like them all. We have four new writers this season, too.
Do you have any other projects that we should know about?
Yes. Parkland just came out. But other than that, not yet because we are shooting here straight through until mid-April. We have two weeks off for Christmas vacation, but we really can’t do anything else while we’re shooting Grimm, and most movies and stuff aren’t really casting yet for April. They’ll start casting a couple of months before they start filming, so ask me again in a couple months.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened with a fan so far? Any interesting gifts, meetings in person, or… ?
Some fan in Germany tattooed my face on his thigh, which was kind of like: ‘Should I be flattered or should I be scared?’ It was pretty cool actually – his entire left thigh. So I think it’s pretty cool, because nobody else in the cast has had their face tattooed on a fan that we know of. Then Silas and I just did a reading at Word Stock, which is sort of a literary festival in Portland, and we each picked our favorite Grimm fairytale and read it to a big group of people, and a woman came up to and handed me and handed me a package.
And when I got home and opened it – she had made a Bitsie doll. She found a red carpet picture of me that she really liked and recreated the dress and the shoes and the hair and that was so cute. It was so great. I put it on Instagram and on Twitter. That was definitely one of the cooler gifts I’ve gotten.
It’s really impressive, how well you know the character and what makes her tick. What has it been like for you to work for two and a half years to bring Juliette to life, to build this character that we see on screen every week?
It’s really shifted. Unfortunately, a lot of the back story that I did in Season 1 was stuff that I couldn’t then act out because of what was going on with the character. So when I talk about the love there and things that Nick and I have been through and little traditions that we had, those were really things that were just for me.
That’s sort of the nature of acting. A lot of your homework is really just for you. But Season 2 was definitely a little bit of a challenge just because I’ve never played a character with amnesia before, and I‘d never really done so much stuff solo. She thought she was losing her mind; she’d seen a ghost; she can’t remember things; she thinks she’s falling into an abyss.
As much as I missed shooting with the other cast members, it was a challenge, and it was something that I really had a lot fun with, and it was more layered than I’d been able to play. It’s just that this person that I know is there who’s really smart and who’s really comfortable, and I think what Nick is going to realize is that he should have told me in the beginning, because as scary as it would have been, I would have been able to deal with it.
What really changed everything for me was that scene in the second to last episode when Monroe and Rosalee and Bud morphed for me. It really was seeing is believing. Because prior to that point, there was no way she was really going to believe it. Nick could say it and she was still was either thinking he’s crazy or I’m crazy. But the fact that she walked out, you think she’s just done,but really all she does is go outside, take a deep breath and then she’s like, ‘I can do this,’ and walks back in.
She’s thinking ‘I’m going to figure this out.’ That’s the way her mind works. She’s very intelligent and she’s figuring, ‘All right, I guess this is going to take me a little while to piece together and understand this world.’ Put yourself in her shoes: This feels like a fantasy. It feels like this can’t be real because she doesn’t have the knowledge that everybody else has, a sort of Wesen Wikipedia or whatever.
This is all brand new for her. And then when she is finally included, she’s thrown into basically the most perilous situation any of them have been in. The fact that she maintained her composure with the zombies running around speaks volumes of her strength.
Because you know your character so well, it seems like your relationship with the writers would be more collaborative. What can you tell us about that relationship?
In general, what happens if I have a question – and this doesn’t happen that often – but if I read a script and notice something… there was one episode last season where there was something written and I called them and said ‘You know, Bud already mentioned that he was a Grimm,’ and they just changed it and rewrote it. There was one line that I said, ‘Juliette actually doesn’t know that yet,’ and so they just changed it. So every so often something will happen and then because I know her better, I’ll say, ‘Oh, she actually doesn’t know that yet’ or ‘She does now know that, so can we change that?’
But overall, it’s been pretty great, and the writers will generally fly out to be on set, because they’re all in LA. Then if there’s something I want to change, I’ll just say ‘Hey, can we try it this way or not?’ But there’s very little of that going on. A lot of it is doing your homework at home and hopefully be able to flesh out and make interesting choices once you’re actually on set, but it’s not there’s a lot that needs to be a collaboration.
Thanks again to Bitsie for her time! The countdown to Friday continues!