“Grimm,” the best new show on NBC this Fall, finally makes its long-awaited debut on Friday night at 9 PM, and the appeal of the cop drama-with-a-twist has a lot to do with AccessHollywood.com’s newest Rising Star, David Giuntoli.
As Nick Burckhardt, David’s breakout role in the freshman series finds him playing a detective, who also happens to be a descendant of the brothers Grimm – the German siblings who penned hundreds of fairytales in the early 1800s. Only in this fascinating drama, those stories about big bad wolves were more truth than fiction, with only Grimm descendants able to see the creatures in their true form.
“This is a cop show and its small twist is that my perpetrators now can often be monsters,” David explained to Access, on the phone from Portland, Ore. where he’s filmed eight episodes already. “It’s subtle, but it creates a whole weight to it. It’s kind of beautiful in its simplicity.”
The show’s premise may be simple, but the role of series hero Nick is a complex one as the young detective balances his new life and abilities, which he uses to find the bad guys, or rather, the bad creatures.
“The reluctant hero is always fun to play. I get to have completely different lives,” David explained. “I have Monroe (played by Silas Weir Mitchell). He’s kind of my confidante/therapist/underground police officer partner and then Hank (played by Russell Hornsby) – we’re detectives together… and [the fiancee] Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), who he has to now keep a complete lie from. It’s incredibly fun.”
It’s a dream role, and the St. Louis, Mo. actor has his lack of athletic prowess as a grade- schooler to credit for leading him toward a life in front of the camera. Despite that chiseled jaw, those swoon-worthy blue-grey eyes and his love of adventure (he went to the South Pacific on MTV’s “Road Rules”), David’s early days saw him looking a little less than leading man-perfect.
“I was like three feet shorter [than I am now], until I was a sophomore in high school, but I had the same sized head and a** that I do now,” David, whose 5’ 11” laughed. “I was an awkward little fellow. There were times I would sit out entire grade school basketball games where they’d put everybody in.
“I think that kind of lead me to — in high school, I started gravitating a little toward acting,” he added.
His “Road Rules” stint helped pay for college – where he continued acting — and allowed David to dodge the shirt and tie corporate ladder.
“It gave me freedom to not have to go into finance right away, which was what my kind of professional trajectory was at that point,” he explained.
After he finished the traveling, David started booking small guest roles on shows like “Without A Trace,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and Jennifer Love Hewitt’s “Ghost Whisperer,” and improved his acting chops.
He also got a call for the “Superman,” reboot, reading for the role that eventually went to British actor, Henry Cavill.
“It was a really cool experience to get to go audition for these big hero roles like Superman,” David said. “And they’re rightfully so cagey about the script, they often send you sides that have nothing to do with the script itself and you’re kind of left to guess what’s going on. So it’s always kind of a fun process.”
Superman may not have happened, but a year ago, in December, David’s agent sent him the script for “Grimm.” Not long after, the director and the producers brought him in and he quickly locked down the role.
David admitted it’s “nerve-wracking” he’s carrying the new Friday night show, and he’s put a heavy weight on his shoulders that it turns out well. But with the campaign in full swing, he’s already seeing some early returns.
“I went out to breakfast with one of our guest stars, who I’m friends with from home. And I’m like, ‘Wow, people are looking at me. What is wrong with my face, Amanda?’ She’s like, ‘No, they recognize you.’” David recounted of his first brush with “Grimm” fame. “My neighbors just started coming up to me, like, ‘You told me you were an actor, you didn’t tell me you were Mr. Grimm!’ It’s charming and cool, I really do appreciate that part of it.”
“Grimm” premieres on Friday, October 28 at 9 ET/PT on NBC.