Interview: Grimm’s Bitsy Tulloch and Sasha Roiz: Eight Hour Love Scene? You have My Attention.
They literally both can’t control the lust. It gets to a sort of violent place and neither them is really wanting this to happen; they can’t help it.
This Friday ushers in the return of Grimm on NBC and it’s none-too-soon, as the curse that has Renard and poor, amnesia-stricken Juliette infatuated with each other has heated up past the point of avoidance.
We were lucky enough to spend some time on a conference call with Bitsy Tulloch and Sasha Roiz, discussing the upcoming episode and their characters intense love scene, which took a staggering eight hours to film and reportedly involved near injury.
We all talked about other stuff, too. Favourite Wesens and where their characters are headed after a Renard/Nick smackdown, but I’m still kind of stuck at eight hours. Wow. Kudos, you two. Respect.
Tell us about Renard’s showdown with Nick.
Sasha Roiz: I was actually surprised it’s as soon as it is. I thought it could even be dragged out until the end of the season. But I’m really glad that we had a chance to finally confront each other because I think it’s something the fans had been waiting for, and we, as characters and actors had been waiting for as well. I don’t think it’s a moment too soon.
How is Juliette dealing with the curse?
Bitsie Tulloch: I have to say you have not seen the worst of it. What goes on with Juliette gets much worse before it gets better.
So as an actress it’s definitely been so much fun for me to really go into these deep dark depths of the character and her mental space. And she’s really starting to lose it. I mean as you can imagine, it’s crazy to wake up and see pictures of this guy, this stranger all over your house and be told that you guys were going to get married and you have no recollection whatsoever.
And then all of a sudden she’s lusting after someone she barely knows and can’t control herself. It’s enough to make anybody mad. So that’s been a lot fun for me.
How far will Juliette and Renard’s relationship go?
Bitsie Tulloch: Well, what happens on Friday night we’ve not see the likes of on Grimm so far. I think it’s really fun and I think it’s just a great way to sort of deal with what’s going on between the two of them and also to highlight how little control they have over it, that this is not some slow burning love. They literally both can’t control the lust.
It gets to a sort of violent place and neither them is really wanting this to happen; they can’t help it.
Sasha Roiz: This will be a great payoff, I believe. It’s fun to explore new ground, new territory with *Grimm. It’s almost like ‘Grimm After Dark,’ a racier version. So I think they’ll be pleased and it’s a good payoff after this long hiatus.
Is there any genuine affection between Renard and Juliette?
Sasha Roiz: I would say probably not. I think that (the spell) forced us into a situation that is probably pretty unnatural.
I mean not to say that she’s not an attractive woman, but I don’t think that Renard would even allow himself to even venture in that territory if he was not under the spell.
Bitsie Tulloch: The truth is they barely knew each other. The reality is: when they first came under the spell they didn’t really know each other, so this sort of lusting and obsession really is, for lack of a better word, manmade; it’s chemical.
Not chemical in the pheromone way, chemical like literally poison, and they’re both under a spell kind of a way. It’s no love at first sight.
Tell us about your love scene
Bitsie Tulloch: It took so long because we had to have a stunt coordinator sort of help us out, particularly me. I’m sort of known among the cast members of being like, I don’t know, Sasha, what would you say?
Sasha Roiz: She’s a little clumsy.
Bitsie Tulloch: It took something like eight-and-a-half hours to get through, which is incredibly long for basically one scene, because it was so complicated and it did require such coordination.
Sasha Roiz: It was intense. I think it was definitely a shocker for us when we read it because we didn’t believe it when we read it. We thought it was a bit of a joke. But they went there.
Bitsie Tulloch: It was so intense that we both thought it was a joke. We literally thought it was a joke that when we read the script. We were like, ha-ha, where’s our real script.
Sasha Roiz: I think it came out well. I haven’t seen it but I presume it came out well.
Did you need stunt doubles?
Bitsie Tulloch: We didn’t have stunt doubles. We did it all. We just had somebody go through it to make sure that I didn’t hurt him basically.
Sasha Roiz: It can be taxing after a while. I was surprised we both walked away from it fairly unscathed. The one with David and I, it was 2 o’clock in the woods on a Friday.
We were just exhausted from the week and we’re doing our best for this really long fight sequence where there were some stunt men in fact, because there were some things you can’t do.
Bitsie Tulloch: They won’t let you do.
Sasha Roiz: Yes, exactly. We did most everything on our own and we did kind of end up hurting each other, David and I. But, that’s par for the course and it’s just another challenge I suppose.
How will these three characters go forward?
Sasha Roiz: It’s really Nick’s choice at this point whether he wants to move ahead, whether he wants to stay Portland, or whether he wants to deal with me with her.
So there’s going to be a lot of fall out and that’s going to occupy the remainder of this season, to see what will transpire and how pieces will fall and where they fall. So that’s really going to be a very delicate balance I think moving on.
What do you like about your character?
Sasha Roiz: I like and dislike how secretive Renard is, because on one hand, it’s really fun to play. On the other hand, sometimes even I don’t know what he’s up to. He’s just a very mysterious character and the writers keep me guessing, because we don’t always know. It’s a very difficult balance to strike sometimes, but it also keeps me very engaged as an actor and viewer.
What’s the most difficult scene or episode you’ve had to do so far?
: Mine hasn’t aired yet. There’s a lot of really, really intense emotional stuff coming up for Juliette, just really heavy and pretty serious. And so that’s probably the hardest that I’ve had to do. That episode is something to look forward to I guess.
Sasha Roiz: This upcoming episode was pretty hard for me. I think it was challenging on all levels because physically it was a lot of fight choreographies and sequences and long hours.
And then emotionally as well, it just kind of took Renard to every realm of emotion and so it was pretty challenging.
What’s going on between Renard and Adalind?
Sasha Roiz: It’s very antagonistic. She’s definitely a thorn in my side and she’s out to thwart all of my plans. She’s also incredibly conniving and manipulative just the same as Renard is.
And so she knows how to play him and what I love about some of the writing is you really don’t know who’s playing who sometimes. I think there’s always a turn of the tables and so it will be interesting to see what transpires.
But she certainly has presented herself at a very difficult time for him. He’s very vulnerable at this point and so she’s found a weakness and her timing couldn’t be better.
Will Nick and Renard be able to work together again?
Sasha Roiz I believe so. We’re going to have to deal with a lot of issues and see if we can put aside our differences. A lot of that depends on Nick and whether he’s able to forgive, able to move forward.
I think he could move ahead, and if anything, it could open up a whole new chapter now that we’re in the know and there’s no secrets anymore. There’s the possibility to certainly be better partners.
Sasha Roiz: I think at least for Renard there’s going to be a real challenge in keeping the Grimm loyal, keeping the Grimm in Portland, keeping the plan that he had concocted for so long in place, and keeping Adalind at bay.
And making sure that we continue as a police force and continue as this mythological team to keep outside influences and forces at bay from encroaching on our domain.
Bitsie Tulloch: I think what happens in the rest of Season Two has been really fantastic. They’re really doing huge episodes that are just very grand in scope. I’ve read some of them and been, like, “Are you guys crazy? There’s no way you’re going to be able to shoot this in eight days!”
What’s been your favourite Wesen?
Bitsie Tulloch: I loved the ice beavers, I loved the actor who plays Bud, Danny Bruno. He’s fantastic. I’m so proud of him.
They’ve written him so smartly. They’ve written him into a pretty major recurring role just because he’s just so loveable and it’s nice to have a Wesen that’s not necessarily a scary blood-thirsty Wesen.
And then I also like, as far as the scary ones, I really like the Mauvais Dentes, who was the sabertooth tiger Wesen from the first two episodes of Season Two.
Sasha Roiz: I don’t think anything would make Bitsie happier than if they wrote in a French bulldog Wesen. She would be in heaven, sort of a loveable, sloppy, slurpy French bulldog.
I like the reapers. I like what they represent mythologically, the scythe that they carry, the fact that they come into reap revenge and that they’re after the Grimms and they have this very specific purpose in the world.
I also like my own character in a way because we never had a half breed before. And so the fact that you could cross pollinate, you could have all these, part creatures, part Wesens, that makes it really interesting for me. I’m really curious to see that develop and to see that whole sort of other culture that exists that just has a trace of Wesen blood in them.
Why is Grimm a success?
Bitsie Tulloch: Because it’s fun. I think this is something that all the cast have been saying ad nauseum, but it’s true: the show has a little bit of everything for everybody. For people who like procedurals you have that. You have the romance.
It’s funny, especially with characters like Silas Weir Mitchell’s character and Reggie Lee’s character, they’re pretty funny. And then you have the fantasy; you have the sci-fi; you have these monsters; you have the visual effects. There’s really a lot going on.
Sasha Roiz: I think we struck a really delicate balance where there’s so many different styles at play and there’s so many different things that can appeal to the viewers.
But I think ultimately we also don’t take ourselves too seriously. There’s a humor to the show that underlies the entire thing. So it’s just very palatable. I was impressed at how wide a net they could throw and how varied our demographic can be.
Bitsie Tulloch: The show unsurprisingly does very well internationally because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. You’re dealing with heavy things but you’re dealing with it in a sort of light and fun way.
It’s not one of those shows that’s lost in translation. Everybody’s familiar with these fairy tales so it’s sort of fun to tune in and see how they’re being reinterpreted in a modern way.
And it doesn’t surprise me at all that the show does so well internationally and that some of our main diehard fans are have come from other countries all over the world. And it’s just expanding into more and more territories.