"I'm really, really glad that we got these last 13 to give the fans an ending," said actor Silas Weir Mitchell about his TV show, Grimm, in an exclusive interview with Syfy Wire. "And that gives credit to NBC for giving this weird little show that nobody thought was going to do anything a real send-off, instead of unceremoniously pulling the plug on it."
Mitchell (Prison Break, 24), who plays Monroe, chatted with us about Monroe and Rosalee's romance, how he felt about the big finale and which character he thought got shortchanged. Grimm's big series finale airs Friday at 8 p.m., closing the show's six-season run.
Congratulations on a great run.
Silas: It was a hell of a run. It's true. Thank you. It went on longer than any of us every thought it would, and we were sad to see it go.
Well, it's not gone quite yet for us.
I guess so. It's gone for me, but it's not gone for the world, I guess.
Monroe's been such a uniquely wonderful character to watch. What's it been like for you to play him through the six seasons?
It was lovely. It felt like it was a good fit. I mean on the pilot episode ... I hadn't worked in a long time the day that we shot that very important sequence of the Grimm and I meeting. I didn't feel very good about it, but I'm glad that I was wrong because apparently it worked. It felt good from the beginning. It was a good match, me and him. Plus I had known [executive producer] Jim Kouf previously. We had worked together, so he understood my voice and I understood his voice.
You were really wrong because the scene where Monroe and Nick initially fight and then Monroe suggests they have a beer ... it was a great scene. From a fan standpoint, a viewer standpoint.
It worked, and it just shows you a lot of times we don't know what we think we know.
Your character really has been there all the way through for this crazy Grimm guy.
There was a little bit of a figuring out period at the beginning, "Like who is this guy? Can I trust him?" But I became the loyal sidekick pretty quickly. We tried to keep the conflict going so that it wasn't so easy. It was probably a little too easy, but they did try I think to keep their eye on the fact that it was not okay for me to be doing what I was doing ... The whole Wesenrein thing where I got kidnapped, I think that was very important to keep alive so that it didn't just become taken for granted that I was his friend or could be his friend.
You came back season after season with these crazy storylines that the writers were throwing at you guys. What did you think when you picked up these scripts?
That's the fun of TV is you get a new script every eight days and the fun of it is seeing what they are going to do to you after you've skimmed the script to see how many days off you have. That's the fun of it is that it's this ongoing roller coaster. You get a front row seat for how the writers are going to get themselves out of the fixes they get themselves into and you. And that's really fun, I mean for an actor that's one of the great things about a TV gig is the serialized nature of it is this sort of evolving thing.
Was it different playing somebody like Monroe in Grimm opposed to working on something like Prison Break?
Totally, totally. I mean they were completely different cultures, those two shows. One is a prison culture, tough guys and there is a lot of masculinity on the set and a lot of the guys who ran the show were into being strong. And Grimm was like a family kind of dynamic where we were all really pulling together to make this strange little show work. The only comparison between the two is that, in a way, I was a sidekick for the lead guy. I was the lead guy's cellmate in Prison Break and I was the lead guy's whatever in Grimm. But they were very different working dynamics.
You have this great romance with Rosalee in the show. It's not a common thing to see a romance that's consistent on television. One that isn't thrown up in the air every two minutes to create a drama.
They did that with Nick and Eve because they were the main people. The main people they have to do that to. The main guy has to have the love interest that bounces back and forth to create drama. The secondary people, they're allowed to be more consistent. They don't need to create the trials and tribulations with the secondary characters that they do with the primary guy. He got what you were just describing. He got the is-she-or-isn't-she, who is she, does she love me, does she not.
It feels like the most real relationship on the show.
I think Bree and I worked well together. We work similarly. We have a good chemistry and I think it was important for the show to have something super-grounded like that within it because it was such an outlandish show in so many ways. But we always tried to keep it real because the whole idea behind the show is this outlandish stuff that's happening every day, we just don't know it. And having something anchor that is important, otherwise you're just out in Crazy Town. You've got to have something real, as it were.
I know you can't tell us much about the finale, but when you read those last couple lines on the script, were you satisfied with the way the show had ended?
Yeah. It's nice to be able to have some closure ... NBC was great to us, even though they moved us around a lot. That was like programing, but I think the people who were helping with the story were really into it and they were great. So thank you to them for giving us the final 13 ... They were really cool. They were really invested in it, the people at the network who were story editors. So it meant a huge amount to us. We weren't just a number ... We knew that it was ending and the fans knew that it's ending. That was my main concern when I knew we were beginning to get towards the winding-up phase. My biggest concern was that we don't stiff these fans who have been with us so loyally for so long.
What's one storyline that you think you would have liked to see played out more but they didn't get to?
I would have liked Hank to have had a romance. They flirted with this stuff with him and there was always a blind alley and then it all got aborted before it was close to fruition. I do wish that we could have done something more with him on that level.
I agree, it would have been nice because it seems like every girl he got involved with, like Adalind, had a not-so-nice agenda.
It never really worked and so he just really wound up becoming the top number two. He was more of a sidekick than I was. So that was a little bit of a sham. I do wish he had gotten some more juicy stuff to do, but then Russell [Hornsby] got to go do Fences. So he's fine. Storyline ... I think there were things that should have happened that didn't happen. Things that could have happen that didn't happen or things that happened that shouldn't have happened, but there is no point in really going into that.
A couple of the other actors said that they would have loved to see Monroe and Rosalee as parents with their triplets.
It would have been nice to actually see one of our babies. There is all this talk of what the baby was going to be. That would have been nice if it had played out. Unless they made some joke about the gestation period is three years. All bets are off. Everything is on the table on this show.
What's been your biggest challenge in playing this wonderful character?
I think sometimes the words were hard. But that's also the fun of it.
Did you have to learn German?
A little bit. I know more German words now than I did before, that's for damn sure. German is a great language. It's a really, really interesting way they put word syntax ... their syntax is interesting. The way they put words together, that's why there are German words that are untranslatable in English because it's like a modular language ... And they used that. They used that on the show where they would take these big German words and take them apart and put them back together in nonsense ways, but the real language does do that with words ... And if you read German philosophy and all that, it creates concepts using language or it expresses concepts in language that is hard for English to do. I did learn a little bit of German.
I've been doing recaps for the show and every week I have to go get the spelling of the Wesen of the week.
There are some pretty intense ones.
What was the surprise for you this last season, the thing you weren't expecting?
I mean every episode was a surprise at the end. One thing was a surprise is like, oh HW is like, "The Black Claw, they're all dead. We got them all. We're good. No more of them." They had to do these 'poetic licenses' in order to keep things moving. There is nothing where I was totally surprised. I hope the audience was.
I've been surprised so far in the last few episodes.
I'm going to go watch I think the [end]. We have advanced copies but I haven't been watching it. I was there. I don't have to see it.
You already know.
I know how it turns out.
Are there any projects coming up for you that you want to mention?
I'm doing a play and that will take me through most of the summer. It's called Constellations in Portland. And then I'm back to the drawing board.
What would you like to say to the fans who have been watching Grimm for six years?
Thanks for sticking with us. I mean we say it every year. I've said it at every Comic Con, but it bears repeating. If it weren't for the fans we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't be happening, especially at the beginning when they moved us around. We started Friday, then they moved to Tuesday and then they moved us at 9 and then we were at 8. It was all over the map for a while. But there was this loyal core that found us and followed us and if it weren't for them we wouldn't have made it as long as we did. Thanks for seeking us out.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
No. I really just want to thank the fans for sticking with us and see you in the funny papers. See you on the next one.