Exclusive: Grimm's David Giuntoli spills on Season 5 and Nick's 'darkest, most bloodthirsty place'

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Nov 1, 2015, 6:52 PM EST (Updated)

After last season's devastating Season 4 finale, you wouldn't think Grimm could get any darker. Well, get ready, said actor David Giuntoli in this Blastr exclusive about Grimm's new season and his character, Nick. Things are about to become far, far worse for our lead Grimm as Season 5 kicks off tonight on NBC at 9 PM Eastern.

Last season, a strange turn of events instigated by the Royals and Adalind infected Nick's true love, Juliette, and turned her into an evil Hexenbiest who betrayed him. In an even stranger turn of events, Adalind ended up accidentally pregnant with Nick's child. All that led to Nick's prized trailer being burnt down and Nick's mother, Kelly, being beheaded at the hands of the Royals. In the finale, Juliette was about to kill Nick when Trubel stepped in to take out Juliette with some arrows to the chest. As Nick wept over a dying Juliette, several men dressed in black rushed into the house.

Giuntoli chatted with me about last season's horrifying finale, what we had to look forward to with Season 5, and Nick's Grimm evolution.

Last season was just devastating for Nick. How does he come back from that?

Giuntoli: You've watched Nick become a more terrible and horrific person as the seasons progress. So I hope everybody enjoys (laughs).

In Nick's world, revenge is nigh. He will be seeking it at all costs. We have lost dear Juliette. We have lost Kelly, Nick's mother. And we have a child. And I think the child is the only thing that is keeping Nick going, and that bloodthirsty appetite for revenge. So the baby and decapitation are the things that are keeping Nick going.

A normal person dealing with their mother's head in a box and the love of their life dying in their arms would just fall into a puddle on the floor and never get up.

Giuntoli: Exactly. The 22 episodes is Nick in bed listening to Morrissey records. It's not going to be that compelling (laughs).

It was a horrible, fantastic finale. As an actor, what challenges did you face?

Giuntoli: I was definitely not looking forward to finding my mother's head. That was a hard scene for me. It was funny. It was as if the writers were writing for a [series] finale. And I could sense that they were really ramping up the drama and the stakes. It felt like no character was safe. And all the actors were like, “We're going to die. See you guys ... never.”

Over the probably six or seven episodes prior to the finale, I started sensing that things were ramping up at a higher level than they ever had. Reading the season finale and reading the pentultimate episode in which the trailer was burned, both of those were great shocks. And then when Juliette was killed ... I mean, my mother, Juliette, and the trailer, these were all characters that were beloved on our show. And it really upped the stakes and showed that no one is safe. In a 22-episode show, you put these characters in peril, the audiences' stomachs get twisted in knots, but they need to feel the sense that no one is safe. You can't feel at the end of the episode like, 'Of course, Monroe will live.' Or, 'Of course, Juliette will live.' Or, 'Of course, Kelly will live.' No one is safe anymore, and I think that makes it more compelling drama.

True, but if this had been the series finale, I think the writers would have been strung up. We want somewhat a happy ending for our characters when a series we've been watching for years finally comes to an end.

Giuntoli: I've heard their ideas for the [series] finale. If it ever comes down to that, and it ain't happy.

Have the writers told you what their plans were for Nick this season?

Giuntoli: There's never a sit-down discussion about what's going to happen next season, or for the next five episodes, even. And I don't even think I want to know. That doesn't help me in any way as an actor. I go script by script, and you deal with the circumstances and just kind of go there. I knew Nick's starting-off point was one of delirium and vengeful hate, so I knew that's how I start [the season].

You have to think Nick is at his most dangerous.

Giuntoli: Yeah, he doesn't care much about the police protocol. He doesn't care about anything. He has very little to lose. So, if Nick in Season 1 was 100% cop, now he's 100% Grimm. He's fully transitioned.

What's it been like to play Nick at this stage?

Giuntoli: Nick is foaming at the mouth and people think he's losing his mind, and all of his tramatic events have happened at once...Nick has gone off the deep end. And how do you play that as an actor? It's hard to play crazy. You have to play very determined, but you can't make sense to anybody else. And you have to play someone who's got a hair trigger. That's what's crazy [is being] unpredictable. Not crazy.

It must be exhausting going home at the end of the day.

Giuntoli: When it's highly emotional for 14 hours a day...oh, yeah, my girlfriend has, God bless her heart, put up with a lot for the first couple episodes (laughs).

What's surprised you most when it comes to all things Grimm?

Giuntoli: I think the extended release surprise is that it keeps going and going. I mean that's not a comment on the writing or anything. No matter how good a show is you don't expect it to go. It takes so many things to fall in place that have very little to do with your show, for your show to have the environment and room to breathe and to grow. And watching it grow has been really a pleasure. And each season it changes, and Season 5, not only is Nick at his darkest, most bloodthirsty place, but I would say there's been a reboot. There's going to be no more trailer, no more mom, no more Juliette. We learn about whole new organizations in our government that are completely behind the scenes, covert organizations. We have new characters, new sets, and it's largely a reboot. So that's kind of been a surprise.

Each year the series seems to get bigger.

Giuntoli: It's a big global struggle in Season 5. And more and more characters get killed off of our beloved characters. So, it's always a shocker with that.

Oh, no!

Giuntoli: Yeah. Absolutely. They drop like flies in Season 5. I'm telling you.

Is there anything beyond Nick's quest for revenge?

Giuntoli: It's all just revenge this season. Also fatherhood, with Adalind. The Stockholm Syndrome, I would say. He's strange bedfellows with his previous mortal, sworn enemy. And he has to work with her. So, it's the Stockholm Syndrome thing.

And there's Adalind's other baby out there with the resistance.

Giuntoli: I assume she's dying, too. We're killing everybody off. It's really remarkable (laughs). Maybe it will just be called Trubel at the end of the season.

The Royals are in trouble. At least the King got thrown out of a plane.

Giuntoli: Yeah, the kingdoms are falling.

Nick still has friends he cares about in Monroe, Rosalee and Hank. Does that leave him with some humanity to hang onto?

Giuntoli: I think the baby grounds him, if anything. I don't think anybody else does at this point. He's off the rails completely. I don't think his friends matter that much to him right now.

It looks like it's going to be a fascinating season.

Giuntoli: It will be. And people drop like flies. It is true. Sorry to tell you.

Here's a look at Season 5 of Grimm:


Grimm airs on NBC on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET.