We’ve been fans of Silas Weir Mitchell’s since "Prison Break," when he played the schizoaffective inmate Haywire. That character, like his current part of Monroe on "Grimm," often provided the comic relief in an otherwise pretty intense story. In a recent conference call we spoke with Silas about playing Monroe, the Blutbad-turned-Grimm informant.
On what he has to do as an actor to turn into a Blutbad
“There's definitely stuff that I do as an actor that involves a mentality shift, there's a physical shift. The CGI is so advanced now that it follows along with your facial expressions… There are several variations or situations under which a Wesen will reveal himself. And one of them is aggressive and angry, purposeful morph. And then the other sometimes if you're really, really sad or scared or nervous your inner self will burst out because your guard is down. So in the event that you do it one way versus the other you're going to have a different aspect. And the CGI is able to capture that. So it's not just a big thing that goes on top of you and obfuscates your emotional life. It's prime enough that it can see what you're feeling. It can react to your face.”
On what might happen with Rosalee this season
“Rosalee is back which is delightful. And we hang out at the spice shop. This episode in particular is a very Wesen heavy episode as far as the mythology of the Wesen. There’s these different groups in the story. There's the Grimm's although there's really only one. Then there's the Wesens, then there's subgroups of the Wesen. And then the Royals, there's the Varrock. There's all these forces at work. And this episode focuses on the inner lives and the inner workings of the Wesen community. And Rosalee and I are at the center of that. And as far as romance goes, it's a slow burn but there's definitely an attraction there. We get something we need from each other for sure. We have both have a lot of similarities. And we're both damaged and we're tip toeing towards the end of the diving board.”
On why audiences are drawn to supernatural shows
“First of all people enjoy being scared and that's part of what's fun about 'Grimm' is that we continue to try to make every episode have something in that's either going to make you jump or turn away or close your eyes and look through your fingers. So people enjoy. That's why horror movies are big business. As far as the supernatural thing goes it's just there's a certain segment of the population and there's a certain type people call them genre stories. There's always going to be a type of storytelling that allows a person both the writer and the reader or the creator and the spectator to paint with a broader brush in a way and imagine the world in a way that it could be but we don't see it as being that way. And that's exciting for people to operate from a premise that the world is slightly other than what we see. It's still recognizable but it's other. There's always going to be a segment of the population that wants to experience that type of reality as opposed to something that's just taking place like a lawyer show or a hospital show. There's always going to be people that want to imagine the world as slightly tweaked.”
On why Monroe seems happier this season
“Monroe is happier. He was forced out of his little cave. And now he's nosing around in the world. And it's kind of fun out there. And I've got a girlfriend and I have little adventures that I do with my weird pal Nick. And that the whole idea of doing good in the world, that's how it wound up making sense to me that I came out of my little world of clocks and maps and things — I was doing good in the world. And if it's a Grimm so be it. I'm not going to stand aside and let bad things happen just because he's a Grimm. He's a different kind of Grimm and I'm okay with that. And I think it's nice to be able to behave and live in the world.”
On shooting the bank robbery scene
“The bank robbery was intense. They were firing off full loads with automatic weapons. And it was loud and it was scary. And it reminded me of the bank robbery in Southern California about 10 or 11 years ago where the guys walked into a bank with automatic armor piercing bullets and full flat jackets. And they just walked into a branch in the valley in L.A. and just started firing off. And there was a huge shootout in the parking lot. And it was crazy. And so it reminded me of that and it's weird. It's weird to be in a big high ceiling echoy room with people firing off full loads. It was intense. I hope that comes across on screen because it was pretty cool to be there.”
On keeping the Grimm mythology straight
“You just absorb it. That's an actor's job, to absorb the imaginary world that they're presented with. And I can keep the big picture straight.”
On his convincing German accent
“I spent some time in Vienna so I have a little tiny bit of German. But mostly I just like languages and I speak a little French, I speak a little Italian. And adding German to the mix is just another shift. We also have a very good dialect coach. But after a certain point you build it in and you know how to make the sounds. I couldn't have a conversation with someone in German but I can make the noises. I'm linguistically attuned I would say.”
On why he gets cast in dark roles
“it has a lot to do with physiognomy is part of it. I'm tall and dark and quote unquote glowering. But Monroe is a great character for me because my inner life is not like that. I just have access to it because I'm actor. We should all have access to everything. That's what our job is to live in imaginary world. And whatever that calls for we need to have an elastic inner life, an elastic imagination like an acrobat… But as far as being on a madcap sitcom I think Monroe is as madcap as it needs to get for me.”
On the best part of being on 'Grimm'
“There's nothing I don't really like about this show. I like the town I'm in, which is Portland. It's a great place to live and work. I like the people I'm working with. I like the character I'm playing. I like the way the storylines are drawn. I mean what more can you say? Gainfully employed with people I like on a show that's fun to do and it doesn't get much better than that.”
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