Bitsie Tulloch Talks GRIMM, Her Biggest Acting Challenges This Season, Which Creatures She Finds the Creepiest and What’s Next for Her Character

     November 16, 2012


In the fall finale of Grimm, troublemaker Adalind (Claire Coffee) returns to wreak havoc in everyone’s lives and avenge her mother’s brutal death.  Naturally, she has her eyes set on Portland Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) and those closest to him, including his partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) and fiancée Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch).  Meanwhile, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) is trying to help Juliette and Nick’s boss, Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz), deal with their escalating obsession.

During this recent interview, actress Bitsie Tulloch talked about the connection between Juliette and Renard, whether or not Monroe will keep their secret, how the return of Adalind will affect things, the biggest acting challenges she’s had this season, how her personal backstory became Juliette’s backstory, which creatures she’s found the most creepy, how she’s rooting for Juliette to get her memory back, what she hopes is next for the character’s evolution, and whether fans are more Team Nick or Team Renard (or Team Monroe!).  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Grimm-Bitsie-TullochQuestion:  After Juliette and Renard’s kiss, at the end of the last episode, where will things be going next?

BITSIE TULLOCH:  The reality is that they’re both inextricably connected to one another and they both don’t understand why.  He probably has a better understanding of it, just because he’s more within that Grimm world.  He obviously agreed to do the purification rite, so that he would be pure of heart when he kissed me, but I don’t think he fully understands what’s going on now, as far as this intense attraction.  And it’s not getting any better.  It’s just getting worse and worse, and stronger and stronger.  So, I guess what I could say is that you haven’t seen the last of that yet.

Is there any concern that Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) won’t keep their secret from Nick (David Giuntoli)?

TULLOCH:  For the most part, Juliette has been fairly honest and straightforward, as much as she can be, knowing that there’s so much that she doesn’t know and that she’s not let in on.  The reality is that she doesn’t necessarily feel like this behavior is becoming to her.  The reason that they show up in the spice shop is that Captain Renard calls Juliette and says, “I know a way that we can fix this,” ans she’s like, “Fine, okay, let’s fix this, otherwise we are never seeing each other, ever again.”  She is having a little bit of a hard time fighting it, but she doesn’t want this to be going on.  And then, when she turns around and sees Monroe, she knows Monroe and she knows that Monroe knows her.  She’s also aware that Renard is Nick’s boss, so now, all of a sudden, it’s this tumultuous state of affairs.

What can you say about Nick and Juliette in this fall finale, and how the return of Adalind (Claire Coffee) might play into that?

TULLOCH:  Well, Adalind is back to wreak havoc everywhere she can, and she’s trying to avenge her mother’s death.  How much I play into that storyline remains to be seen.  Based on last week’s episode, it’s coming to a place where they’re going to have to talk about what’s going on.  The reality is that Juliette just doesn’t really understand what’s going on because she’s under a spell and doesn’t know she’s under a spell because she just woke up, one day, and started having these intense feelings about Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz).

Grimm-Bitsie-TullochDo you think it’s possible that viewers will get to see a cat fight between Juliette and Adalind anytime soon?

TULLOCH:  I hope so!  I think it would be pretty fun to have a little cat fight, but I don’t know.  I’m not quite sure.  Since we’re all going on hiatus for two months, I haven’t seen one yet.  But. that’s definitely something I would look forward to doing.

What sort of acting challenges have you found with the role of Juliette, this season, having to play her without her memories of Nick?

TULLOCH:  It’s been hard.  It’s certainly a harder storyline than what I had last season.  But, there was a very strange coincidence.  I read a lot of Oliver Sacks, the neurologist, and I was reading a book called The Mind’s Eye, about prosopagnosia, which is facial blindness, where people can’t recognize their loved ones.  Even though that’s not really what Juliette has, it was interesting to me to think about how terrifying it is for these people who can’t recognize their loved ones.  For her to wake up, and to have to play it as if I was just meeting this guy for the very first time, was interesting.  All of the things that you use, as an actor, to find chemistry, you have to subdue, so that you’re coming to it with a blank slate because her mind is blank right now, with regards to Nick.  It’s definitely been more fun for me, with everything that’s going on this season.  And obviously getting to make out with two sexy guys, as opposed to just one, is never a bad thing.

What’s it been like to work with Sasha Roiz more, this season?  Do you have a favorite scene, so far, between the two?

TULLOCH:  It was funny, when we read that we were going to be love interests, he and I were dying because we’re like best friends.  We were just laughing so hard.  It was like, “Oh, my god, this is going to be weird because we’re so close!”  There was definitely a lot of giggling and, “Okay, this is strange,” the first time we had to do a kissing scene.  But, there was a scene in Episode 213 that involves him, that’s amazing.  It was fun shooting the scene, a couple of episodes ago, when we’re all at that awards ceremony, and he and I were both so nervous around each other, and then he drove me home.  I don’t realize he’s followed me into the house and that he’s watching me take a shower.  That whole day was fun.

What do you think it is about Grimm that crosses genres, in its fan base? 

TULLOCH:  My grandma can’t stay up that late, but I always download the episodes from my iTunes for her, so that she can watch them all.  At one point, she watched eight in a row.  It’s just very entertaining.  It’s scary, but it’s not too scary.  It’s definitely suspenseful, but you have a lot of different genres smushed seamlessly into one show.  You have people who like procedurals, who like the romance, who like the fantasy, and who like the sci-fi.  Characters like Monroe and Sargent Wu (Reggie Lee) are really funny.  And then, you have these cool morphing creatures, and the visual effects and all of the prosthetics.  The guy who does our make-up won an Oscar for Star Trek, and he does all of the prosthetics for the monsters.  I think that’s one of the reasons that, for the most part the morphs are very seamless.

Grimm-Bitsie-TullochPersonally, what do you think about the supernatural and paranormal?

TULLOCH:  I definitely have an open mind, but I’m a wuss.  I don’t watch scary movies.  Sometimes even having to read the script and do an episode of Grimm, I get a little tense because I know someone’s going to jump out of somewhere.  By the time the episodes airs, a month or two later, I’ve forgotten what it was all about.  That’s one of the reasons that I love Tweeting with the fans on Fridays, if I can.  We’re really seeing it, for the first time, with the audience.  I usually have seen a snippet, here or there, with ADR, but we all really watch it together.  But, I would say that I’m open minded.  I certainly wouldn’t want to encounter any paranormal activity, but whatever floats your boat.  If you want to party with ghosts, then go for it.

In the episode with La Llorona, Juliette described a childhood that is similar to your own childhood fromSpain.  How did your personal backstory become Juliette’s backstory?

TULLOCH:  Well, David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf have been remarkably, amazingly generous with the cast.  Sasha, for example, speaks Russian because his parents are Russian, and he speaks a little bit of French, having grown up in Montreal, so they wrote that into it.  One of the things that I’m really proud of is that this cast is very ethnically diverse and multi-lingual.  Reggie Lee is Filipino and speaks fluent Tagalog.  I speak Spanish because I grew up overseas in Spain, Uruguay and Argentina.  So, when they decided to do La Llorona, they thought it would be a wonderful way to have this episode that’s incorporating the fact that I can actually speak Spanish with what is basically a South American, Central American and Southwestern U.S. fairy tale that I had heard.  When we lived in San Diego for two years, after we first moved back to the States, I had heard La Llorona because my mom’s background is Spanish.  They’ve just been really great about any skills that we have.  I know that they’ve asked Reggie if he could think of any Filipino, Chinese or Asian fairytales that he was told, as a child, so that might happen down the road.  One of the greatest things about working on the show is that it’s very collaborative.

In that same episode, Juliette met an older Latina woman who instantly sensed that she was torn between two men.  Will viewers see that lady again?  Can she help Juliette?

TULLOCH:  I’m not sure, if we’ve seen the last of her.  I don’t know.  She freaks me out, though.  I think my character would probably be happy to never see her again, but who knows? 

Grimm-Bitsie-TullochAre you personally wishing for Juliette to get her memories of Nick back, or to remain the way she is now?

TULLOCH:  That’s an excellent question.  I think it would be pretty cool to eventually get my memory back to see what my reaction is going to be like, this time.  Is it going to be the same as it was when he told me before, and I just thought he was crazy?  Or having gone through everything that I’ve gone through this season, with being under the spell, is that going to make me open-minded?  At a certain point, I think it would definitely be nice for Juliette to get the memories back.  I’m not quite sure what their intention is.  I sort of know, but I’m not going to say anything.  At the same time, it’s been really fun having to not only juggle this love triangle, but also play with the memory loss.  In that sense, it’s been fun to go through, as an actress.  It’s certainly been a lot more emotional for my character, this season, especially in a couple of episodes coming up.  There’s one episode where all I was doing, the entire episode, was crying, which sounds like it wouldn’t be that much fun, but as an actress, it was fun to really be able to delve into such deep emotions.

When Juliette gets her memory back, is there any chance she’ll aid Nick in fighting the Wesen?

TULLOCH:  I have no idea, and if I did, I probably couldn’t tell you.  I would love to because, any time that the character gets to be a bad-ass, I’m a happy camper.  I love doing that stuff.  It’s exciting for me.

How do you guys continue to maintain the great chemistry you have together?

TULLOCH:  I think a huge part of that has to do with the fact that we’re all very close to each other.  We were all out drinking on Saturday night, until the wee hours of the morning.  I had just gone to a basketball game with David Giuntoli, and we met up with the rest of the gang.  Especially being on location and working such long hours, and some strange hours, too, because we work at night a lot, it’s made us interact with each other a lot more.  Not only does Giuntoli live in my building, but he’s two doors down from me.  Reggie lives a couple of floors up.  We all live in the same neighborhood and we hang out a lot, so I think the chemistry is just there because we genuinely really like each other.  I also feel like Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt are such sweet guys, and Todd Milliner and Sean Hayes, and all of our executive producers, are very warm and welcoming.  It’s just a really tight cast.  The Koufs have a Grimm viewing party every Friday at their house.  I had a huge party for La Llorona because I was live Tweeting it and everybody was over at my place.  We’re just a very, very close, friendly bunch.

GrimmWhich Wesen did you respond to the most?  Have any been particularly frightening to you?

TULLOCH:  The cannibal Wesen were super creepy.  The one that I thought was a sexy Wesen was the Mauvais Dentes, the saber-toothed tiger creature from Season 2.  I love that.

In the first season, it seemed like Juliette’s profession as a vet had a fairly big part in the story, especially with Adalind bringing her cat to her and that’s how Juliette got sick.  Will viewers ever get to see more of Juliette as a vet and how that might play into her recovery?

TULLOCH:  I’m not entirely sure because we don’t get more than one script out.  I personally love shooting anything as a vet because I love animals, and then we always have a lot of stage animals that I get to play with, all day long.  As far as my character is concerned, they’ve really been focusing on this love triangle, so I haven’t shot any more scenes as a vet.  But, I’ve made it very clear to them that I love any time I get to play with fur balls.

With Juliette being a vet, why do you she and Nick don’t have any pets together?

TULLOCH:  Well, part of the problem is that the animals that we work with are generally well-trained, but they have a mind of their own.  So, for the ease of filming, that’s basically why we don’t have a pet yet.  I am all about it, and that’s something that we’ve brought up.  I know the fans want my dog, Henry, to be our dog because I always Tweet pictures of Henry.  Some fan in Spain even made Henry his own Twitter page.  But, he’s way too naughty.  He would not be able to be a very good stage dog.  I would love that, though.  That’s something that’s been brought up.  But, our lives have been so chaotic, with ogres jumping in and guys destroying our house, all the time, and getting kidnapped.  With the whole memory loss, I don’t know that we’re going to have a little golden retriever puppy any time soon.  I don’t think it would last that long.

Season 1 was about Juliette’s relationship to Nick, and Season 2 has seen her with her own stuff going on.  What do you hope is next for Juliette’s evolution, as a character?

TULLOCH:  The episodes that have been the most fun for me are the ones where I’m being more pro-active, and I get invited along for the ride, with the whole Scooby gang.  La Llorona was really fun for me because it was a whole different side of her, as opposed to the relationship stuff that’s going on at home.  This Friday’s episode is a huge one.  It’s the Fall finale, so there’s a lot going on.  There will be a cliffhanger, going into Episode 13, which will be on next year.  So, I would obviously love to get more involved.  I loved the episode where I got to shoot a gun.  I had way too much fun with that.  But, as far as a relationship with Nick goes, the reality is that there is a spark there, even with the memory loss.  It would be great, if she could remember him, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not.  There’s still a reason they fell in love in the first place, and there was a lot of love there.  As a fan, if you go for her with Renard, you’re going for the passion and the lust.  If you go for Nick, you’re going for the love and the comfort.  That’s the perpetual question that I’m constantly asking myself.

Grimm-Bitsie-TullochAs an actor, do you enjoy getting to play the darkness of the obsessed Juliette?

TULLOCH:  Yes, I definitely prefer that.  It was a very loving relationship, but I personally had a hard time relating to the way Juliette was scripted in Season 1 because she was so patient with Nick and I’m very impatient.  I just felt like, if he had been my real boyfriend, three days in, I would have been like, “What’s going on?!  We’re working through this.  Don’t lie to me!  I know something’s up!”  But, they’ve been dating for three years and she knows that he was basically orphaned, and then his aunt, who raised him, died.  So, she’s very compassionate and understanding and was giving him space because she felt like that’s what he needed the most.  But, having this weird obsession and being under a spell and dealing with this crazy memory loss has been a lot more fun for me, as an actor.

What kind of feedback have you been getting about your character, this season?  Do fans want Juliette to be with Nick, or do they want her to be with Renard? 

TULLOCH:  I would say that maybe 70% are Team Nick, and 25% are Team Renard, and then I’m having a lot of Team Monroe’s thrown in there.  That was interesting.  And then, I was shooting last week with Bree [Turner], and I was like, “Screw the boys!  There should be a Team Rosalette!”  And she was like, “Yeah!”  But, I know that will never happen.

Why do you think Nick continues to withhold the truth from Juliette?

TULLOCH:  Well, the first time he told her, she thought he was crazy, so he’s probably not exactly excited about going through a repeat of that whole situation.  But, I think a lot of it also has to do with protecting her because they’ve built a life together, they’ve spent years together now, and he’s very, very protective of her.  You’ll see that going forward, too.  At the end of the day, I’m sure he would love to just tell her, but how does he tell her in a way where she’s going to believe him and not think he’s crazy?  That’s the big question. 


Are there aspects of Juliette that you really identify with or see yourself in?

TULLOCH:  There are some.  I would say the compassion.  I think that’s one of my better traits, and I think that Juliette is definitely very compassionate and thoughtful.  My not so fun traits are that I get very impatient and I can be really stubborn.  I’m very much about getting everything all out in the open.  I just feel like you have a smaller fight if you fight now.  If you just keep it within you, then things start to fester and stew, and then it ends up being a much bigger thing than it ever needed to be, in the first place.  In that sense, I feel like I couldn’t really relate to Juliette because she was being so patient with Nick and really giving him his space.  That’s not something that I could do.

What is the most unique or different aspect of being on Grimm, compared to the other roles you’ve done?

TULLOCH:  Well, definitely the fantasy aspect of it.  I shot an episode coming up where there’s a lot of green screen, and there was a lot of really, really, really having to use my imagination to get into character.  There’s some really cool stuff that’ll be happening next year.  That stuff doesn’t come up on this Friday’s episode.  So, that’s obviously different.  Any time you have to work with green screen or with monsters and people in prosthetics, it’s creepy.  I shot a scene recently and the way I decided to play it was thinking of The Shining.  The actor that I was working with was terrified.  They were really freaked out and were like, “Stop doing that!,” because it was so scary.  So, yeah, it’s definitely different.

Grimm airs on Friday nights on NBC.