Interviews

GRIMM Scoop: Bitsie Tulloch Interview

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Everyone seemed to instinctively know in their gut that Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) being turned into a Hexenbiest was not going to work out well.  It is why Juliette hid the fact from Nick (David Giuntoli) for as long as she did.  So now that he knows, things are not looking good for the star-crossed lovebirds.  Just how will they reconcile the mortal-enemy sides of their natures?

In a recent press call, star Bitsie Tulloch offered her candid take on whether the Nick and Juliette love story is over for good and what is going to happen as a result of the Hexenbiest surprise.

Can you talk about kind of that experience getting into a Wesen character and also working with any special effects?  

BITSIE:We really need to give credit where credit is due, and because it takes so much time to actually get into prosthetic makeup, we simply don’t have the time to do it.  So my fight scene with Claire when our characters are morphed was our stunt doubles. Also that was a really intense scene to film. The first time they started shooting it, Claire’s double fractured a rib. So we had to reshoot with a different double the next day.  So what happened when we morph is that we’ll shoot the scene — and then everybody kind of has a different way that they morph — like I have a little bit of a head toss and I hiss. I don’t know that anyone else really makes a sound.  But I’ve always sort of interpreted it like snake like. And I always hiss and I kind of toss my head. But when that happens, they apply little yellow drops with latex on top of our makeup. And then they’ll remove them and we’ll continue the scene.  So that’s what happens with the morphing. And then if you go onto my Instagram and my Twitter whenever I’m ADR, I kind of take pictures so that people can see what it looks like during the process of the VFX team going in and sort of painting me in as Hexenbiest.  As far as psychologically, and it has been such a great storyline because there’s such a push-pull with her. Where at first she really didn’t want. She just wanted to have her normal life back. But now that she’s sort of learning how to control the Hexenbiest within she’s realizing just how powerful this makes her. And to an extent, as much as she’s been able to contribute to the Scooby squad as a veterinarian and then also as somebody sort of good with a gun. This is the first time that she has sort of supernatural powers.  So it’s really the question going back and forth of do I want to be normal again and be with Nick? Or do I want to stay a Hexenbiest because this is kind of fun. And I think the Hexenbiest are pretty wicked. And so she’s definitely going to the dark side and that’s the intention. And I think that’s really where they’re going with the character at least in the immediate future and for the rest of the season.

Do you want her to stay Hexenbiest?

BITSIE: I think it’s pretty fun. I’ve had pretty crazy arcs for my character since Season 1.  Season 1, she was rather passive in order to serve the story with Nick kind of hiding everything from her. And then Season 2 she was in a comma and lost her memory. And had this love triangle with Renard (Sasha Roiz). In Season 3 she finally found out and was able to kind of join the Grimm gang and that was a really fun season. But this has been, this sort of really changed everything.  I was really thrilled when I saw the first script. And we had no idea and I remember texting with the cast. And everyone was like what? This is so crazy; what an awesome idea. And yes, going forward it’s adding a new element to the series for sure.

Nick seems embarrassed at this point for all the things that have happened to Juliette as a result of him being a Grimm.  How do they sort of get over this latest wrinkle in their relationship?

BITSIE: I think the reason they’ve stayed together thus far is that there’s a lot of love there. And it’s been one of the things in both of their lives that even though it’s sort of wreaked a lot of havoc you always go back to home.  And I think he represents home for her and vice versa. And they’ve so far kind of managed to get through everything together even if it’s been tough. And so the initial question like how they’re going, obviously, how are they going to handle this because this is the craziest thing obviously they’ve had to deal with.  Because the Hexenbiest are basically – they’re mortal enemies of the Grimms. And they just want to kill them and vice versa which is why Juliette took so long to tell him the truth because she was terrified. Both that he would have a gut reaction and go after her and kill her.  Also that she’s it’s been made apparent to her by this point that she’s incredibly powerful.  more so than Adalind or Renard who are both Hexenbiest could ever dream of being. And she doesn’t know how to really control it yet.  So if he started to attack her and she morphs into a Hexenbiest like could she kill him.  So I think that makes sense. But really the question going forward can they live like this or not. And I think she’s kind of given up hope because she looks in the mirror and all she sees is this ugly monster. And she hasn’t really embraced it yet.  So she’s like “I can’t handle the way that you look at me when I look like this and this is what I am now.” Because Juliette tried with Henrietta and there seems to be no cure.  So that’s really the question going forward. But it’s a little bit of it’s almost becoming like a Romeo and Juliette situation. Where  they’re in love but they can’t really be together the way it is right now.

What can you share about the collaboration with the writers, like how much they sort of have clued you in as to where this is going to go and this is going to be a permanent thing or if it’s maybe going to resolve or change at some point either later this season or next season?

BITSIE: Sometimes we know more and we have a little bit of a heads-up. And then sometimes what I’ve found with the showrunners, Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, is that they’re really open to ideas and stuff. And it’s very much a collaborative process.  But a lot of the times stuff changes because the show moves pretty quickly. I mean the episode that’s airing tomorrow night at 8 pm we shot in January. And it’s already airing. And they they go on Facebook. They go on social media. And they see the stuff that the fans really like. And they’ll give them more of that. And so the Hexenbiest has been incredibly popular among the fans. And so don’t expect that to be going anywhere anytime soon. And butI think sometimes they sort of like seeing the cast reaction to crazy storylines, you know. I remember nobody knew was it Season, maybe either the beginning of Season 2 or Season 3, whenever Hank found out. We were all like “wow, that was early.” We didn’t know he was going to find out that early that Nick was going to tell him. And then there have been a couple other storylines the thing with Adalind being pregnant. That was another one that we that happened honestly, part of the reason that happened is that Claire Coffee actually got pregnant. And Bree Turner was pregnant Season 2. And they shot around it. And this time they were like, “Are we really going to shot around another pregnancy? Or is this actually kind of a blessing in disguise. And we could add a sort of new element to the show using her actual pregnancy.” So sometimes stuff just pops up and they’re responding to it.  But the Hexenbiest thing I didn’t know about. The Season finale for this season is the biggest game changer we have ever had. I mean people will lose their minds. There’s going to be gosh, I don’t know what I can say without giving it away other than, yes, we’ve never done anything this big on the show before. So that’s going to really change everything going into Season 5. And the Juliette Hexenbiest storyline has a lot to do with that.  And the reality is going forward you’re going to see a lot of the push-pull with psychologically wanting this power. And I think it adds a really interesting element to the story for her to turn really, really dark.

If you could be any Wesen, which Wesen would you be?

BITSIE: I like the Wesen I am right now that’s for sure. It’s fun getting to walk into these scenes and basically just kick ass. And she has power over everyone. I mean she’s just stronger and faster and she could have easily killed Adalind if she wanted to.  I don’t know that she was mentally prepared to do that yet. But so that’s always been really fun. Prior to becoming a Hexenbiest, my answer was always Mauvais Dentes, which was the saber tooth tiger from Season 2. Just because I like how sort of quiet and powerful and stealthy that character was. And it always reminded me of that sort of viral YouTube video of the Ninja cat who you turn the camera away and then it’s three feet closer to you.  it’s just really spooky.  So I used to say the Mauvais Dentes but right now I’m obviously really enjoying this storyline as the Hexenbiest.

There’s a rumor of some kind of pregnancy and the baby might be Wesen? If so, is there anything you can tell us about what’s going to happen between these two?

BITSIE: The previews going forward, there is like I just said, Claire Coffee is actually pregnant in real life and so they’re having her be pregnant on the show. So that’s the pregnancy going forward.  And as to whether or not the baby is going to have weird powers or how are you going to have like a Wesen-Grimm baby and, you know. That’s just going to be like the weirdest baby ever. But, yes that’s the pregnancy storyline going forward. Juliette is not pregnant.

Also, Nick was kissing another woman. Can these guys ever get a break and have like a really good period between the two of them? Have you talked to the writers about that?

BITSIE: Tthe whole thing with Nick kissing another woman you will kind of see what happens with that going forward. That might be a little bit of a red herring. No, I was just saying there’s no conflict in stability really. And I don’t know that a stable, loving relationship makes for great television. So it’s funny because the fans like constantly until we actually did the Adalind and Juliette fight that was the biggest thing everybody wanted and that was for Juliette to have it out with Adalind and kick some butt. And so she did that. And now all I’m really seeing is Nick and Juliette need to get married. They should just get married already.  And it’s kind of fun seeing the fans come to Juliette’s defense. Well Nick better be understanding about this. Like look at how much he’s put her through. So that’s been really fun for me. I’m like yes, he’s put her through so much. Like come on man, you’ve got to be understanding about this. But, yes, at some point you hope. I don’t know that they’re planning on doing it anytime soon because the writers are having so much fun with this sort of darker character.  I mean you would hope that at some point maybe they’ll get married. And actually have like one day of rest.

How big a role does Juliette have in the finale?

BITSIE: Everything. She is going to cause major, major problems for basically everyone involved.  the reality is she misses Nick and she loves him. But she just can’t imagine a way for them to be able to stay together under the circumstances. She’s been told by numerous people now there’s absolutely nothing she can do about it. And so what else would you do? I mean you have to embrace your new life. And she has to go forward with that. And she is dead set on embracing it. And she’s like if this is how it’s going to be then I might as well be the best Hexenbiest I can. And there’s a darkness to that that’s going to seep into her veins. And you’re not going to really see the sort of sweet loving girlfriend that everybody’s gotten used to for the last few seasons.

How has that changed your experience on the show?

BITSIE: I’ve always had a blast on the show. And they’ve always given me interesting things to do. I think Season 1 was probably the hardest for me because the character was so passive. And everybody else was kind of running around doing fun stuff.  But it also really served the storyline. And Nick really needed to keep her in the dark. Because he was himself so in the dark about what it meant to be a Grimm and everything. And then Season 2 I had this great arc of losing my memory and not remembering Nick and that whole storyline and then slowly Season 3 kind of having the secret revealed and joining forces with the Scooby squad.  That’s always really fun because those scenes are really fun to shoot. Because you have most of the cast together and everybody’s having a blast and chit-chatting in between scenes. But this has been really just cool because it’s the first time she’s had any sort of supernatural power. And so I personally have been having a blast with it. And it’s nice that they’re sort of using Juliette who up to this point has hasn’t been this what’s the word? She’s coming in and she’s adding all the fuel to the fire.  And so it’s sort of centered around the havoc that she’s causing among the group. And so I think especially going into Season 5 of a TV show, you need to really kind revamp stuff a little bit. Keep it interesting.  Have there be a game changer. And there certainly is a massive game changer at the end of Season 4 in the finale.

With everything going on especially with the game changer that you’re talking about with the season moving forward, do you see your characters moving to different locations outside of Portland? Or are you still going to try and keep the home base in Portland?

BITSIE: I’m not sure about that. I can’t imagine that GRIMM is really ever going to take place in any other city besides Portland. Portland is the perfect setting for this because the city in and of itself has not only these luscious forests but there’s also a little bit of an eerie quality because the weather can be it’s gray. You have these really thick forests and they get really dark during the day. And also the city has been so great to us and we love shooting here. And we certainly haven’t run out of locations to shoot in. I think if anything you might see a little bit more of a storyline with one character maybe going off to Europe or something. But otherwise I would imagine it would be pretty centered in Portland still.

You talked quite a bit about the changes with and what might be coming up with Juliette’s continuing changes. Do you see her losing her humanity through this? Is that going to be less and less of a quality?

BITSIE: I think that that’s: yes. I think the more that sort of evil takes hold inside her and she realizes that there’s really nothing she can do to get back to her normal life. Like I said before, she really needs to embrace it.  And this is not a human character anymore. She’s a witch. And she is kind of a monster. But that’s her new reality. That’s the new normal for her, so to speak.  And so I think that, yes, I mean if we’re going to a really, really dark place then that is what it would entail.

Is she worried about reactions from Rosalee and Monroe in particular?

BITSIE: Yes for sure. I mean that’s something that’s going to be resolved and sort of played out through the rest of Season 4. Initially of course, she has to do deal with Nick’s reaction. But, yes, it’s scary.  Her friends have known her to be one way all for this amount of time. And then all of the sudden she’s they’ve all, as a group, collectively basically been hating on Hexenbiest for years. And now she is one.  And she’s one of those people. And the reality is too is that there’s probably a little bit of resentment because they did this to her, you know. They asked her to do this for them because Rosalee and Monroe were coming under so much fire. And in order to protect them, Nick needed to get his Grimm powers back. I mean the only way to do that was to use Juliette as a vessel. And she agreed to do it. But she would never have done that if she had known this would be the side effect. This was not something that she’s initially really excited about. I think that’s something that going forward is going to be pretty complicated.

Is there anything else other than the finale that maybe you can tease that’s coming up either like other Wesen or just in general?

BITSIE: You haven’t seen the last of the Royals. There’s a new Royal who’s coming to town. Who’s kind of taking charge. So that’s a storyline that’s coming up. Obviously dealing with the whole Adalind being pregnant storyline is coming up.  And then it’s definitely a big episode when there is a final reveal with Juliette and her friends and their reaction to that. And then really it’s kind of about her going to the dark side going forward.

Now that the role has become more involved physically, do you do any strength training for your fight scenes?

BITSIE: I mean, listen, I workout. I’m an actress I have to stay in shape anyway. The hardest physical stuff I’ve ever done myself was in a couple of episodes last season, I think nine and ten where Juliette has a friend, Alicia, in town who’s being abused by her husband.  And then the husband shows up and knocks Nick out. And then Juliette has to jump in. And in that scene, I did a lot of my stunts. But I’m sure I would be asked to do more stunts.  But the reality is when Juliette is doing most of the physical stuff, she’s morphed. And so that’s usually why they bring a double in who has the prosthetics on her face so not necessarily.  I think going forward, if they wanted to get the character I know David’s training constantly since he has the bulk of the physical stuff on the show. So he’s staying strong and active for that.  But going forward if the character is having a lot more action to do, I probably would start doing more strength training as well. But we have a really awesome stunt coordinator. He’s been nominated for Emmys twice for Grimm.  And there’s a lot of rehearsal. And we’ll kind of start out doing something and then our stunt doubles will step in and finish the scene.

How is Juliette going to continue to get kind of control of her Hexenbiest power? And will she be turning to anybody else that would be able to help her out with that?

BITSIE: I think that’s sort of an issue of time for her. Like it’s not like all of the sudden she’s overtaken by evil. I think it’s like this very slow process of like gradually losing the human side and becoming more and more of a Hexenbiest.  The reality is she can’t really turn to anyone.  She’s tried to turn to Henrietta. That didn’t yield anything, the same thing for Renard. And the more she’s told there is nothing they can do then, the more she’s she doesn’t really have anyone to go to.  So she’s definitely going to be finding herself ostracized to an extent. And that might make her mad.

How does Juliette handle that? I mean it sounds like it’s going to be kind of a lonely time.

BITSIE: Yes for sure. Yes, I can’t really give anything away but I think it’s enough to tease that going forward this is not something that has an easy resolution.

Did it seem too drastically different or jarring when you went from the more passive Juliette to the very powerful Juliette? Or did it seem just really fluid and natural?

BITSIE: I would say it was pretty jarring, you know. Because the first time it happens she just sort of innocently she’s been getting these headaches and stomach aches. And she’s like I don’t know if I’m pregnant and then she morphs.  And it’s incredibly scary for her. She had no idea what was going on. She thought she was going crazy. And then every time it happens she has this sort of like sudden rush of just power and violence. And she’s killed a couple of people.  And as dealing with the aftermath of that I think is slightly because the two people that she’s killed so far were people who were trying to kill her. So there’s a little bit of like wow I was really able to defend myself. That’s kind of great but also I just killed two people. And that’s insane and that’s crazy. And I’ve never done that before. But I don’t think it’s something that’s sort of until she starts to embrace it and learn how to control it more it’s very jarring every time it happens for her and then to sort of de-morph and kind of be human again. I don’t think it’s really intended like because she was the big thing is she was made a Hexenbiest. She wasn’t born that way.  So it’s probably fluid for all the rest of the Wesen.  for them to morph and to creature out or whatever. But this is the first time this happened to her. So I’ve never chosen to play it in a way where it should be really smooth. It should be a little disconcerting every single time.

Did you ever anticipate when you first started as Juliette that she may have become such a violent character?

BITSIE: It’s a really good question.  At one point I remember saying it would be so cool if they made her either super, super evil or like super, super good and able to protect Nick. I was thinking like maybe she’s been secretly protecting Nick all this time.  Either that or like wouldn’t it be so cool if actually she has been evil all this time. And now we know she hasn’t been evil all this time. It’s something that happened. But I think it’s a really, really smart way to take the series going forward into Season 5.  To have this character who we’ve all come to know and love as being sweet and helpful and the just turning it on its head.

How do you see your character being a strong female role model so far and then moving forward?

BITSIE: I think so far she’s been less so in Season 1 when the storyline sort of necessitated her being slightly more passive. But being someone who is capable of holding her own, who is capable of learning this life changing secret from her man. And just realize “okay, there’s nothing we can’t do together. I can handle this. And I’m going to help you in whatever way, shape or form I can.” And also really she’s contributed a lot to solving these cases.  And there’s been a lot of fun scenes especially in Season 3 where she was really into doing all this research and helping out with the whole veterinarian skills going forward.  And then I think as the Hexenbiest, I hope nobody really like tries to do anything that Juliette’s doing as a Hexenbiest. But it’s always nice to have a very powerful female character whether I think whether for good or evil.  To just have someone who is very much in control. Who is not relying on anybody else for anything.  That’s one of the differences between Adalind and Juliette: that Adalind was really reliant on the Royals and was sleeping around and stuff.  And the Hexenbiest are very sort of sexy witches. And I think Juliette is kind it’s just everything that goes forward is going to be on her terms. So even if it’s evil like she’s doing it on her terms. And she’s in control of the situation. And she’s doing what she wants to do when she wants to do it.

To find out if Juliette and Nick can ever get around her new Wesen nature and find a way to move on, or if Juliette will be his next big enemy, be sure to tune in for all new episodes of GRIMM now on at 8 pm Fridays on NBC.

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