An exclusive interview with Bitsie Tulloch (GRIMM) - -

Q&A Exclusive with Bitsie Tulloch (Juliette Silverton)

Q: How would you sum up the character of Juliette? 

Juliette’s main arc throughout season one is to have a very loving and solid relationship with Nick [David Giuntoli]. A lot of the time with TV romances there’s breaking up and getting back together, push and pull, but because of what Nick has to go through they really wanted to establish that they’d been dating for over three years. They live together and there’s a lot of love there. For most of season one Juliette is trying to be patient with him and at first she’s being really understanding and thoughtful and you realise early on he lost the woman who raised him but she doesn’t know he’s a Grimm. Sometimes some of the fans were like ‘How can she be OK with him being so strange and so aloof?’ but I would have to point out that these two have been dating for a long time and he basically lost the equivalent of his mother. She’s really trying to give him space but at the end of season one it comes to a head and she basically says ‘I can’t take this anymore. I know you’re keeping something from me. What’s going on?’ Most of season one is a cat and mouse game with him trying to hide a big secret from her. 

Q: She’s a vet. Is that a job you could imagine doing for real? 

Actually in the pilot episode Juliette was a baker so we filmed scenes where I was in a bakery, but I always have my dog Henry with me on set – he’s always in my trailer when we’re shooting and he’s like the Grimm mascot for the crew! 

Q: Did you do any research for the role? 

I did for one scene where Juliette ends up stumbling on a murder scene because she’s called to go take a look at this horse that’s been mauled by a Wesen but otherwise there haven’t been many scenes with her being a veterinarian. I think that’s something you’ll see more of in season three. 

Q: What do you have in common with the character? And what are the big differences? 

She’s very thoughtful and she’s bright and she’s strong. The one main difference I would say is that if my boyfriend was acting weird I’d maybe give him two days before saying ‘What is up? I can’t take this anymore’. She’s way more patient than I am; I’m way more impatient about stuff like that. 

Q: How is it attending fan conventions like Comic-Con? 

It’s really surreal. Grimm actually premiered at Comic-Con, in July 2011, so no one had seen it before. Then to go back the following year, having been a hit was crazy because people didn’t really know who we were the first time around but the second time around we couldn’t go anywhere without fans coming up to us. We were being moved around in SUVs whereas the first time we were just walking from interview to interview and nobody knew who we were. But interestingly the premiere was sold out and people were turned away so from the very beginning there was a tremendous amount of interest in the show. The fans are amazing. With a show that’s sci-fi and fantasy-based the fans are so loyal and die-hard. They really watch the episodes. They’re very smart and if there’s a continuity error or we jump from one episode to another without addressing something from the past they’ll be tweeting me saying ‘Is that going to come up again?’ or ‘Are they just letting that go?’ They’re very attentive. 

Q: Does it sometimes feel they know more about the show than you do? 

[Laughs] I don’t know if I’d say that but they catch a lot! 

Q: Grimm is a scary show but what scares you in real life? 

Spiders. I can’t handle spiders. If I see one in the house I’ll get rid it or I’ll get somebody else to get rid of it it depending on the size of the spider. I grew up in South America and I remember when we were living in Argentina a spider had babies in my bedroom and I was bitten by a bunch of little spiders- that’s probably where the fear came from. I had a bee infestation in my apartment when I first moved to LA and that didn’t faze me at all. I got stung by one of the bees I picked up from the floor but none of the ones flying around stung me. I was literally cooking breakfast with bees swarming around me and I couldn’t have cared less. But if there’d been a tiny little spider I would have freaked out.  

Q: And what scares you when it comes to films and television? 

I don’t get scared as much by gore. Gore actually just grosses me out. What scares me the most is when somebody pops out of nowhere, when you’re watching something that’s stable and calm then someone pops out of nowhere really quickly – that makes me jump. But I don’t think Grimm is that scary. I’m a total scaredy cat but I think Grimm sort of treads the line really well of being more of a show where you’re sitting on the edge of your seat. I don’t think it’s necessarily super-frightening or terrifying, it’s more thrilling. 

Q: Were you aware of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales when you were growing up? 

I was but I was familiar with the version most people are familiar with, which is the childlike version. They were totally reinterpreted for children because when the Grimms published their first collection in 1812 the stories were tales that had been orally passed down and were meant as warnings to children against bad or lewd behaviour. In order to get their point across they were really bloody and gory and gruesome. For example, in the Cinderella story the evil stepsisters’ eyes are pecked out by crows. I thought it was really cool when I first read the Grimm pilot script. I thought ‘What a wonderful way to sort of honour the Brothers Grimm’s original conception by going back to that truly gruesome version of the stories’. 

Q: Do you think that is what audiences are also responding to? 

I think what’s really fun is that people are familiar with the layout of the fairy tales from the children’s versions, like we all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. Viewers get excited about tuning in every week and seeing a modern take on it in the format of a police procedural. One of the reasons Grimm has done so well internationally is because people are familiar with these fairy tales and there’s a lot going on that’s interesting. The writers and Producers have done a great job of really appealing to everybody.  

Q: Because of your father’s job in Latin America, you spent your childhood in Spain, Uruguay and Argentina. How was that experience and did you feel like a nomad? 

It was all I knew so I don’t know if I felt like a nomad. I was a kid and all I knew was that every three years we were moving around to a new country for my dad’s job. As an adult I really appreciate the experience it gave me, not only because I was exposed to so many different cultures but also my parents were intent on making sure my sister and I were exposed to different economic and social scenarios and that we did lot’s of travelling. I guess you’d say it was eye-opening and I really appreciate the fact I grew up overseas. Grimm is very big not only in Europe but South America too, especially Brazil. The Brazilian Grimmsters (as we call them) just love the show! 

Q: Does that mean you get recognised in places you wouldn’t expect to be? 

We’ve been shooting straight through so I haven’t done much travelling, but I was in Monaco last year and I realised ‘Wow, this is crazy globally’; I was just getting stormed by fans. In America people tend to be a little too cool for school or they recognise you but maybe they’re too shy or they just go ‘Hey I love your work’ or ‘I love the show’. But in Monaco they were like ‘Can we take pictures with you?’ It was great, it was wonderful – they were really excited. 

Q: Is it useful for you as an actress to have experienced different cultures when you were growing up? 

I think so, yes. I started acting really late. It was never my intention and I didn’t start working until I was about 25, so it’s something I fell into a bit later. I draw on observing people and learning from people’s behaviour. At a very early age being so intrigued and exposed to so many different kinds of people and so many different cultures probably made me a lot more observant. I’m constantly watching people. I actually watch more documentaries than I do movies, for example. 

Q: What do you most enjoy about working on Grimm? 

Well, the cast. We really get along well. David Giuntoli and I both have apartments on the same floor and everybody else lives within a couple of blocks. We really love Portland and, if you look at my Twitter feed, two years in we’re all still constantly hanging out together. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact we’re on location. I was talking to Bree Turner [Rosalee] about that the other night and I said that as much as we love each other, if from the beginning we’d been in LA with all our friends and families, we wouldn’t be hanging out as much as we are. The fact we’re all away on location in Portland means we’re constantly like ‘Hey, who wants to have dinner?’ and because a lot of us have similar interests – namely eating – we’re always going out for food. Portland has great food and great wine. Everybody is happy and it feels like a family; it feels like teamwork.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD 2 May 2013


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