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SciFi Vision

"Grimm:" Bitsie Tullock - What's in store for Juliette?


By Karen Moul

Bitsie TullochAfter a brief hiatus, Grimm is back this week with a new episode featuring Portland’s sexiest Hexenbiest, Adalind. From NBC:

After the grisly murder of a familiar shop owner, Nick joins forces with Monroe to help solve the murder. When the shop owner’s sister, Rosalee (guest star Bree Turner), comes to town, Nick thinks he may have found a new ally in the creature world. Elsewhere, Captain Renard enlists Adalind to cast a spell on Hank. Meanwhile, Sgt. Wu unwittingly becomes entangled in Adalind’s dastardly plan.

What NBC doesn’t mention is what’s up with Juliette? In the last few episodes she discovered an engagement ring stashed in Nick’s sock drawer, then was abducted by a crazy Dämonfeuer. It was a bit too much for her to handle, and she told Nick so.

So where does that leave their relationship?

Actress Bitsie Tulloch, who plays Juliette, recently shared her thoughts. “I think she is confused,” Bitsie told Scifi Vision, “extremely confused. She's worried, her mind is just constantly racing, trying to figure out what is going on with him.”

“The first conclusion I think that a woman would reach with him being gone at strange hours and being cagey and secretive was that he might be seeing someone else. And then it becomes no, it's so much about work, so what's going on with work and what do I not know?”

So will Juliette force Nick to spill the beans? And if so, when? Bitsie hinted that episode 16, “The Thing with Feathers,” (April 6), tugs Juliette further into Nick’s world.

“I very much get drawn into this and it's starting to come to a boiling point in which I really need to know and he needs to tell me.” But it's going to happen sooner or later, I can't say when, but obviously he's going to have to tell me.”

When we spoke, the cast was preparing to shoot episode 19. “It is definitely coming to a head,” said Bitsie, “as far as him being able to keep the secret from me for much longer.”

Read the rest of our conversation with Bitsie below.

Grimm airs Fridays at 9 pm ET on NBC.

NBC Conference Call with Bitsie Tulloch of Grimm
March 6, 2012

QUESTION:
I wanted to ask you first off about the upcoming episode. I know you can only speak in very general terms but it's a big one for your character, which I'm thrilled about, and I wondered if you could tell us what you thought when you first read the script your general experiences shooting the episode.

BITSIE TULLOCH:
Well, this script was one of the first times that I actually get really drawn into all of the madness and what I can say because it's already been on a preview that my character gets kidnapped and it was very grand in scope, actually, with the fire-breathing dragon and everything. But it was really cool to shoot; it was a great director that we hadn't worked with yet.

And I can also say this episode is the first time I meet Monroe, they've been kind of hiding the relationship from me and this is the first time that I meet him. So it's a great episode in that this one sort of opens up a lot more to happen down the road.

Bitsie Tulloch as JulietteQUESTION:
How would you describe your character, Juliette, and what have been some of the acting challenges you found with the role?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
I think Juliette is very interesting to me because of the six series regulars, she's the only who, as we all know or think, she's the only one who's not a cop and not a monster. So I was really looking forward to being able to project what it would be like for any normal person to be thrown into that situation and to try to deduce what's going on with the little information that she's given, much of which is skewed because Nick is trying to hide all this stuff from me.

I think one of the difficulties that I've had is because they've been prolonging my getting drawn into and it and my finding out any information…What kinds of choices can I make with this pattern of thinking he's lying but not confronting him? And it just felt like there were quite a few...So I was having to get a little bit creative with any choices I could make, which by the way is why I am so excited about [episode] 14 airing, because it does open up so many more doors for my character.

QUESTION:
So let's go back a little bit. You had mentioned that this was the first time that you're introduced to Monroe on the series. Can you talk a little bit about the interaction? How does that to come to pass? What are you told about him?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
I don't know that I can answer that question, actually. I was given pretty strict instructions on what I can and can't say. You'll have to watch on Friday. But all I can say is that I meet him. The only thing I can really get into is that it's interesting and I can't say anything else.

QUESTION:
Let's talk about your experience on the show and how well your character is responding to these weird secrets in general and do we foresee a future where she'll be let in in any way to what Nick is experiencing?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
I would imagine. We don't find out exactly what's going on with our characters throughout the course of the season, assuming there's a next season. But every so often I'll call Greenwalt and Jim and I'll just ask, “I wanted to play this scene this way, is that correct? Because I'm assuming this is going to happen to me.” And they have instructed me -- because I don't know where I'm going, I'm not even sure if they've decided yet -- they've instructed me to play it so that it is a little bit mysterious, so that some fans on Twitter think that I'm definitely a monster and some fans think the opposite is true. And I think that's great, that there's this constant guessing game going on.

And what was your other question?

QUESTION:
When Nick might let you into more of what's going on.

BITSIE TULLOCH:
It's definitely true that a certain points I've thought maybe he's having an affair or my mind is going is over why he's lying to me and the obvious conclusion that I would make is he's cheating on me or something, because why else would he be acting so strangely? I think, as I said, this episode opens a lot of doors.

And there's another episode, episode 16, where I very much get drawn into this and it's starting to come to a boiling point in which I really need to know and he needs to tell me. But it's going to happen sooner or later, I can't say when, but obviously he's going to have to tell me.

QUESTION:
And if you had a choice of being a monster or not, which one would you pick?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
I think it might be kind of fun to be a monster. The only problem I have with being a monster is that one of the reasons the show, I think, is so cool to watch is that we have to do makeup and effects and prosthetics and every so often those actors have to get into prosthetics for an hour. So that's not so much fun but otherwise it could be interesting.

QUESTION:
So obviously sci-fi is its own unique animal, everything from interaction with the fans to the scripts, the sets, the props, the whole deal. What can you tell us about your foray into this genre? What do you like and what surprised you about it?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
I like everything. I've never done a show like this before, I've never done a movie like this before. I think it's just so highly entertaining and I love that about the show. I really do.

When I first booked the show I really seemed like a little bit of a nerd. I started doing a lot of research about the brothers Grimm and I found out a lot of very interesting things and I would call Jim and David, our show runners, and say, "Oh my gosh, did you know this?" And sometimes they didn’t and so I would tell them. And I think that it's cool the way these are fairytales that are fractured really, the sort of modern interpretation of these fairytales I think is very fascinating.

I think fairytales in general are great ideas to do for a show because I think one of the things that is very common among fairytales is this - I feel like there's a very innate psychological need for a safe haven that's inherent in all humans. So in a lot of fairytales you have this protagonist who's fighting to return home or something, and I think that's a great format for each episode, you have this quest of sorts.

I think that's fascinating. I think the tales were often used as warnings and they would often explore problems of family tension and family values and I think that's played into it. And what a great idea that Todd and Sean had, which is to use the stuff that's in public domain and I think it was a cool idea for a show. So I'm definitely very excited to be a part of it.

And not only that, we have such an abundant amount of stuff to work this. Of the brothers Grimm alone there were 211 tales and 585 legends and we're not only using the brothers Grimm, they're sort of party line was that every fairytale was fair game as long it's in public domain. So there's a lot of stuff for us to be pulling from down the road too, which is very exciting.

SCIFI VISION:
Do Nick and Juliette have a back story as far as how they met, what they've been through? Do you know anything about them?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
Well, not that we have seen written down on paper. We know they've been dating for three years and Giuntoli and I, you know, David Giuntoli and I -- this is sort of an interesting tidbit, we have actually done a movie together about six months before we booked the pilot. It's an independent drama about two sisters and he played my boyfriend in the film. It's actually premiering at Tribeca this April.

It's a really great film called “Caroline and Jackie.” So because he and I had already worked together and most of that film was improv, it was an improv drama, he and I had worked together very easily and seamlessly because we knew each other, the chemistry was there and we also tend to, we like to do a little bit of improv and then launch into the scene, 10 seconds of improv and then whoever says the first line. We like to play a lot.

So he and I got together and had dinner and talked about how we met, what our relationship was like and we've sort of come to the conclusion based on the script that we are - it's actually generally very peaceful and there's not a tremendous amount of tension and it's easy, it's an easy relationship until Nick has this massive crazy secret that he has to start hiding from me. And that adds a lot of tension.

SCIFI VISION:
Where do you think Juliette is right now emotionally? We don't get to see a lot of her inner life but that ring clearly brought out some feelings in her.

BITSIE TULLOCH:
I think she is confused, extremely confused, she's worried, her mind is just constantly racing, trying to figure out what is going on with him and part of her being suspicious and another part really wanting to get involved and be proactive, and if this is some work issue let him know that I'm there for him and I can help in any way possible.

So there's a little bit of that dilemma going on where I think one part of her is like, “I can't take it anymore” and the other part of her really wants to get involved and just be there for him and it seems to flip flop a little bit.

QUESTION:
How do you feel about the success of the show? What do you feel it is that resonates well with viewers?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
First of all I couldn't be more thrilled about...one of the great things I think about Grimm is that there's about 10 or 12 different genres all rolled into one. So I think that's one of the reasons people find it so appealing. If you like procedurals you'll probably like it and then you've got the fantasy and the fairytale, you've got a little bit of the romance, you have these monsters and the effects are great and so there's a lot of really appealing things about the show.

I joined Twitter right around when we got the first pickup so I really try to interact with the fans as much as possible. Any Friday night that I'm not shooting or every so often I have to go to L.A. for a meeting or something, if I'm available I will watch the show with the fans and Tweet with them.

I made a little hash tag called Grimm Live and they can ask me questions and they'll comment or whatever and I comment, too. And I think they're just so hardcore and they're very intelligent too, they don't really miss anything. There's a lot of love for the show but they'll also say, “Hey, I’m bummed that one storyline was dropped and I wanted to see what would happen with that.” And I'll say, “Oh just wait a few episodes, maybe you'll get some answers.”

I think it's pretty great. We premiered at Comic Con this July and for a show with some actors that may or not be recognized, certainly not like Angelina Jolie there, we were so impressed by the turnout. I mean, there were lines for hours and a lot of people got turned away, which is of course not so fun, but the response was really, really great as I figured it would be.

But being there at the time and seeing these people so excited about the show and also partly because a lot of them are huge fans our show runners’ work. They loved Buffy, they loved Angel, they love The X-Files, so it's just really cool to have such diehard fans. And I'm looking forward to hopefully it just grows and grows.

QUESTION:
You seem very pleased with the overall evolution of the show thus far. Are you excited for any upcoming storylines that we have to look forward to?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
I'm clearly most excited about the episodes in which I get to be a lot more involved in the drama and everything. So I really like [episode] 14. As I mentioned before, episode 16 is really, really fascinating. It's an episode coming up that really breaks away from the mold in a way that I think some fans have really been craving, which is there's a lot less of the procedural and a lot more character building and the relationship and that stuff in the episode.

And you have the great subplot -- or main plot, rather -- of the monster and Nick having to solve it but it's not in the mold of the procedural. It even takes place somewhere a little bit far away from that. And I I'm very excited to see how the fans react to that episode and hopefully they'll like it and it sells and I think that that will probably give the writers a little bit more freedom to write a little bit more of that kind of stuff. So I'm looking forward to that.

And the reality that we're shooting episode 19 starting today and it is definitely coming to a little bit of a - it's coming to a head as far as him being able to keep the secret from me for much longer.

What's next for Juliette?QUESTION:
Did you get any feeling like you've got to sit down and talk to Nick about what it is he's hiding? Do you look at the script and go, "Come on, she's got to know something's going on by now." Have you ever had that sense that you're having to play it too naïve?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
Yes, I think so, because there is this dichotomy between her not knowing and then the fact that they've written the character as pretty bright, so you wonder -- and this is something I wouldn't be really be able to talk about -- but you wonder how much she actually knows about what's going on. But I think that in the earlier episodes that the first conclusion I think that a woman would reach with him being gone at strange hours and being cagey and secretive was that he might be seeing someone else and then it becomes no, it's so much about work so what's going on with work and what do I not know.

And there's a character who I think is awesome, he's actually a Portland-based actor, he plays the beaver, the beaver with the - the butt crack beaver guy and his name is Bud, when he was fixing the refrigerator and I'm so thrilled for him because he's really getting to do a lot more on the show and so he ends up being around me a lot and that opens doors to what's going on with Nick at work and all these people that are new that are coming into my life, all of sudden having all these new characters into my life and breaking the routine.

QUESTION:
The ladies and I were talking over coffee and we were all like, "Well I'd be sitting him down and smacking him upside the head and tell him, you know..."

BITSIE TULLOCH:
There's a little bit of that that may or may not be coming up. As I said it's really coming to a little bit of a boiling point with her. But because we're not serialized, the reality is every so often there will be [an] emotion or a feeling in one episode but by the next one it won't be as prevalent in order to serve the story better, and that's the reality of doing a one-hour episodic.

QUESTION:
You said you had studied these stories of the brothers Grimm after you got the part. Is there a particular story that you'd like to do? Is there a particular thing that you thought of when you were reading it?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
Cinderella, I think, would be really interesting. That story was rather gruesome. The sisters end up having their eyes pecked out by crows. So I think that one would be really cool and the Frog Prince would be kind of cool to do, I think.

One of the most interesting things I came across when I was doing research was -- and now I'm completely outing myself as a little bit of a nerd -- but I was reading Ph.D. paper that I found online, [the] deduction of the person's thesis was that they weren't writers, they were cultural researchers and so they went around collecting these tales and put them on paper. But the fascinating thing was it's really about how influential they had been on - they were the forefathers of forensic psychology which I thought was really, really interesting to look at it that way instead of being profilers. And that's kind of what Nick has, this innate ability to profile people. 

QUESTION:
Growing up in Spain and Uruguay and Argentina, were you exposed to any other types of fairytales in those specific cultures? Do you remember any of those?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
Yes, one of the great things about Latin American literature if you look at an author like Gabriel Garcia Marquez is that supernatural element to the tales, so it is definitely a little bit fascinating. Most of the stories I think I read were basically versions in Spanish of stuff like Cinderella and stuff like that. But by the time I was 13 I was reading -- maybe not 13, a little bit older -- reading stuff like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and there is that fairytale, supernatural, very magical element to a lot of Latin American literature.

It was really cool, I think, having been able to grow up overseas and use the experiences that I had moving around so much when I was younger. It definitely formed who I am and I travel a lot and the curiosity about other cultures.

QUESTION:
Can you expand a little bit on that and how some of your Spanish heritage plays a part in your life now? Or does it at all?

BITSIE TULLOCH:
It definitely does. My mother's side of the family is Spanish and Mexican. I don't look at it like the Scotch English side of my dad's family. I think Latin American cultures are really, really rich and fascinating and I love the pomp and circumstance of some of their rituals and ceremonies. I was in Spain a couple years ago for Holy Thursday and they were parading through the streets and a lot of the Catholicism is just so ornate and rich, and I really do just find it terribly fascinating.

As far as how it influences my daily life, I definitely have some stereotypical qualities of being a little bit of a Latina. I talk with my hands which means I knock stuff over all the time, you know, I'm very passionate about stuff and I tend to think I'm right all the time even though that's necessarily or not even often the case and yes, I try to speak Spanish. I travel to Spain pretty often. I love it. When I'm in L.A., I've been involved for seven years now with this organization called (unintelligible) that sponsors 14 orphanages in Tijuana, so I'll go down a couple times a month and take a bus trip, make a day trip to one of the orphanages and bring supplies and you play with the kids.


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