Grimm showrunners: “We had birth, death and divorce”

David Greenwalt & Jim Kauf talk Grimm’s final season

When SciFiNow asks David Greenwalt for his outstanding memory of spending six years on Grimm, he has an answer right away. “I think it was just the relationships with everybody. The crew and the cast and the fact that for six years everybody got along so well.”

Greenwalt and his Grimm co-creator, Jim Kouf, are speaking to us the day after they said their emotional final farewells to Grimm’s main cast members. Looking back over the experiences they’ve shared, Kouf echoes Greenwalt’s sentiment.

“This is a big family. One of the best crews we’ve ever worked with and the happiest cast we’ve ever worked with. Everybody has been a family. They all got along for all six years. Everybody has been supportive of each other. It’s kind of unusual in this business.”

Six seasons on a hit series has made the actors into bigger stars but that never upset the dynamic, Kouf suggests. As the series lead, David Giuntoli in particular has benefitted, as evidenced by his role in Michael Bay’s 2016 action thriller 13 Hours. Yet, Giuntoli’s status never went to his head, says Kouf.

“Here’s a problem I’d wish on any show or creator: the only little bit of acting advice that I have ever had to give David Giuntoli was, ‘Quit being so damned decent because right now, in this season, you are not you, the most decent actor I have ever met in my life. You’re a cop and you’re gonna be mean to that woman so show some anger’.”

These rewards were something the creators of Grimm could only hope for when they initially met around a decade ago to map out the concepts the series would be based on. Greenwalt still remembers when Kouf got the idea for the creatures that would become the mythical Wesen or what Kouf calls, “the monster within”.

“We were sitting in a café in the very early days and he’s kind of staring off into space as I was yakking about something, which occurs a lot in our relationship. As I recall, he was looking at three guys in business suits and he said, ‘What if the monster – the big bad wolf, the three little pigs – what if all these things existed within people and our hero could see them?”

Kouf’s concept dovetailed nicely with an idea that another producer was pitching to NBC, the network that broadcasts Grimm in the US. Getting the executives to buy that idea, though, required a little white lie, Kouf tells us.

“Fairy tales are public domain, which greatly appealed to our original producer, Todd Milner, who came up with the notion of doing a modern retelling of Grimms’ Fairy Tales,” Kouf explains. “He sold it to NBC on the notion that there are 200 Grimms’ Fairy Tales but that’s kind of baloney. There are 200 Grimms’ Fairy Tales but there’s only about nine that you’ve ever heard of and the rest are not classic fairy tales. There’s a reason you neither know nor remember them.”

No-one has regretted Milner’s manipulation of the truth because Grimm has been popular enough to get the kind of run that few genre shows on US networks enjoy. The one downside to this, though, is that now the end has come, it’s bittersweet. “As each of the actors worked their last days or nights in the last episode, each one gave a little talk and it was very heartfelt, very touching,” says Greenwalt. “Their all like family, the cast and the crew, so we won’t see this again in our careers, I’m sure of that.”

Grimm’s final season premieres on Tuesday 14th February at 9pm on W.