Silas Weir Mitchell
Please don't call him a Big Bad Wolf. Silas Weir Mitchell, perhaps empathizing too much with his character on NBC's Grimm, dislikes the phrase. "First of all, Monroe is a Blutbad," Mitchell points out. "Second, he's not bad. He's just misunderstood."
Grimm is a twisted police procedural in which the "perps" are creatures from Grimms' Fairy Tales. The show has launched its second season early, with new episodes airing at 9 p.m. Mondays. Monroe is a fan favorite.
While trying to suppress his natural instincts to be big and bad, the Blutbad has become an unlikely friend, sidekick and comic relief to Nick Burkhardt, a modern-day beastie hunter played by David Giuntoli.
Before this show, Mitchell was best known for his wild-eyed nut-case characters on Prison Break and My Name Is Ea rl. "It's lovely now to play someone who is not crazy," he says, "or at least no more crazy than the next guy."
1 Is it challenging as an actor to give 100 percent to a role as far-fetched as a "reformed Big Bad Wolf"?
No. I would do the same thing if I was playing Hamlet or if I'm doing a commercial. It's just how I work.
2 What most appeals to you about the role of Monroe?
The inner conflict. That is rich territory for an actor to have that kind of secret. Not only to have a secret, but to have a secret that you're trying to deal with on a daily basis. And it's not just a secret from the past. It's a secret that in every breath you're trying to maintain.
3Is there a story behind how you got the role?
When they started auditioning actors, they already had it clearly in their minds what they were looking for. But the casting director decided to bring in what you might call a black sheep, something very different and unexpected. And a lot of times, when I'm auditioning for a role, I'm that black sheep. It usually doesn't work out, because people have their hearts set on a certain thing. But in this case, even though I was the opposite of what they expected, I sort of struck a nerve. When it works out that way, it's wonderful.
4 Have you ever read Grimms' Fairy Tales? These stories are horrific and inappropriate for kids.
I know. I didn't grow up on Grimm, but there was one book I had as a child called Slovenly Peter. It was an old German book and it was the same basic feel as the Grimm stories. They were cautionary tales and they were pretty grisly. Like, the little girl who played with matches. Well, what happens if you play with matches? In the end of the story, she's burnt to a crisp. She's a pile of ashes. How frightening!
5 What frightens you?
When I was a kid, the things that frightened me had to do with the power of suggestion. I lived in the country. On summer nights, sometimes you wind up far from the house and you have to get back. Well, it's pretty scary walking through the woods alone at night when you're little. And one of the things that really scared me was if I started thinking about a guy chasing me. If I started thinking about it too much, I actually started believing it, and I would have to start running. The imagination is a powerful weapon.
-- David Martindale, Special to the Star-Telegram