‘Real World’ Alum Battles Big Bad Wolves in ‘Grimm’

David Giuntoli on Grimm (NBC)

David Giuntoli on Grimm (NBC)

David Giuntoli is on set in Portland, Oregon. And to him, there’s no better place to put  NBC’s new horror/fantasy/fairy tale series “Grimm” (debuts Oct. 28).

“Portland is the perfect city for anything kind of otherworldly,” Giuntoli told XFinityTV.com on Wednesday. “It’s very ethereal. If you were out in the forest in Portland and you saw a troll run by, you probably wouldn’t think twice.”

That sentence pretty much sums up “Grimm,” a mix of fantasy and levity in which Giuntoli plays Nick Burckhardt, a young Portland detective who discovers that he’s a descendant of the Brothers Grimm — and that their tales weren’t exactly fantasy (e.g. those big bad wolves are real).

Preview “Grimm”:

[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/tv/Grimm/143120/2151928366/Fairy-Tale-Truths/embed 580 476]

Funny thing about Giuntoli: His landing of a network lead was a little surreal, too, what with his 6-year-old career consisting mostly of guest spots (plus stints on two “Real World” shows) before he got the pilot.

So what can we expect from this new show and this relative new guy? Giuntoli offered some thoughts on what he calls a “crazy wonderful opportunity.”

On landing that role:
Giuntoli also referred to it as lightning striking, and he still remembers where he was when he heard the thunder: In his car, shortly after testing for “Grimm.” “It was the best,” Giuntoli said. “I had to pull over to the side of the road so I wouldn’t kill people.”

On his relation to the character:
As mentioned before, Nick is a real-world guy thrust into some fantasy-level stuff. “This character, right from the very first episode, has a major, life-changing, planet-shifting [event],” Giuntoli said. And that involves learning all about the fairy tales — something the actor himself had to do after joining the show.

On working with the veteran cast:
Giuntoli works a lot with Russell Hornsby (who plays Hank, his partner) and Silas Weir Mitchell (a reformed fairy-tale bad guy named Monroe) — “and it’s a joy,” he said. “They’ve been doing it a lot longer than I have. You just learn tons and tons and tons. … I feel like I’m getting paid to play and go to school.”

On some moments to watch in the first season:
There are some “major moments” coming up, Giuntoli said, mostly involving whether Nick should let Hank and his fiancee, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), in on all the craziness. That, and Monroe might turn into a new partner for the detective…

On the days leading up to the premiere:
Soon after landing the role, the hard work started. “So you’re kind of overwhelmed,” Giuntoli said. But as the billboards pop up and the TV spots air, he’s been getting some calls from friends. “It’s like Christmas Day excitement,” he added.

On where he hopes the show leads:
This one’s pretty simple. Yes, he wants movies. Yes, he wants to get into rooms from which he’s previously been excluded. But… “It’s so hard and rare to get an opportunity like this, to lead a show,” Giuntoli said, “that I want to do this for a while. [I want] to stay on ‘Grimm’ as long as possible.”

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