'Grimm': David Giuntoli Talks Directing

“Grimm” star David Giuntoli stepped behind the camera for the newest episode of “Grimm,” his first time as director.

“I was lucky enough to get to direct Episode 3, not ’cause I was the most deserving, but because I was the most positioned. So I was well aware of that and I kind of wanted to not squander that, and out of respect to everybody in the cast and everybody in the crew, who’s fully capable of directing an episode,” David told AccessHollywood.com on the show’s Portland set back in December, his trademark sense of humor intact. “So I really wanted to do the best I possibly could.

“So yeah, I did a lot of homework, and I had [a] wonderful time with the actors,” he continued. “I was sincerely most nervous about talking to them about their notes and things like that because, you know, that’s kind of a code. It’s a very quick road to becoming hated to tell another actor what to do, but all of them are just like, ‘Give us notes. Bring it, bring it.’ …  And it was the best, man. It was the best time of my life and my heart was just warmed by how embraced I was. They didn’t have to embrace me. I was getting a freebie sort of and it was the best time.”

Bitsie Tulloch, who plays Eve on the NBC series, said David (her real-life fiancé) put in a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes before stepping behind the lens.

“He put in that request a couple seasons ago and because David works far and away more than any other cast member, it was really hard for him to be able to shadow directors, but every so often he would have a day off or an afternoon off and he was trying to stay on set and learn and shadow the directors,” she said during the same set visit. “And this summer during hiatus, I think we were off April through August, and we had a long break and he was having dinner with a lot of the directors we’ve worked with on ‘Grimm.’ There’s not one person who directs every episode, so… over the course of 123 episodes, we’ve met a lot of directors and he was just really taking it seriously. He read a ton of books and he, I had never seen so much enthusiasm over the course of six seasons. He was just really in his element and had as much energy at the end of the day as he had in the beginning of the day. And it was really lovely too because it was very collaborative and the whole crew knew that he had never directed before so everybody was really invested in making sure that he did a good job and helping him out and it was a really fun episode.”

One of the reasons it was fun is because Sasha Roiz, who plays Renard, is also playing Nick in the episode, but in Renard’s body. The trailer for this week teased Nick’s transformation into Renard — “now, to finally defeat the captain, Nick will become him!”

“It’s really fun,” Sasha said of getting to play Nick in the episode. “On this show, I’ve gotten to play other characters playing me a few times and that was a lot of fun, but especially this one, which is kind of challenging.”

In the episode, Sasha is also playing his own character, so it meant double duty.

“Playing that was a lot of work for me, but a lot of fun, and one of the things I had to do early on was just kind of figure out how David moves and walks and kind of conducts himself and it was really fun to try to pinpoint that, because it’s very subtle, but when you do it in my frame, it becomes very pronounced and so it was quite funny because there’s something quite amusing about the idea of him being in this body and just being so much larger and different and trying to figure it out and wearing a tie and all these little awkward things that for him would be so uncomfortable,” he said.

Sasha Roiz as Renard in 'Grimm'

Sasha Roiz as Renard in ‘Grimm’ (NBC)

David said the two had a meal together to talk about Sasha playing Nick-in-Renard’s-body.

“Sasha and I went to breakfast together and we were trying to find little things we could do,” he said.

“He really did a great job,” David added.

“Grimm” airs Friday at 8/7c on NBC.

(Production assistance provided by NBC.)

Jolie Lash