It's going to be a Grimm Christmas.
“Who knew Santa had horns?” asks David Giuntoli. Who knew, indeed.
Giuntoli plays Nick Burkhardt in Grimm, which airs back-to-back new episodes Friday, Dec. 13 on NBC and CTV. The second of the new episodes, titled Twelve Days of Krampus, certainly puts a Grimm-style take on the holiday season.
After a string of delinquent teens goes missing, Nick and his police partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) come to believe that things are pointing toward an old Wesen tale of an evil Santa. Actual name: Krampus. That's what it would say on his driver's licence.
Nick, of course, has Grimm blood in him, so he can see all these creatures who most assume exist only in the land of make-believe.
“Krampus is pretty wild,” Giuntoli admits. “First of all, we hired a gigantic guy (Derek Mears) to play this character. And then when I first walked on set and saw him as Santa with these horns, I actually had a visceral reaction to him. I was kind of frightened in a way. It was a disturbing thing.”
Such reactions can't be uncommon on the set of Grimm, given the, uh, creature comforts of the story lines.
“But I think some of the grossest things I've seen are the corpses when they’re all set and bloodied,” Giuntoli says. “I remember in season one, the craziest thing I ever saw was walking on the set and seeing, in a car, a body being eaten alive from the inside by live rats.
“Rats were pouring out of the mouth of this dummy and it was awful. My colleague Russell Hornsby ran away like a scared little boy.”
Currently in the midst of its third season, Grimm seems to have transitioned from being exclusively a niche show to one of those slow-build shows that tend to have long shelf lives.
“Yes, I have noticed that,” Giuntoli says. “And it’s funny, our demo is staying more or less the same. It bounces in the same demographic where it has been for a long time. But the total amount of viewers has been going up. The last episode had the most viewers we’ve had since the pilot, and that’s kind of a trend.
“I have noticed more and more non-sci-fi types - and I include myself in the sci-fi type - but more and more middle-of-the-roaders are coming up to me and talking to me and knowing about the show.”
Grimm is a leader in this current trend of what I'd call “creepy TV.” Hey, if you're willing to give Santa horns, you'll do just about anything.
“(Creepiness), that's our only rule,” Giuntoli says with a laugh. “It's what we love.
“Our only rule is, we want to be that brand of creepy, and we love being a Friday night, stay in and freak out the kids kind of show.”