Bree Turner Interview: Behind the Scenes of Grimm

Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe and Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert in 'Grimm'
Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe and Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert in 'Grimm' (Photo by: Scott Green/NBC)
Grimm‘s second season comes to a close on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 10pm on NBC with the episode, “Goodnight, Sweet Grimm.” And while Bree Turner (‘Rosalee’) wouldn’t give away any secrets as to what fans can expect from the season finale, she did say that it’s an episode the entire cast couldn’t wait to shoot after reading the script. Taking part in a conference call in support of the show’s season two finale, Turner also provided some insight into Rosalee and Monroe’s relationship and how Rosalee has evolved over the course of season one and two.
What ways did you see Rosalee further grow and develop as a character this season? And what new acting challenges did you find with that growth?
Bree Turner: “Well, I think the biggest evolution for Rosalee between Season 1 and Season 2 is her confidence in the spice shop and being an apothecary and being in this world of Grimm. And I think when I arrived on the scene I always likened Rosalee as someone who was the most talented with the biggest gifts, in terms of this world in her family, but the one that was the most insecure and lost with it all, you know, I think. And that shows with admitting that my drug use and kind of moving away from Portland and isolating myself – my talent scared me, so to speak. So I think I tried to make a focus, just for myself whether it was scripted or not, to slowly develop the confidence in this world and being the authority in terms of healing and the medicine world.
Now that we’re at the end of the second season, I think it’s been really fun to throw a lot of that away now and just be confident and own my power now. I think there’s been a lot of really wonderful sort of layers of the onion that have been exposed to the fans, you know, that my father was on the special committee that keeps everyone in check and that my brother and that I have this connection to this. When we were doing that “Natural Born Wesen” episode that I kind of likened myself like being Colin Powell’s daughter or something, and that was like this surprising reveal to Monroe that I have this like major, major authority really in this world and I don’t speak of it. I thought that was pretty cool.
I think, to answer your question, her confidence and becoming secure with her powers.”
How did you see the relationship between Rosalee and Monroe grow and develop this year and what did you enjoy most about the relationship and working with Silas Weir Mitchell?
Bree Turner: “Well it’s been really, really fun season, just sort of embracing Rosalee’s light and her kindness and compassion who I just feel is who she is. I think her past is just, you know, her skeletons, her demons, her path that she was on and I think at her core she’s a truly compassionate loving soul and spirit. So I think it’s been really fun to just not play the dark and play the light this year, and enjoying the journey with Silas who is just such an incredible actor and person and now friend. And it’s just we’ve had such a good time; we’re so relaxed with each other and I feel so comfortable with him that it just all feels very organic which I think is coming through.”
What was your reaction when you saw the season finale script and what sort of excites you about this final episode of the season?
Bree Turner: “Well, seeing the finale script, I don’t know what more they could have put in this script. I mean every storyline gets blown out and exposed, resolved, and challenged. And then just the level of production value in this finale…I mean it’s like feature film quality stuff that we did in terms of effects and story and set and environment. It was all just really at the top of our game I felt. And we were all kind of chomping at the bit to start production on this last one.”
Sci-fi is perhaps the most unique genre with passionate fans. What do you like about being a part of this world?
Bree Turner: “Well, the support and love and loyalty from these genre fans are like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve only done a few other sort of jobs in this world but nothing like this, I think, [of] the scale of Grimm. And so I’ve been blown away with how committed and supportive and protective our fans are over the characters and the show. And it’s just been really awesome.”
There are rumors that a major character might die during the season finale. Can you tell us a bit more maybe about that and a bit more about the finale?
Bree Turner: “Ooh. Well, yeah. I mean, can I tell you specifics? No. But someone’s life is definitely in balance and it’s very, very, very scary to be this person, I will say. I honestly don’t know how we’re going to resolve it, in terms of storyline. I’m nervous and excited about how Season 3 is going to begin with this cliffhanger because it’s pretty major.”
Do you think there is strife ahead for Rosalee and Monroe?
Bree Turner: “Oh, it’s Grimm, you know? People don’t stay happy very long on this show. And the Rosalee/Monroe romance has been moving in such a beautiful [way], it’s had such a beautiful journey this season that I mean let’s be real. Only complications are coming.”
You had to film a good portion of Season 2 when you were pregnant. What was that like?
Bree Turner: “Yes, I have been pregnant almost this entire season. And I’ve had to really check my vanity at the door because it’s like been the evolution of my body expanding and then shrinking and being expansive. But it was crazy. I mean it’s been a really, really wild year for me personally and also just blending the show in the middle of all this will be something I’ll never forget. That’s for sure.
It’s so funny to think that he was in my belly during all these crazy episodes, you know? And then I went back to work one month later and I feel like he’s just so a part of this show – this little baby. It’s fun.”
Part of Rosalee’s legacy from her family is this connection to the Wesen Council. Do you think we’re going to find out more about what that all means and what that could mean for Rosalee?
Bree Turner: “Yeah, I hope so. We don’t know where the writers are going to take us but I think that’s a pretty juicy storyline to explore for Rosalee in particular.”
On the finale Juliette will take her first real steps into the Grimm world. Rosalee and Juliette are friends so what role do you think Rosalee may play in Juliette’s introduction to Grimm life in Season 3?
Bree Turner: “I think it’s been such a enjoyable relationship to explore, the Juliette/Rosalee friendship. You know, I think at the beginning of this relationship I truly felt very, very responsible for her unraveling, considering I gave her the potion that caused her problems. So I think I felt very responsible and protective over her over these last handful of episodes where I’m like basically convincing everyone else to get onboard with her just evolution because the personal responsibility I felt.
Now that we’re ending the season and the last episode we [changed] for her – in which her reactions I thought were priceless. And then Tuesday night’s episode there’s obviously sort of exploring more of that new reveal for her and her involvement in the group will be explored more. I’m excited about that; I’m happy she’s in the know. I think it’s a well deserved breath of fresh air for everyone just to have her memory back and to have her involved in this world. And also just for another female energy in the group. I think it will bring some lovely new sort of dynamic to the scenes and to the show itself. So I’m excited for us to be a little girl power unit.”
What was your favorite episode or storyline in terms of character development for Rosalee this year?
Bree Turner: “Well I think it’s the romance this year. It’s been really fun and it’s been so sweet. It’s so enjoyable working with Silas that I think that the payoff the fans will receive [during the finale] will be well worth the wait.”
When you were first cast in the role did you know the larger story of where Rosalee was going? Has she evolved the way you expected or has there been some surprises?
Bree Turner: “I knew nothing. I knew nothing. I was cast very quickly and on set within 48 hours so I had very little information on anything. I really had to go off of my instinct and also the very thorough and rich character that Jim and David built right off the bat. You know, I don’t think it would have been as successful if they hadn’t have really known who Rosalee was from the beginning and allowed me to just really dive in with very few questions.
In terms of where she’s gone, yeah, I am surprised and pleased. I sort of anticipated more of an attitude maybe with Rosalee just because the first episode in “Island of Dreams” so much of it was keeping everyone at a distance. And I think that was a lot of her journey towards the end of Season 1 was sort of like slowly warming up to this whole idea of working with the Grimm and being back in this world and using my talents. You know, I definitely needed a focus for myself personally, just to like not throw it all away so fast. It wouldn’t be honest that way. But now that we ended Season 2, the lightness of Rosalee this season was not maybe what I had seen for her when I auditioned the first day. But being in it it’s so right, really, with such a right choice to really not have too many complications for her.
You know, I think this is just getting Rosalee established into the group and becoming vulnerable again in her life and really becoming confident with her talents. Now in terms of Season 3, who knows? I think it would be fun to sort of let some skeletons out of the closet a little bit.”
What are you looking forward to in season three, assuming you live through the finale?
Bree Turner: “Assuming – yeah, exactly. Exactly. Who knows if I’ll be around? Yeah. If I am, that would be what I think would be fun to explore.”
The webisodes over the winter hiatus were a huge hit with the fans. Are there any more plans for you to do some over the summer hiatus?
Bree Turner: “No, not that have been brought to my attention, no. But they were really fun to do. It was really enjoyable to kind of have this frothier version of the spice shop where there wasn’t so much peril involved.”
Rosalee really brings a lot to the Grimm team. She is obviously a good knowledge base. She’s the healer. What would you like to see Rosalee’s place be in the group in the future?
Bree Turner: “I like especially, with this finale – these last two episodes that – well as you’ll see Tuesday, I become much more the authority in the issue at hand. And I really like that choice like of there’s no more bumbling through this now. Now I am the most – I feel the most – one of the most powerful apothecaries in the Wesen community. I’m such a research nerd and I think that was exposed on the “Endangered” episode when I knew everything about the…oh, what is it?…somebody Wesen, our alien creatures…that I knew everything about who they were.”
I think I just love research and history and books. I think I know a little bit about everything, honestly. And I think that would be fun to just sort of have kind of complete total world domination in terms of that, in terms of my skill set. I think I am becoming very powerful that way.”
What would you say is the scariest creature so far to appear on the show?
Bree Turner: “I think the scariest creature was that Mauvais Dentes that was in our Season 2 premiere with the big saber tooth teeth. He was very scary. And I thought both the special effect makeup and the CGI on that creature were really, really one of our best.”
What would you say is one of the most challenging aspects of working on Grimm?
Bree Turner: “Oh, the most challenging? Well, I think I haven’t really had much experience in the genre. I did this Masters of Horror for Showtime. I did a one-hour film. That was my only other genre piece that I’ve done. I think with this though [it’s] just that you have to really commit to the world that you’re imagining because a lot of what you see on television is not what’s happening on the set. We don’t look like our creatures when we’re acting. It’s all CGI. We have little white dots all over our faces when we’re trying to do these serious scenes.
And also, just like the language, the German, the Grimmish, and the fact that it needs to sound casual. I think all those elements combined are challenging and unique to any other job I’ve personally done.”
You mentioned that Rosalee is going to be like kind of the voice of authority in the apothecary world. Is this going to get her in trouble in the finale?
Bree Turner: “Oh yes. Yes. You know, it’s a lot of pressure. And I think everyone sort of is starting to look to me for the answers and I only can do what I can do, you know? So I think yes it does get me into trouble with what we’re dealing with.”
How do you handle all the complicated language, like the Wesen names and all that?
Bree Turner: “Number one: just say it the way Silas says it. I just go to Silas now and I say, ‘How do you pronounce this? How would you say it?’ He’s pretty much become the authority on all German Grimmish words. I just try to do it like he does it.”
Now that you’ve had your baby, did you have a chance to do a little bit of action in this final episode or is that something you look forward to in the future?
Bree Turner: “Yeah, oh for sure. That was probably the hardest thing for me when I was pregnant was not being able to do all my own stunts or just being as physical as I like to be. I would do all my own stunts but, you know, NBC doesn’t want me to do that, so…
And in the finale, yes, Rosalee gets more physically involved for sure in what we’re dealing with. And I’m excited about doing a lot more of that in the future, for sure.”

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