Claire Coffee Interview: ‘Grimm’ Season 5, a Kinder Adalind, and Nick

Grimm Claire Coffee Bree Turner Season 5
Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade and Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert in ‘Grimm’ (Photo by Scott Green / NBC)

Season five of NBC’s hit series Grimm kicked off on October 30, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT with an episode that finds Nick (David Guintoli) reeling from the deaths of his mother and Juliette. The season five premiere also finds the ready-to-deliver Adalind coming to terms with the fact she’s now actually having to depend on her once mortal enemy for help.

With season five just getting underway, Claire Coffee took part in a conference call to discuss the changes Adalind’s gone through and what’s in store for the new mother this season.

Claire Coffee Grimm Season 5 Interview

Adalind seems to be changing for the better. Is that going to last or is it just what she’s feeling right because she still has baby hormones?

Claire Coffee: “That’s a good question. Those baby hormones, as I now know firsthand, are very persuasive at times. But yes, I think she finally feels like her life is far better without being a Hexenbiest than it is being a Hexenbiest. We’re shooting episode 11 now, but her fear kind of in the beginning is that this is a suppressant that they used to suppress her powers. But, you know, they could trickle back in at any moment. She is really scared of that happening because the relationship that is building with Nick, […]she really wants to do it right this time.”

Can you talk about how her relationship with Nick is going to be as time goes on?

Claire Coffee: “Yes, you know at the beginning of the season they find themselves – they’re both at a bit of a crossroads: Nick having lost his mother and Juliette, the love of his life. And, Adalind has no one. I think that they can kind of really do bond over this child where the only feeling that matters to them at this point is keeping this child happy and healthy, so they form a bond over that. I think it’s easy to let bygones be bygones when you have a baby that really does need you 24 hours a day. So it gets them pretty sidetracked, at least for a while.”

How has motherhood been for you?

Claire Coffee: “It’s so many things but it’s been awesome. Cal is awesome and luckily I’m able to bring him on set with me, so he hangs out in the trailer with my incredible nanny. I get to pop in and out to feed him or hang out with him on breaks from set. So, that’s been really good. He’s sort of like the set mascot. But it’s been good you know, and I think I feel so much better informed this season, playing the role of a mother now that I am one myself.

I feel very bad about my birthing scene of Diana. I would have done it very differently had I known what it actually feels like.”

Have you had a chance to kind of step back and look at Adalind’s arc over the seasons?

Claire Coffee: “Oh yes. I think roller coaster defines it most accurately. I really do try to take it day-by-day and we don’t get the scripts except for probably a week in advance, so it’s great. I never knew where she was going, which helps, because you can kind of take each insane thing at face value and not really worry about too far in the future or how it’s going to affect things in the future.

But, you know, as an actress that’s really all you want is to be able to play extraordinary circumstances. I feel like I got to play three different characters in the same show so far, so it’s been great fun for me.”

Fans are really talking about the possibility of a Nick and Adalind romantic relationship. What do you think of that kind of talk? Do you think it’s crazy?

Claire Coffee: “Well, there’s no crazy talk, I don’t think, on the show. There’s nothing too crazy. You know, Nick and Adalind have had that very aggressive and contentious chemistry from the beginning, since she was the first Wesen that he saw and she’s been a thorn in his side. I do think they are an expression of that saying that there’s a thin line between love and hate. You know, they are inextricably linked, I would say. So, it’s not so far-fetched but there’s so many things complicating the situation at this point. And especially this season we have a brand new villainess entity. There’s this Wesen uprising afoot so there’s a lot going on.”

How is her relationship with Sean Renard and Hank going to be affected as the new relationship between Nick and Adalind progresses?

Claire Coffee: “So with Renard, the captain has sort of a different storyline in season five. Adalind with the baby, she’s definitely popping up more with Nick and the gang and with Hank and Monroe and Rosalee. With Hank I think there’s…nobody forgets how badly she screwed over Hank and tried to kill him and all of that. But it seems to be a little bit on the back burner as people are giving Adalind the benefit of the doubt. Thankfully, for myself and her.

And her relationship with Rosalee, she’s really trying to get Rosalee to trust her. They’re forming a friendship that will grow throughout the season.”

Does Adalind fear that the new baby will also be taken away?

Claire Coffee: “There’s a fear that this one will get taken away. And with the new stress that arrived on the scene in Portland, her fears are not assuaged in any way. So, she’s relying on Nick for protection.”

Is there an impression that you are suddenly Juliette’s replacement? Not just with Nick but also with the show in general?

Claire Coffee: “Oh, I don’t think so. Well, the best thing I can say is you just have to wait and see. It’s a pretty twisty, turning season. She’s not replacing anything. I think this Adalind/Nick relationship is kind of providing just one more layer for the gang. I think for the rest of the team, they definitely aren’t so excited to have her in the fold at first, and nobody is trusting her completely. It’s a very slow process.”

What can we expect over the course of the season for Adaline?

Claire Coffee: “Her main concern is keeping Kelly safe and she’s really trying to figure out a way that she can be a ‘normal’ person. She wants to be a good person and, you know, try to figure out ways to do that and be a good mom. Her relationship with Nick is also something that is ever-changing for the first half of this season. It gets complicated is I think is the only thing I can say.”

We’ve all seen the evolution of your character throughout the four seasons, but it also seems that the definition of what a Hexenbiest is has also evolved. Can you speak to how that has changed over the years?

Claire Coffee: “I think it’s gotten more specific I would say. So at the start I was the only Hexenbiest and we had the B episode where you learned a little bit more about Hexenbiest, the sort of lethal, witch creatures that no one in the Wesen community really liked. I think now it’s gotten more specific with the rules of Hexenbiest age and how you can become a Hexenbiest. And, you know, Juliette became a Hexenbiest. She was not born a Hexenbiest so therefore her powers are more deadly. And then we have the Zauberbiest which is the captain. We learned about the male version of the Hexenbiest.

But it is evolving for my character and she’s suppressing her powers. How and what does it take for those powers to kind of come back and come through? How can you suppress them forever? Those are things that we will continue to learn about in season five.”

Will Adalind get involved with any of Nick’s cases or get involved with any of the action?

Claire Coffee: “Yes, a little bit. I think he probes her for some knowledge more about the darker side of the Wesen world. And from the kind of folklore perspective she proves to be helpful in a few ways.”

The show’s going to be celebrating its hundredth episode. What does being part of a show like this mean for you, personally?

Claire Coffee: “It’s unbelievable, truly. I keep saying it’s that we’re all just so grateful and in disbelief and so proud of the show and so happy to be up in Portland. You know, 100 episodes these days is such an enormous accomplishment. We are hugely indebted to the fans of the show. It’s outstanding.”

What was the most challenging thing to shoot thus far this season?

Claire Coffee: “There was a scene coming up where I had to hold the baby, answer the phone, and deal with a pot of boiling water with rice. So just from a choreography standpoint I would say that was pretty challenging.”

Will Adalind get a chance to meet her daughter, Diana, again? What kind of relationship do you think they could have?

Claire Coffee: “That’s a good question. You know, we’re up to episode 11 and I still haven’t gotten her back yet. She is aging rapidly, so we’re all sort of speculating as to how she will be when I finally see her again. At this point whomever she’s with has spent a lot more time with her than Adalind has. So those mother ties are very, very strong, but the relationship would obviously be, I think, difficult at first.”

You’ve been playing Adalind as primarily evil for the last four years. Are you enjoying playing a kinder, gentler Adalind, or are you eager to get back to villainy?

Claire Coffee: “I’m enjoying it. It’s always fun to get to play something different. But I think yes, as I said before, it’s really just the day-to-day enjoyment of getting to work with the rest of the cast, I’m loving right now.”

What were your feelings when you first found out you would be having a baby and it would be Nick’s?

Claire Coffee: “I was shocked. They wrote another baby in because I had a baby in real life. But when I told them I was pregnant I said, ‘You know, obviously we’re not going to do another baby storyline. Don’t worry, we can use a body double, whatever. It will be all fine.’ And then halfway through the season they said, ‘Actually, we are going to have you be pregnant and it’s going to be Nick’s.’ And I think my jaw hit the floor.

But it ended up being an outrageously kind of fun adventure. It still is, so I’m happy that they went that direction.”

More Grimm Season 5 Interviews: David Giuntoli / Silas Weir Mitchell / Claire Coffee / Sasha Roiz / Reggie Lee / Bree Turner