‘Grimm’ video: Rosalee actress Bree Turner teases ‘big step forward’

Jan. 17, 2014 | 1:55 p.m.

Rosalee Calvert has become integral to “Grimm’s” main crime-fighting group, helping Det. Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) in his quest to protect the people of Portland, and humankind, against destructive Wesen creatures and more. Though Rosalee is a Wesen, a Fuchsbau to be exact, her knowledge of history and potions already has helped save Nick and the city many times over. Actress Bree Turner has infused Rosalee with a mysterious quality, and added a romantic element to the show in her relationship with Silas Weir Mitchell’s Monroe — but Friday night’s episode clears up a lot of the mystery and puts an obstacle in the way of that relationship.

Hero Complex readers can watch an exclusive clip from Friday’s installment above. We also caught up with Turner to get some more insight into Rosalee and the actress’ approach to her role.

Hero Complex: What are the characteristics of a Fuchsbau?

Bree Turner: Well, we are a fox creature. So things that I always try to think about are qualities like seeming comfortable hiding out. Foxes like to be comfortable in their dens. I like feeling safe and being around people that I trust, a bit of a loner at times. Foxes aren’t at the top of the food chain, so whenever Rosalee and Monroe morph, I try to tell myself that I’m not a blutbad. I’m not a wolf. Wolves are going to kill and dominate, and Rosalee is tough and scrappy and brave, but she’s not looking for confrontation. Foxes are prey most of the time. It’s been fun to infuse Rosalee with those characteristics. Those sayings like “sly as a fox,” “cunning as a fox” come into play with her vague past.

HC: Which leads us to meeting Rosalee’s family, and them meeting Monroe. How much time did you have in terms of prepping for the confrontation?

BT: On this show it’s baptism by fire. You just have to dive in and hold your breath and go along with the ride. We get very very little warning, and most of the time we just get the script delivered to us a week before we shoot. The show runners did tell us that there’d be a strong three-episode arc for Monroe and Rosalee’s relationship with parents and conflict and possibly taking our relationship to the next level. The show runners have been teasing it since the top of the season.

HC:Were you familiar with Grimm’s fairy tales, or were you more well versed in the Disney/mainstream interpretations of fairy tales?

BT: I actually — this is full circle — my grandmother gave me her original Grimm’s 1920s edition of all the fairy tales in hardback when I was a little girl. I remember devouring them when I was around 8 or 10 and I was an avid reader, just reading books after books, and I remember really loving the Grimm stories cause they were a little sordid  and I felt like I was reading something that I wasn’t supposed to at that age. I sensed the darkness underneath the sort of childhood stories that get made into Disney movies. But when you really get down and dirty with them, they’re really dark and really awful  with childhood abductions and cannibalism and death and are not really for kids, per se.  But I always felt very connected to the stories, and it makes it really fun to be on the show.

Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert in "Grimm." (NBC)

Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert in “Grimm.” (NBC)

HC: Does your background as a professional dancer come into play a lot in this role?

BT: For sure. My dance background does inform my approach to different characters. Particularly with Rosalee and on “Grimm” there’s so much physical behavior, and not that we’re overtly acting like animals when we’re going throughout our lives on the show, but to have that inform the character — I have a freedom in doing that with my dance background. Physicality and movement and even the event of morphing — you need to be in your body and you can’t feel silly about it, and I’m very comfortable in my skin and with my body in front of a camera.  And though we have a stunt team, we have to do some things.

HC: The language of “Grimm.” Did it come easily to you?

BT: Yeah … the Grimmish. We have a dialect coach who sends us files every episode. She has people that are French and German or Italian or Russian or whatever we’re dealing with. We definitely study and bone up, but the authority in my opinion is Silas [Weir Mitchell] because he’s into linguistics and he loves it. He studies German and Italian and he has a great ear for it.  I always pretty much go to Silas.

HC: Prior to this episode, had you thought much about Rosalee’s background, and what will viewers learn about her going forward?

BT: I think what the fans are going to connect with is that a lot of the questions that we had with meeting Rosalee in Season 1 [will be addressed]– why she went to Seattle, why she disappeared for seven years, her addiction struggles, her father, her brother, their connections with the council. She has a bit of a political family and a fragmented family. All of these questions are 100% answered, which is really nice. A lot of our show is teasing out information, but what’s satisfying is that everything about Rosalee’s past is dealt with head on in a vulnerable, flawed and at times ugly way.  I think it really lets fans into who she really is and why she’s been kind of hiding out from her life. It also challenges the relationship between Monroe and Rosalee. Can he handle the information that he’s basically slapped across the face with, and can he be there for her if they’re going to take the relationship to the next level? It was a hard episode to film as an actress. All of the heavy stuff was filmed in one day, and at the end of that day I was exhausted. And you never know — I mean you’re thinking, is it good? You just end up feeling super vulnerable at the end of the day, but I think for the story it’s going to be a really big step forward.

– Jevon Phillips | @LATHeroComplex

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