Sasha Roiz and Claire Coffee took the time to chat about Grimm and their characters, Captain Sean Renard and Adalind Schade, during a recent press call. Don’t miss the season three finale of Grimm this Friday night at 9 on NBC. Make sure that you also stick around for an all-new episode of Hannibal because that will definitely complete your Friday night.
Q: Do you think that they can forgive each other again? They keep coming back but keep screwing each other over.
Claire Coffee: Yes, they really do have kind of a sickeningly codependent relationship. I don’t know that there’s ever really forgiveness or ultimate trust. So – but it does seem like the playing field is a little bit leveled with what they’ve done to each other.
Sasha Roiz: Yes, she’s – she certainly has a way with Renard. And I think there’s always a possibility of them finding their way back to each other to some extent. But you know, there’s also that baby that bonds them so there’s going to be – there’s always a need to kind of – hello, there’s always going to be that bond between them always because of that baby.
Claire Coffee: It’s their – yes, they’re doing it for the child, trying to stay together for the child.
Q: How far in advance do you guys know what’s coming for your characters?
Claire Coffee: Not very far. Shockingly close to when it actually happens. And you know the – I think Jim and David are really good at keeping all of this from us. Because you know, things change and I think if we knew too far in advance it just subconsciously starts changing the way you’re playing the character I think so.
Sasha Roiz: We probably get scripts at most two weeks before we shoot it.
Q: Claire, more than any other character this season, your character seems to have gone through an incredible range of emotions. How was that to play?
Claire Coffee: Yes, I was telling Jim and David just how grateful – it’s kind of like going back to theater school where you get – it’s like just a massive exercise in exploring the range of human emotions. Yes, I think over those three episodes I got to play every single one of them. So that – I just consider myself lucky, and you know, hope that I didn’t drop the ball.
Q: Is it easier for you to play the ones where she is scared or upset upset, or the ones where she’s in a rage and is ready to act out?
Claire Coffee: I don’t know that any one is easier or harder. I mean I think you know, that anything that requires a lot of emotion, be it rage or pain, is exhausting, you know, after a while just – it’s because energy level, it’s just taking a lot out of you. So it was – yes, it was definitely an exhausting two weeks.
Q: Why do you think that the show is still so popular? Grimm seems to keep going on and everybody’s having such a good time with it.
Sasha Roiz: I hope because to some extent the characters are intriguing and relatable. And that you know we – I give the writers a lot of credit, I think they come up with some incredibly compelling storylines.
Claire Coffee: Yes, I think there’s – you know, it has both – there’s a lot of action each episode, and you know, the ticking clock of the episode itself and the monster of the week and figuring out the case of the week. But at the same time, you know, you have this royal storyline that’s serialized and you follow that through the season, and so I think all those cliffhangers that keep people coming back.
Q: For those of us who haven’t seen the finale, Claire, what can you tell us without giving too much away about her big plan? And also Sasha, what is Renard going to do about it? Because he obviously knows she’s up to something.
Claire Coffee: She – I – you know, she’s incredibly motivated to get her baby back. Her baby is – you know, she’s got tunnel vision where that is concerned because I think she just feels a little bit aimless and lost without this child now to – that she’s learned how to love another human being. So she – I don’t think she fully understands the ramifications of what she’s about to do, but she feels within her right to do it. And yes, it causes a massive rift in Nick and Juliette’s relationship and it changes them — maybe forever, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Sasha Roiz: I think that she, Adalind, has gone too far this time and I think by the end of the episode Renard sees pure rage. And it could get pretty nasty between the two of them. But you know, that’s what I think. But then again you know, there’s always some twists and turns along the way. But certainly you find him at his wits end with her.
Q: About Renard’s brother Eric, we’ve yet to see a body, and I’m never convinced a character is dead unless we see a body. Do either of you think he’s alive?
Claire Coffee: No, I just – I know you know, James had some scheduling conflicts. James Frain had some scheduling conflicts, but I know that the writers did have ideas about what to do with the character, and that he certainly wasn’t dead. But I don’t know, I haven’t actually given that too much thought. There’s been so many other things on the table.
Sasha Roiz: I mean I can’t tell you with any certainty that he’s alive or dead, but because I think your approach is probably quite a good one; unless you see the body you probably shouldn’t completely believe it. But then again, you know, that’s all we know up to this point so we’ll have to wait and see. But yes it’s Grimm, anything’s possible.
Q: Claire, you mentioned a little earlier, in response to someone else’s question, that your character’s relationship was, “Sickeningly codependent,” which has kind of made it extra fun to watch this season. What was your favorite part about working together and sort of creating kind of odd but exciting chemistry between you both?
Claire Coffee: Well, I don’t think we set out to create odd and exciting chemistry, but that is – that’s a fabulous result, and a fabulously unexpected result. I think you know, we do have a lot of fun working together. And Sasha’s – he’s just such a generous actor to work with. And I’m not saying that just because he’s on the other end of the line. But you know, we do like – he makes a point to kind of like, we’ll meet up before and kind of suss out what the situation is because we do find ourselves in some kind of outlandishly emotional places. But I think the most fun, I mean obviously when he is without clothing, that was a pretty fun day on set.
Sasha Roiz: That was pretty funny. That was pretty funny.
Claire Coffee: Yes I would say, “More funny than fun…”
Sasha Roiz: Yes.
Claire Coffee: …for both of us because we’re both wearing various weird, you know, flesh colored underthings. But yes, it’s good that we are such good friends, (I think).
Sasha Roiz: Not the most flattering outfits.
Claire Coffee: Yes, it’s about the least flattering. If they could show behind the scenes, I would say that we – it’s the most unflattering that we’ve looked. But they…
Sasha Roiz: Yes, it’s…
Claire Coffee: …the movie magic makes it look so good.
Sasha Roiz: It’s funny how the sexiest scenes, behind the scenes are the least sexy things you’ve ever witnessed. Yes, Claire and I have a lovely friendship, you know, on set and I love working with her. And I think she’s done a tremendous job this season. You know, she’s – like you mentioned earlier, like her character arc has been enormous and she’s really stepped up. And so it’s been fun to watch. And also, their relationship is just so absolutely crazy that…
Claire Coffee: Yes.
Sasha Roiz: …it’s really fun to, you know, to always be challenged with that. Because just when you think it can’t get any crazier, they manage to write something new in. So it always remains a little, you know challenging, every single time we face off.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you.
Claire Coffee: You got it.
Q: Sasha, could you talk about the wedding ring; is there a tragic love affair maybe in Renard’s past?
Sasha Roiz: You know, that’s been – I know that’s been a question posed by fans for like at least 2-3 years now, and a wonderful question. I wish I had the exact answer for you, but like all things Grimm, we kind of get around to answering all those questions with time. And I suspect that we’ll probably answer that one as well, soon. You know because I – like for instance, even this season we answered the question of, “How does Nick see them and how do they know that he’s a Grimm?” So we get around to answering these little things. And but the real story I think is it’s probably a relic from a storyline that never got used and had to be scrapped at some point. And so we kind of – you know I think, when initially Renard came on the scene I think he was considered maybe had been married or widowed or something and we never really got around to using that storyline so I think we’ll probably owe you an answer at some point soon.
Q: Both of you are on social media, are you looking forward to the instant fan feedback you’ll be receiving after the finale airs?
Claire Coffee: I just hope nobody knows where I live.
Sasha Roiz: Mm-hmm. It’s always fun to get the fan reaction. It’s really exciting to see how they respond.
Claire Coffee: Yes I – it’s one of my favorite things, you know on Friday nights, is live Tweeting and just getting that instant reply. And our fans are so funny and clever, and you know, they really don’t let you get away with anything, which is nice. And but I am – I’m a little terrified for this Friday, a little worried. I think people always say like, “Oh, we love to hate your character,” and it may just turn to like, “Oh we hate you so much.”
Q: Sasha, there’s been so much back and forth with whether or not you and Nick really trust each other. Do you see that changing in any respect now that a baby involvement happened?
Sasha Roiz: Sure. I don’t think we’re moving in any time soon. But I sense that wouldn’t this be just the perfect time to let him down. Trusts me still. Well, I mean, you know that dynamic is always going to be a tenuous one, and I think it should be and we’ll see what happens. But I suspect that, you know, just as you feel comfortable something probably will pull the rug from under your feet, as it should be in my opinion.
Q: You briefly mentioned that it seems like now she actually has someone that she loves finally. She’s figured that out. But how true do you think that really is, how much of it is still her? Is she driven by their ambition, or just a sense of revenge?
Claire Coffee: I, you know, she doesn’t even think it’s – I don’t think it’s revenge, I think she really is – she wants her baby back. Her baby gives her a place in the world really. I mean she don’t – her relationship with Renard notwithstanding, she don’t have any allies, any friends, no job, like really nothing. She has…
Sasha Roiz: And whose fault is that Claire?
Claire Coffee: Yes, he does have a point there. Everyone has such good memories around here. But I think, you know, she thinks that Viktor has her child. So she – everything that she does she’s – like someone to – with blind ambition, she doesn’t – she’s not realizing the way that what she’s doing is going to affect everybody else. And you know, Nick, Juliette, Renard, all of that, to her the most important thing is this baby. So I don’t, you know, she doesn’t know that Nick and the gang took the baby. If she knew that then sure, revenge would come into play. I’m assuming. But at this point, it really is, she needs this child.
Q: I’ve always seen Adalind as a villain, but I got to say that episode where the baby got taken away from her was just heartbreaking. Has that been a surprising shift for you, two sides of your character?
Claire Coffee: Yes. The writers have really – they did such a good job with that arc, and you know, really built it slowly enough so that you could – so that the change kind of made sense and felt organic. At least for me when I was playing it. And then to kind of round out the season getting her back to a little bit of her old self and, you know, picking up. So that she didn’t – you know, I had a conversation with them when I read all these scripts to kind of – to figure out to play the character with parts of old Adalind and how much to incorporate with this new sense of empathy and feeling and being in love with this child with, you know, her old self. But I think they did such a great job kind of balancing all of the bits of her personality.
Q: Claire, how did you think Bitsie did taking on the role of Adalind in that last episode and in the finale?
Claire Coffee: She did a great job, yes. I got to screen the finale and she did a fantastic job. I probably owe half of my episode fee to Bitsie for that one. So she – yes, she was great. She wanted to know, you know, she’s like record me saying certain lines and, you know, wanted to get my walk down and like little head movements. So yes, I thought she did a great job.
Q: With regard to this new version with Adalind, is she just a villain or is there more to her than that? Are there redeeming qualities that maybe we’ll see from her down the line?
Claire Coffee: I think at – she’s a more dangerous villain, I think, because she’s operating of her own accord, and she has this powerful motivation now. And, you know, they say like, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I think she knows one way of getting what she wants and that’s death and destruction via magic spells. So she, you know, she’s using what she knows and I don’t think she’s ever – she’s not going to be good, but I think she feels just and justified in what she’s doing and the steps she’s taking.
Q: Regardless of what happens next season, if it were up to you, is there something that you’d still really like to see happen for your characters that hasn’t yet?
Sasha Roiz: Well I’d like to survive Season 4.
Claire Coffee: I got to wear jeans.
Sasha Roiz: Such different objectives. I’d like to survive, “I’d got to wear jeans.” All right. That’s awesome. Yes, that would be my big objective. Thank you. Claire, you were talking about denim?
Claire Coffee: Yes, well you know, that was – I was so happy to be in jeans for Season 4. I would love to have as comfortable a wardrobe as that. You know, fewer skin tight pencil skirts, more sweaters.
Sasha Roiz: You rock those pencil skirts though, that’s your thing.
Claire Coffee: Thanks, thank you.
Sasha Roiz: Yes.
Q: Claire, could you tell us a little bit of how you first became involved in Grimm, and perhaps about the audition process for your role?
Claire Coffee: Yes. I actually just went on tape, it was a recurring character, you know, during pilot season. And I went on tape with Donna Rosenstein, who’s the Casting Director. They – and then I got a call a few days – I got a call that I was – what they say, “You’re in the mix,” which is always really frustrating, because it means, you know, you’re – it’s down to like three or four people and you usually never get it, but you get your hopes up and then, you know, dashed. But then I got a call at like 8 o’clock on a Friday night — or maybe it was 9 o’clock, that would have been cool — and I was out at a bar with friends and I got the call just saying, you know, “You got it, you’re going to Portland.” But I had no idea the scope of what the role was. I mean it was – they say, “Guest star, possibly recurring.” So you have no idea; a, if the show’s going to get picked up; or b, if they’re not – if they’re going to keep on with you. So yes just lucky.
Q: Sasha, what has surprised you most about your character this season? And what aspect of him maybe also have you enjoyed most playing this year?
Sasha Roiz: I certainly enjoyed the baby storyline. It was definitely fun to explore a different side, a paternal side, somebody you know, more compassionate, concerned, and vulnerable consequently. So that was definitely a departure from how we see him in the past. And it was really fun to play in those emotions and to be challenged with them.
Grimm airs Friday nights at 9 on NBC.