Interview

Interview

Exclusive: Actor Reggie Lee Previews Tonight's Episode of 'Grimm'

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reggie leeIn tonight’s episode of Grimm, a death in a video game spells out death in real life. The killer enjoys a good puzzle, which is where Sgt. Wu comes in. Played by Reggie Lee, Wu is a stalwart of Grimm, but frequently underused. In tonight’s episode, “Nameless” Wu gets to shine by figuring out puzzles that help lead Portland police to the killer. We chatted with Reggie about his role in tonight’s episode, Wu’s fate in the series, a preview of the rest of the season... and dogs. We both love dogs.

In tonight’s episode, Wu gets more of a storyline than he usually does!

Yes! I will be live-Tweeting the East Coast feed. I rarely watch because I don’t like to watch myself. Actors tend to self-direct as they watch. You never want to self direct because then you get into your head... blah blah blah. Anyway! In tonight’s episode you find out that Wu is a bit of a gamer. Last season, when I was eating the couch stuffing, you got a peek into Wu’s apartment, and at that time we decided to design his life. Part of his life was that he was a foodie, so he cooked, and he had a cat named Samson. You didn’t see Samson, but you saw Samson’s kitty condo. Then you saw a bunch of video game consoles strewn all over the place. So that is when we found out that Wu is a gamer. I think Wu just wants to head the entire police department. So anything he can take over, he will, and that is what happens with this gaming episode. He won’t admit that, but he will think, “I can do this.”

What was funny was that there is a sudoku puzzle in this episode. When sudoku first came out, I was all over that, whenever I had spare time. But we are several years later, and [in the episode] Nick and Hank see the puzzle and say, “What’s that?” I thought, “How could you not know what sudoku is??” But we played that off. I think all Wu has in his life are his games and his cat. It’s a little sad.

Wu needs a dog.

Right?! Instead of a cat - or maybe he can get a dog in a future episode. I think that would be awesome. That would be so “Portland.” I’m going to bring this up. And we can name the dog Delilah, and I can have Samson and Delilah. I like it! You are giving me ideas! 

Wu sees a little action in this episode. Did you do your own stunts?

I did. There was one part of the stunt they wouldn’t actually let me do, where I am swinging there.... What they did with me is they harnessed me and had me hanging on, then they had me hanging on with one hand - which was almost worse! I just wanted them to swing me off - it’s faster than me dangling! But they are always really courteous and really safe when it comes to stunts. That kind of stuff is fun. And like I said, any time Wu gets the chance to do some fun stuff, I’ll take it - or rather, Wu will take it.

The only daunting part, I think, is that we did not rehearse the [first part of the stunt]. So when we got there, they said, “You’re going to go out, and swing around, then climb up and chase.” I thought, “We didn’t rehearse that part.” They said we weren’t going to rehearse that part, we were just going to shoot. I figured that would make it more real because I would be scared anyway. It was fine, but all that was in my head was a splat of Wu on the street.

I feel like Wu has been severely underused in the series thus far. Who do we talk to about that?

[Laughs] I have been getting a lot of Tweets about that. I am very grateful for Wu. I initially auditioned for the role of Hank. It came down to three of us: Russell Hornsby [who plays Hank], myself, and another guy. I was glad it went to Russell. I told him, “If I don’t get this I hope you do,” because it is a person of color and I wanted to be supportive of that. And he is wonderful in the role - I can’t see anyone else doing it. The next day, my manager called and told me that the producers really liked me and wanted to write a role for me. I had to know what the role was, but I was on board, especially because of [producers] Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt and their pedigree with the sci-fi world. I love sci-fi and I thought it would be fun. To their credit, I think they had more planned for this season. I think what took them away from it was the mythology, and how do we include [Wu] in that mythology. I think they really wanted to do a slow-burn on the show. I think with this particular show, if all the characters are “on board” [with the Wesen secret] at the same time, the show has nowhere to go. If everyone knows then we are just protecting it from the outside world. I think it is going to be a slow burn for this character in particular - and that is the reason [that Wu is underused]. They’ve definitely incorporated me more into the crimes in this second part of the season, which I am grateful for. It’s fun to do that. 

They’ve been very collaborative, asking me about any Filipino or Chinese fairy tales. I gave them outlines of a whole bunch of them, and to their credit, they are looking into all of them. We’ve got a lot coming up. The producers have used eight series regulars this season, and I think they have done a really good job incorporating all of that. Yeah, sometimes I feel underused, but it is in service of the story. Wu has a definite purpose, with the crime part. But I’m having a great time and they are serving the story very well, but all that stuff, that’s on its way. David Greenwalt himself told me it is on its way.

Can we expect that Wu will eventually learn about the Grimms and the Wesen, maybe not this season but later on?

Yeah, I think that is in the cards. I think you can only string that along for so long. Wu is so in the loop with Nick and Hank, and he’s not a stupid guy. He’s certainly book smart - maybe not so much street smart - but one day, he’s just going to say, “Why are you staring so hard at that person?”

I have been going crazy the last few weeks because I just want them to tell Juliette already!

[Laughs] I know! It’s funny how much the fans get into it. I know, and I hear you. I read a lot of stuff [about the show] - sometimes I think I shouldn’t - because it makes you go, “Darn it! Why can’t you do this with my storyline? This is what the fans are saying!” But I tell myself to stop reading it because it is different from what the writers deem important to the storyline. 

Before we go, can you tell us what we can expect from the rest of the season?

You can expect that Juliette gets more clued in. That will definitely happen. You will find some alliances form, and you will definitely find some alliances break down. Adalind definitely gets in the picture more - let’s put it that way. She causes some ruckus. Nick gets himself into some trouble. And that is just the mythology side of the story - we still have a lot of procedural stuff coming up, too. We’ve only got six episodes [after tonight’s] but the last two episodes are ridiculous. They are both written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, and they are strung together. It is a lot of action. The last episode, which we are shooting right now, they have had to figure in another day to shoot because it is so much. It is so much fun, but so much work. I am tired just thinking about it.

Have you guys been picked up for a third season?

We haven’t heard anything officially. All our leases are up, so they better tell us something soon!

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