Read Shockya.com's exclusive interview with actor Russell Hornsby, who is currently starring as Detective Hank Griffin on the NBC fantastical mystery-crime series ‘Grimm,’ which airs Friday nights at 9pm PT/ET. The show, which is based on the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales, follows Hank and his partner, Nick Burkhardt, played by David Giuntoli, who discovers his family is a group of hunters known as Grimms. The Grimms fight to keep humanity safe from from supernatural creatures. Nick learns that he’s the last of his kind, and begins to protect humans from the evil that have infiltrated the real world, unbeknown to Hank. Hornsby, who has also appeared on such television shows as ‘Lincoln Heights’ and ‘In Treatment,’ discusses with us, among other things, what attracted him to the role of Hank, and what differentiates ‘Grimm’ from similarly-themed series.
Written by: Karen Benardello
ShockYa (SY): On ‘Grimm,’ you play homicide detective Hank Griffin. What was it about the premise of the show and the character that convinced you to audition for Hank?
Russell Hornsby (RH): Well, two reasons-the procedural and the fantasy aspect of the show. I am a big fan of police procedurals, like ‘Law & Order.’ I was a big fan of ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ for years. Andre Braugher is one of my favorite actors.
I’m also a big fan of fantasy. I’m a huge fan of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and things like that, and also the fairy tales. I felt intrigued by the idea of marrying those two worlds. When I read the script, I said to myself, this can become very interesting. I was really excited about auditioning for it, and elated once I realized I had landed the role.
SY: How did you initially prepare for the role of Hank? Did you know any details about the fairy tales the show is based on before accepting the role?
RH: I just had a cursory knowledge of the Grimms’ fairy tales. Basically my real exposure had really only been of Disney and the like, and the watered-down versions of the fairy tales. It wasn’t until I received the role that I really became more familiar with the fairy tales. I’m not familiar with all of them, there’s over 200 or so of the fairy tales, and I’m familiar with about 20 or so. Sort of the ones that are the more mainstream fairy tales. Again, having played a police officer before, I was familiar with the police procedure and their way.
SY: Has there been any discussion to eventually introduce Hank to Nick’s family background and his work as a Grimm?
RH: There hasn’t been any discussion about that up to this point, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. But as of right now, a lot of the actors are in the dark as to how we’re proceeding forward, as far as Hank’s knowledge of Nick’s world.
SY: Since you and David Giuntoli play partners on ‘Grimm,’ what is your working relationship with him like?
RH: David and I work well together. We have a very strong working relationship, and we get along with each other. We tell jokes and stories, and I think we have a great relationship. It’s a pleasure to work with David. I think we work well together, and I think we play off of each other well, which is very vice.
SY: ‘Grimm’ debuted this season alongside ABC’s similarly-themed show ‘Once Upon a Time.’ What is it about ‘Grimm’ that differentiates itself from ‘Once Upon a Time?’
RH: Well, I think ‘Grimm’ represents a more gritty aspect of what the fairy tales were originally intended. I think ‘Once Upon a Time’ is more traditional, and is more of a Disney vibe. Disney has characterized a lot of their fairy tales over the years, like ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ with a nice glow around it.
I think we’re more of what nature intended. We’re sticking to the original idea of what the fairy tales are meant to be. They’re meant to be cautionary tales, warnings for people.
To continue reading this interview, please visit: Interview: Russell Hornsby Talks Grimm | Shockya.com