Tonight’s episode of Grimm featured some answers about the mysterious Captain Renard that fans have long been waiting for. After just over one season of the show has aired, Renard’s motives and background are finally coming into sharper focus.
SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read on if you don’t want to find out what happens in episode 2 of Grimm’s second season.
EW chatted with Renard’s real-life alter ego, Sasha Roiz, about “The Kiss,” an episode that turned out to be very illuminating of the Portland Police captain.
On a phone call from Portland where the NBC series shoots, Roiz shared his reactions to the revelations about his character, teased what’s next with the potion Catherine gave him and confirmed just what was going on when Renard’s face morphed before his bathroom mirror.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This was a really exciting episode for your character. How was the experience of shooting it?
SASHA ROIZ: Very exciting. The reveal of the morph was something that I hadn’t even envisioned in season 1. I really didn’t believe that there was anything to reveal. I thought that what you saw was what you got, and it was a tremendous surprise for me when they told me exactly what I am and that there’s gonna be a reveal of that kind. It was really exciting and fun to try to get into it and try to understand sort of the particular dimensions of this character, why he suppresses it so much, why he’s able to control it as much as he has, so it was really fun to kind of play within that and imagine some of the back story with regards to a man who’s been hiding and masking this part of himself for so long.
How much did you know of the truth about Renard at the beginning of the series, and how has learning more impacted your performance?
I didn’t know about this. From season 1, in all the interviews when people would suspect, “Well are you a creature? Are you going to morph?” I was genuinely answering as honestly as I believed it to be. “No, I’m just a Royal, and that’s my position such as royalty. I don’t need to morph. I have a control and domain over these creatures.” So I had no idea. So when season 2 began, and they told me, “By the way, you’re half hexenbiest,” that’s amazing, first of all, because they even had me fooled, and secondly, what a great story. What a great intrigue to this character, who I think is revealed is a bastard. And you can tell that there’s a different element to his morph. He’s not entirely a hexenbiest. There’s something going on in the bloodline. And so it was very interesting because it instantly informed me of so much in this character, what motivates him, what drives him. I think anyone’s who’s a bastard of sorts, for lack of a better word – but that’s what it kind of is in royal circles – is definitely motivated by that and definitely is an outsider and a pariah within the family, and so he’s somebody who would be exceedingly motivated to establish himself. And so I think it really informs the character quite a bit.
Time and time again, we see that Renard has Nick’s back, as we saw with the FBI agents in this episode. Is this all for Renard’s own benefit, or is he starting to really care about Nick and be loyal to him for Nick’s own sake?
Again, I didn’t know from season 1 to season 2 what to expect, so I could be wrong again, but my instinct is Renard is a survivor, and he will stop at nothing, like anyone who is conditioned to be a survivor, to end up on top at whatever cost, whatever pain it may cause people. He needs to, at this point in time, ensure his dominion over this part of the world and ensure his security and position because he feels that the family’s slowly encroaching, and it’s definitely a source of great stress for him because all of the sudden they’re very aware of his plans and ambitions. So I don’t know if he’s specifically loyal to Nick, but he definitely needs Nick at this point in time, and so I think for the time being, he’ll do what he can to protect him because in doing so he protects his own interests.
Have you seen the final cut of your morph with the completed special effects?
I haven’t seen it yet. We spent some time on it. We reshot that scene because we wanted to get it just right, so hopefully it came out really well, intense as it should be. So I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m quite curious to see what it looks like.
What did you do differently in the reshoot?
I think we just kind of lingered on the moment a little bit more. It’s been such a long time coming, and so we really wanted to enjoy the moment of his reveal and make sure that it’s not the same as other creatures that just kind of lose control for a second because he’s clearly someone who’s been in control, and he’s still in control of this part of himself, and so when the creature comes forth, it’s because he allows it to. He’s just looking at himself and examining himself, this hideous part of himself that he doesn’t like. He’s clearly a little concerned about the effects of this potion, but it’s at his own will that he brings it forth. We just wanted to make sure that it’s different from other – I forget the term that we use for it when you bring the creature forth, but it’s different from other morphs.
How permanent is this heart-purifying potion going to be?
I can’t say exactly, but it’s going to be linger. There’s going to be some effects, for sure. Some residuals.
You speak French fluently, right?
I’m quite comfortable, yeah.
So scenes when you have dialogue in French must be a piece of cake.
I’m not as fluent as English, but it’s a lot of fun to be able to utilize another language. I think it gives the show a really interesting international flavor. It takes you out of here, Portland, America, what have you, and it just creates this global kind of feeling to it. And also I think the European languages add a certain history to the show. You can tell it’s older than the present moment. It takes us back to kind of old Europe where these fairy tales are from.
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