Grimm’s Reggie Lee Teases Season 6 Wumance and “Hulking Out”
BY Abbey White
Published 6 years ago
It looks like things could get pretty hairy for Sergeant Drew Wu in the final season of Grimm.
Our favorite sardonic sergeant has for most of the series remained, as star Reggie Lee often describes, an “every man.” One of the series only remaining ‘regular’ humans, Wu has served as a grounding character in this world of dark fantasy. But in a city of monsters and magic, nothing is ever really safe. As we saw during season five, that included the fate of Wu’s humanity.
Season three saw the sergeant come face to face with the world of Wesen, but in one of the series’ biggest twists, last spring he unexpectedly joined their ranks. After being scratched by a lycanthrope, Wu began having odd dreams and at one point, even morphed to and from some pre-human creature. Wu’s affliction isn’t like the other Butblads of the series, however. In the universe of Grimm, lycanthropes suffer from a virus that puts them in a weird inbetween world of Wesen and human. It’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen before, raising the dramatic stakes for Wu and the rest of the Portland crew.
Season six will undoubtedly explore how Sgt. Wu grapples with his developing condition, but what else can fans of the NBC show expect? ScreenSpy sat down with Grimm star Reggie Lee at this year’s DragonCon for an exclusive look at what’s to come for the Portland police officer, and what he’ll miss most about working on the hit show.
ScreenSpy: So we found out something really big last season.
Reggie Lee: What?
ScreenSpy: A character that we thought wasn’t going to be a creature became a creature! How far ahead did you actually know that that was going to happen?
Reggie Lee: Well we knew that I got scratched, right? Beyond that, these guys write pretty organically. So they’re like ‘Hmm… a scratch. What is that going to do?’ The next time he gets anything going on is the next full moon which takes a month, so obviously they had me go through all these dreams and whatnot, things that I was seeing in my bathroom. I knew maybe two episodes ahead and that’s because they don’t write very far ahead.
ScreenSpy: Did you think that this might happen to you? You had been a human for so long.
Reggie Lee: I never thought in my wildest dreams — well, first of all, the finding out stuff. They didn’t really plan on doing that until season five and it happened at the end of season three. That was a huge fan reaction that was like ‘Okay, let’s move forward.’ And then this whole thing… never! I mean, Hank and I were always the ones that were like ‘Hey, yo, we’re like the real people.’ And you know, I’ve always felt kind of like the every man of the show. Like that person that relates to how you would truly react when you see a monster. And then to be this… The great thing about it is I got to truly imagine outside the box. Not that I wasn’t already imagining outside the box by going ‘Oh, there are creatures all around me.’ But just to ask how do I deal with this in my head psychologically. And then the whole thing with finding out I was like ‘Oh s***! Are they going to kill me?’ You know, because everyone thinks the darkest thing first. Am I going to go to the dark side, am I going to be on the good side?
ScreenSpy: It’s your turn. It’s like the thing that The Walking Dead does where it makes you extremely important right before it kills you.
Reggie Lee: I’m not sure I’d ever want to be on Walking Dead. It’s one of those things where you understand that you could be killed at any moment.
ScreenSpy: I don’t think you’re going to get killed. Or are you going to be killed? You guys do have a shortened season…
Reggie Lee: Well we are already on season six so who knows? Who knows what happens now.
ScreenSpy: You can’t make it this long and die.
Reggie Lee: It’s so funny. You know, with the whole diversity issue at the beginning it was like ‘Don’t kill the Asian or the black guy.’ Don’t do that. But you know, it’s interesting. With this all coming up now, we’ve had this conversation going from the first season. Both Russell and I, we always talk about the whole minority issue. To specifically have the really great storyline that I’ve had, I give them full credit. It’s been a blast. But finding out about the turn, I was kind of fearful of that whole thing. I kept going, ‘He’s been a cop his whole life and that’s kind of in his blood and that’s what he’s going to do good.’ But as you saw, Juliette did this whole turn and she went to the dark side.
ScreenSpy: She did come around though. And no death.
Reggie Lee: They have been known to keep the family together, so we’ll see.
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ScreenSpy: You are coming up on your final season. Is there anything that you have wanted to see for Wu? Are there storylines that you maybe wanted to go a little farther with or something that you are hoping you’ll get to do?
Reggie Lee: I’m hoping for a Wumance. We’ll see if that happens. I got a little phone call that said it may happen. We’ll see. We may have some different storylines and that possibly could be one of them.
ScreenSpy: Would it be a new character? Would it be somebody who has already been present in the show at some point?
Reggie Lee: I don’t know. You’ll have to find out! [Laughs]
ScreenSpy: So to go back a bit, you are now playing a monster. What is the difference between playing Wu as a werewolf versus him as a cop. Is there much difference at all?
Reggie Lee: Oh yeah. Well, here’s what I feel and I love. It’s always like imagining you’re a superhero. Although he’s like this neanderthal man, I feel immortal. I feel that with immortality I can do anything, and that’s different for a cop who all through these years has been thinking something is going to come up around and it’s going to kill him. Now I feel like I can fight back. That I have something that makes me feel powerful. That’s why I didn’t know where that was going to go. When I internalized that, I finally felt that kind of power where I was like ‘I like this. I kinda like this.’ So how will [I] work to harness that and figure out how to use it?
ScreenSpy: It’s that battle of whether to let it consume you or not. Whether to use it for good or evil.
Reggie Lee: Yeah. He’s always been a cop and so I think for the sake of that, he’s going to use it for good. However, in very much of what I’ve shot of this season so far, he’s still trying to control it. I’m still trying to find out how to control this thing. Can I control this thing? I’m like the Incredible Hulk. As soon as I get angry…
ScreenSpy: You monster out.
Reggie Lee: I monster out. So that’s what Wu’s dealing with now. But I love it. It’s like having another aspect of your character added on and anything like that for an actor — it’s like being a kid in a candy store. I love it, especially after six seasons. To have something new thrown at you is a gift.
ScreenSpy: Okay you’re now dealing with that control issue, but there are tons of Wu friends who have dealt with that issue, too. Are any of them going to come in and be his grounding? Is the Wumance going to be that grounding?
Reggie Lee: Oh. No, I don’t think so. I’m going to say no I don’t think so on that last question however, because even with Monroe and Rosalie this is a virus that they’ve never dealt with before. They have no cure for this. All they can tell me is that you’ve got to remain calm through everything. So I’ve been working on my calming tactics. I hope that doesn’t cut out my sass because I do like to have a little bit of sassy Wu. But Nick and Hank certainly help a lot and I rely on them a lot. You’ll see it in the first episode. There are moments especially in the first two episodes where I could ‘go there’ completely and take somebody out. One of them holds me back.
ScreenSpy: It sounds like it’s going to be some great teamwork stuff to watch.
Reggie Lee: I love it. It’s new, it’s different.
ScreenSpy: Which is cool, but also a little weird considering that this is the final season. That’s a big character change. Based off of what you’ve seen, do you think the writers are going to be able to fully realize that and wrap that up for fans or is that going to feel a little —
Reggie Lee: Rushed.
v We had the same word for it. It’s interesting. Whenever something’s come to me I’ve been like ‘Hmm… that transition happens in one beat from this to this and this to this.’ At times it looks rushed, to me. However, in this particular case we’re only four episodes in and I think there’s time. But they’ve got a lot to tie up. Who’s to know though if they are going to tie everything up? If they’re going to leave some things open ended. I think that some of it is better left like that. There’s so many films nowadays that leave the audience in a place where it’s up to their imaginations where this goes next. I kind of like that idea for Wu. It’s a very human idea, even though he’s not human.
ScreenSpy: That’s a very Grimm concept.
Reggie Lee: That’s the thing I love about the show. For as sci-fi and fantasy as it is, I have to approach it from a human angle and as an actor I love that. How would a human being react? That’s the fun of it. But in terms of the major storyline for Wu, especially with all his current stuff going on, I don’t know if they’ll tie that up. I do think they’ll tie up Monrosalie, the whole baby thing and of course some other stuff.
ScreenSpy: So one last question. What to you makes this season a little different in terms of plot from past seasons? Can fans expect anything different tonally?
Lee: It’s the first time that things have been this kind of divisive, where there’s just been one character who has been bad out of the nine of us now. It’s a lot of us going after that one character.
Grimm season six premieres on Friday, January 6 on NBC.