While Portland may be labeled as “weird,” it hosts a bevy of television shows that call the city home, including NBC’s hit supernatural series Grimm. The cast of Grimm has embraced Portland as their home away from home and are working with the local children’s hospital, Oregon Health and Science University’s (OHSU) Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the “…Grimmster Endowment, a patient-assistance fund that provides children and families critical support associated with uncompensated care, travel, lodging and other services integral to the care and comfort of the most vulnerable patients.” For more on the Grimmster Endowment and how you can help, click here.
Sasha Roiz, who plays Captain Sean Renard on Grimm, also spoke briefly about the cast’s involvement with the charity and his role on the show. There are questions about his duplicity as a member of the royal family in Vienna. A journalist also asked Roiz how he feels about being a “sex symbol.”
While I was unable to participate in this call, I received the transcript and wanted to share with the fans of Grimm.
Without further ado…
GRIMM – Season 4 – Conference Call with Sasha Roiz (Cpt. Sean Renard)
Monday, January 26, 2015
Akiva Griffith: Thank you everyone for joining the call today. As you know, we have Sasha here from NBC’s Grimm. Before we start the question and answer, I wanted to give him a brief moment to speak about the Grimm Gala that will be taking place next week and which the auction opened today. And he’ll give you guys sort of a little bit of information on that and you can follow up with questions once the Q&A begins immediately after he speaks. Go ahead Sasha.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you, and thanks everyone for joining me today. I really appreciate your support and your interest in all this. I’ll just give you a quick background on the gala, if you haven’t already read it and I’m happy to follow it up with any questions you might have. And it’s to benefit an endowment that we began over here at Portland at the Children’s Hospital, called the Doernbecher and the endowment is called the Grimmster Fund and it’s to help benefit the families that need any financial assistant. About a year ago we started the fund and then for the past year have been working closely with Comcast and NBC, our production of Grimm, of course and Nike, have all come together to help put together this Gala for us which will be taking place February 7 in Portland. And we have amazing auction items, things from the set, props and costumes, as well as Nike pitched in and did an unbelievable one-time thing where they do a limited run of 50 Nike pairs of Grimm shoes, specifically designed for us. Some of them featuring the faces of the character on the shoe itself. Those will be available at auction at the event as well as 400 fleeces, special Grimm designed fleeces, all designed by T. Hatfield, a very impressive name in Nike design. So we’re very excited for this event and currently it’s sold out so it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to help us benefit this fund.
And today, this morning the on-line auction of a lot of the props and costumes and some of the drawings, one of a kind drawings, have all gone on line and they’ll be available for bidding and for purchase up until February 4. That’s it. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.
Akiva Griffith: Great. And I’ll turn it back over to the operator to start the question and answer.
Operator: Our first question comes from the line of Jamie. Please proceed with your question.
Jamie: Hi Sasha, thanks for talking to us today.
Sasha Roiz: My pleasure.
Jamie: Well, the first thing I wanted to ask about is kind of where the cliffhanger left off. Obviously Juliette came to talk to you now that she’s partly Hexenbiest, we don’t know what’s going on. Is there anything you can tease about that?
Sasha Roiz: There is a – this season has become kind of like the season of the Hexenbiest. It’s a hexen feast, as I like to call it. There’s been my mom, there’s been myself, Juliette’s transformation, Adalind’s involvement and a lot of sort of magical developments; some good, some bad. And it’s definitely going to create havoc as you could imagine. Certainly already has for Juliette and now it slowly will trickle to everyone else. She’s come to me in that kind of partnership and assistance is going to be imperative for her to try to understand who she is and how to navigate this, you know, uncharted water for her.
So, we’re going to become a little bit closer than I think Renard is comfortable. Far more than he’s comfortable. And it’s going to be interesting to see how we walk this tightrope without falling back into any residual effects of that love potion a few scenes ago. Yes, so it’ll be definitely a fun story line.
Jamie: Sounds like it. So can you talk a bit about how, kind of, I guess I don’t want to say partnership, but how the dynamic at the precinct is kind of changing now that Wu’s involved.
Sasha Roiz: It’s really interesting. It’s nice to have him on board. I like the dynamic as it’s, you know, slowly kind of evolving with Wu in the know, you know, of course now just keeping the rest of the precinct unaware. But it’s fun to have yet another player, and, you know, a police officer in it, you know, because obviously we need all the help, as you can see we need all the help we can get because it’s starting to become unruly and far more than we can handle at this point.
Jamie: Okay. Great. Well, thank you so much for your time.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Rebecca. Please proceed with your question.
Rebecca: Good morning Sasha, how are you?
Sasha Roiz: I’m well, thank you.
Rebecca: I’m going to (unintelligible).
Sasha Roiz: I’m sorry, I’m going to have to interrupt you, it’s breaking up. I can’t hear you very well. (Benjamin), are you having trouble hearing her as well?
Operator: Yes, her line is breaking up. We’ll move on to the next question. She should dial back. I believe she’s on a cell phone. She should just simply dial back from a land line and we’ll be able to put her back in queue.
Sasha Roiz: Sorry about that. Please call us – please call again.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Stephanie. Please proceed with your question.
Stephanie: Hi Sasha.
Sasha Roiz: Hi.
Stephanie: It’s great to see the cast of Grimm giving back with the Grimm Gala for OHSU. I have a special place in my heart for Portland as well as OHSU because I was treated for breast cancer there and have been cancer free for seven years. And one thing I know is the business community in Portland does rally around causes like this so I’m so impressed with the, you know, that you’re going to have this as something that goes forever, not just one year for support of the families, so that’s great. Can you tell me what other things do you like about Portland or have you guys found that you want to give back to?
Sasha Roiz: Well, I mean, like you said, it’s an amazing community and just goes to show, I mean corporations as large as Comcast and NBC and Nike, who ostensibly seem likes these just giant companies that are impersonal are anything but. I mean, the people that I’ve met who have all come to assist us and who have gone beyond, you know, my expectations. And have done so much in order to help put this together and help their own community. It’s really humbling and I’m so grateful for it. And it really is a testament to Portland and how strong a community it is here and how much they embraced us and so that’s really the motivation to give back.
Because it’s been our home now for four years and it really does feel like home now and so we really want to be a part of the fabric here and they’ve been so gracious in helping us accomplish that.
Stephanie: Well, the show fits in by keeping Portland weird for sure. My follow-up question would be how are you liking the evolution of your character in the show?
Sasha Roiz: Oh I love this.
Stephanie: You’ve gone from villain to good guy.
Sasha Roiz: Yes, and there’s probably room to go back to villain too and that’s what makes it so much fun. I don’t know, the audience doesn’t know, the writers keep me guessing as well as the fans. And that’s what makes it fun for me. I like a character that is unpredictable and I like as an actor being in that position where I don’t know from episode to episode, from season to season, what is expected of me and where my character may go and it keeps me very interested and engaged.
Stephanie: Great. Well, thank you so much and keep up the good work and we hope to see more of you on Grimm.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you. All the best.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Vicki. Please proceed with your question.
Vicki: Good morning, Sasha. How are you doing?
Sasha Roiz: I’m good. How are you?
Vicki: Good. So glad to hear about all the great work that you’re doing with the Grimmster Fund and I’m sure that I speak for most of us by saying that we wish we could be there for the Gala.
Sasha Roiz: Well thank you. You guys just publicizing it will be a lot of help so I appreciate that.
Vicki: Oh, you’re very welcome, glad to do anything we can. So my question is now that Juliette is coming up with these new powers, is there any chance that you’re mother somehow planned on this as a way to have a hold over getting where Kelly and Diana are?
Sasha Roiz: It’s a good question. I mean, I don’t know for sure but you know, anything can happen. And, you know, like these characters have their own imaginations and agendas and its always interesting to see what happens. Again, the writers just keep us guessing so just when I think I kind of know where it’s all headed, I’m always left surprised. And you never know who’s going to pop in, whose mom is going to pop in, or whose parents or cousins or uncles.I mean, I’m still having a lot of trouble with, you know, members of my family and there’s a few more coming, some new ones, who are, you know, definitely going to make things even more difficult so. There is an ongoing swell of activity and characters that keep pumping in and out. So absolutely, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by who appears.
Vicki: That sounds very interesting. One other question. So we haven’t spoken to you since the new season started, what was it like having that long summer hiatus where your life was literally hanging in the balance, were you worried?
Sasha Roiz: Well, you know, I think when that initial script turned up where I was shot. You know, I always felt very confident that I was well positioned in this cast and that I wasn’t going anywhere but at the same time I was thinking, you know, this would be really good as a story line if they did kill me off. I’d be terribly upset but I’d understand. And, but I did have at one point just a little panic attack and I’d have to go, you know, to our producer Jim Kouf one of our show runners and at one point when he was on set I pulled him aside and I just started.
I said, hey by the way I just need to ask, and he immediately interrupted and he goes, you live. And I go, thank you. So I was put at ease so I wouldn’t have to sweat it out over the hiatus and thankfully I just had a chance to enjoy myself and come back to work.
Vicki: That’s good, and I promise you all of the fans would not have been happy if you had indeed died, so I’m very glad that you survived it.
Sasha Roiz: Yes, I really enjoyed the pouring of support and absolute, you know, hysterics, that were on-line, you know, in support of the character so it was fun to see that.
Vicki: Well thank you very much and best of luck raising lots of money at the Gala.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you so much.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Josh. please proceed with your question.
Josh: Thank you. Sasha when we talked to other casts that film in other cities, they always, you know, speak highly of their experience and people and whatnot. But we don’t really hear a lot about casts in shows getting as involved as you guys are with this initiative. And I’m just wondering, have you seen anything like this before in your career or is this something that is sort of new even for you, to see a show and a network get so involved in a community initiative like this?
Sasha Roiz: I hadn’t experienced it myself. You know, not to say that it hasn’t happened before, but I don’t know of it myself. But you know, this is just a really special experience we’re having and I think it probably reflects that. You know, we are a show that celebrates the city that we film in, both on set and off set. You know we actually represent Portland and I don’t think it’s really been quite as represented before. And so we take pride in that and in turn the City takes great pride in the fact that they’re being represented and positively represented by us, you know, aside from all the murderers and monsters and things like that. But I think they enjoy, you know, that we keep it weird as they say.
And, you know, and this has become, you know, and this is four years now and, you know hopefully we’ll have a few more and so it has become home for all of us. And, you know, everybody else in the cast, they all do their share and they participate in the community in different charities and nonprofits that move them and speak to them and it’s just been really just a symbiotic and natural evolution.
Josh: Can you tell us a little bit more about the Children’s Hospital and why you guys felt that they would be the best recipient for this Gala and for all the work that you guys are doing?
Sasha Roiz: Well, I mean, they’re an incredible hospital, OHSU is one of the premiere hospitals in the country and especially in this region where, you know, people come from bordering states, from all over the place to just be, to be patients of this particular hospital because of its reputation.
We came to realize very quickly in our visits that, you know, a lot of these families put their lives on hold and on top of all the difficulties and emotional trauma that they have to deal in regards to their children, they spend months, weeks, years sometimes, going back and forth trying to rehabilitate their kids.
And, you know, in addition to that they have to bear the burden not just emotionally but financially, it’s really, it can’t help but move you. And so I think we just felt a certain connection to that cause and the hospital and the staff are just tremendous and dedicated and it just spoke to us. You know, I’m sure it’s not the only charity, not the only hospital that certainly needs help, but we just kind of connected and were happy to be able to assist.
Josh: Okay, well thank you for your time and good luck with the event.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Ben, please proceed with your question.
Ben: Hi Sasha.
Sasha Roiz: Hi, how are you Ben?
Ben: I’m doing good, how are you doing?
Sasha Roiz: I’m good.
Ben: That’s good to hear. Well before I ask my first question, I just wanted to say, every Friday night, I always look forward to you, you are my favorite character on Grimm. You just, I really enjoy you on Grimm every Friday.
Sasha Roiz: Oh, thank you, I appreciate that.
Ben: It’s not a problem at all. My question is what do you like the most working about your character on Grimm? What do you like the most about your character?
Sasha Roiz: Well, I mean, like I mentioned before, I like the ambiguity, you know, the sort of moral ambiguity that you can’t quite predict this guy and even myself as an actor I can’t predict it because the scripts keep me guessing. But I also like how he keeps his cards close to the vest and you just, you see him thinking, you see him constantly planning and scheming and just sort of trying to appraise the situation and how to best deal with it.
But you never quite know what his move is going to be so it’s a very interesting kind of like master chess player. And I love that about him. He’s, you know, a very, he’s working on so many levels at once and it’s really fun to enact that.
Ben: That’s so awesome. Well thank you so much for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Erin. Please proceed with your question.
Erin: Hi Sasha thanks for taking my call, I appreciate it.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you.
Erin: I wanted to talk to you, I love that you’re so involved in the city, but particularly with your theatrical endeavor with Portland Center Stage and Three Days of Rain with Silas Mitchell can you talk a little bit about that project. I know you’d spoiled, or Jeff kind of like spoiled at Comic-Con but didn’t have a lot of information. Now that it’s coming up do you have more information on that?
Sasha Roiz: Well, we’re very excited, Silas and I have been wanting to do theater for a long time. We, I mean, obviously came from the theater, but it’s just been years since we’ve had a chance to set foot back on the stage so fortunately it worked out and was the last slot in their season and it coincided with our break so it just worked out perfectly.
And it’ll be directed by their artistic director whose name is Chris Coleman a very, very talented director. It’s a three hander, so we’re going to audition the female role and we’re going to get started in rehearsals in late April and I think we open around mid-May.
So we’re thrilled and Silas and I love working together and unfortunately we don’t have a lot of scenes together. You know, over the years we’ve only worked together maybe a handful of times and we’re looking forward to it because we’re very different actors, very different energies but we, I think we really complement each other, so it’s going to be a really interesting endeavor.
Erin: Great, thank you so much.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Courtney. Please proceed with your question.
Courtney: Hi Sasha.
Sasha Roiz: Hi Courtney.
Courtney: My question is, is there anything else that you can tease for us about this second half of the season, any new Wesen that we’re going to see, any twists and turns coming up, anything that people are really going to be surprised about, without spoilers obviously?
Sasha Roiz: Yes, there’s always Wesen. That’s one thing you can always rely on us for, there’s always some new creative and sometimes, like the current episode we’re filming, really weird new ones, like to the point that you’re scratching your head going, how did they turn that into a Wesen.
And you’ll see what I’m talking about, I guarantee, you’ll look after episode 16. But it’s, yes, there’s always residuals to everything. Every decision on Grimm comes with repercussions.
So my life saving experience is definitely going to kind of come back and reek a little havoc for me because it’s not without its residual effects which you’ll see slowly with Renard suffering from some of those residuals. As well there is issues with more family members coming over and creating a lot of trouble for him.
And, you know, it’s getting progressively more and more heated, both life threatening and the politics become a lot more heated and the dynamics from the characters, obviously with Juliette’s new found, you know, (hexen bee) status, this is going to change things for everybody. So I get caught, or Renard gets caught in the middle of all of that and it becomes a really difficult seasons for him as the season progresses.
Courtney: Wonderful, and for the Wesen, how does it work when they give you a script, do they give you a description about what this particular Wesen is going to look like? Do you get a drawing or do you just have to wait until the show actually airs to see kind of how it all works out with the special effect?
Sasha Roiz: It’s a combination, I mean, there’s the description in the script, which is you know, never more than really just a sort of brief description of what kind of animal or creature it’s based on. And then there’s definitely some drawings, some artistic renderings that you can look at.
Sometimes visual effects will come with their particular take on it and give you, you know, a chance to look at it so you can envision what it’s going to be. And if we have the time and, you know, yes, if we have the time, then our makeup team, which is remarkable, as you have seen, comes in and does all the prosthetics and then you get to look at it, you know, firsthand, which is always incredibly impressive.
Courtney: Wonderful, well thank you so much I appreciate it.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of MaryAnn, please proceed with your question.
Sasha Roiz: Hi.
MaryAnn: My question is what first drew you to the role of Captain Renard?
Sasha Roiz: I’m sorry, could you repeat that?
MaryAnn: What first drew you to the role of Captain Renard?
Sasha Roiz: Right, well, employment first drew me to the role, I really wanted to be employed. But beyond that it was, I’m just being facetious. But beyond that it was, you know, working with Jim and David which, they have such an incredible resume and such great success with so many shows that I’ve enjoyed. They really know how to piece together an amazing ensemble and they thought that this character would be a really interesting player in this ensemble and they assured me of some amazing arcs and story lines and evolutions for him and they’ve come through. So I think I made a good choice.
MaryAnn: Well thank you for your time and good luck with everything.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Earl. Please proceed with your question.
Earl: Hi Sasha, how are you doing?
Sasha Roiz: Good Earl, how are you?
Earl: Doing great. You know, being four seasons on, what is it about the role of Renard that you maybe find challenging or do you find easier now that you’ve been doing it for a while?
Sasha Roiz: Well the thing that remains challenging is that it’s one of the characters that keeps getting developed. You know, as an audience member you can probably attest to that. That you don’t know his back story and it slowly unfolds as the season goes on. You start to realize that he’s a prince, that he’s a Wesen, that he’s, you know, got all this family, that all these things about him become revealed from season to season.
Now those things are not necessarily revealed to me four seasons in advance so I always have to kind of, as an actor, keep a certain portion of the character uncommitted, meaning like, when they bring something in, I can still fit that into the makeup of this individual.
So that’s been the most challenging part but at the same time it’s a really fun thing. Right, because, you know, I can tell you with every development that you’ve seen I’ve been equally surprised, you know. Oh, I’ve got a mom, oh I have a dad, I have a cousin, a brother, I’m a prince. I didn’t even know until the second season that I was Wesen. So all these things get layered from season to season and it’s really challenging and exciting.
Earl: What aspect of Renard do you relate to, I mean, how much is, is there anything about him that’s like you as a person?
Sasha Roiz: Sure. I mean, I think we all have parts of our characters that resonate with us. You know, I think being, to some extent being an outsider. To some extent, you know, not fitting in. These are all qualities that we can all relate to. Certainly, you know, issues of identity or issues of belonging, these are things that resonate with me and I’m sure with a lot of viewers. I think that’s what makes him a very interesting and sympathetic character at times. Even when he’s being as harsh as he is, you realize that there’s something fueling that that comes from a place of pain. And I think that’s, you know, something that as a human being you can certainly relate to whether it’s me acting it or you watching it.
Earl: One final thing, one final follow up. I asked a couple questions to our readers and what they would like to ask you and a lot of female readers and a couple male readers wanted to know when are you going to take your shirt off again this season.
Sasha Roiz: There’s a lot of that coming up.
Earl: Yes, you’ve become a sex symbol, how does that feel?
Sasha Roiz: It feels, you know, on the one hand very flattering. And on the other hand it’s a tremendous amount of pressure. I feel like every day, I’m like when am I going to the gym. Like it’s just all about the gym and my caloric intake and it’s all these things, you know, very pressing, much more so than perhaps I would enjoy. But it’s definitely an interesting aspect of the job and, you know, I’ve come to embrace it. It’s not a bad place to be, certainly in my 40s you know.
Earl: Exactly. Well I appreciate it. Thanks so much for your great work and keep on doing it, I appreciate your time.
Operator: We have no further questions from the phone lines at this time.
Sasha Roiz: Okay. Well, thanks everyone. I appreciate you guys calling in and thank you for your support.
Tune in to Grimm, Fridays at 9/8c, only on NBC.
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© 2015 – 2017, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.
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