In this October 2013 interview, actress Claire Coffee talked to Fangoria about Grimm, Season 3, becoming a series regular, Adalind’s storyline in getting her powers back and being pregnant, the Hexenbiest makeup and CGI, her stunt double, and her love for the show. Source: Fangoria
Take a sneak peek at the Fangoria interview with Claire Coffee.
Unlike many current shows that use practical makeup for other-than-human characters, GRIMM creates its creatures via CGI in a process similar to motion capture, with actors wearing dots on their faces for computers to read and fill in with monstrous features in postproduction. Coffee relates, in fact, that she’s never worn prosthetics as Adalind. “I do a bit of a ‘growl,’ shrugging off the face [as Adalind morphs from human to Hexenbiest], and then we have to shoot with the tracking dots,” she says. “The only time they used actual makeup was with my stunt double, during the big fight scene where I lost my powers in the forest. They had to put full makeup on her, because she was moving so much,” which would make it difficult for the computer to keep up.
Coffee expresses sympathy for her stand-in: “With the teeth included, she wasn’t able to eat or drink while she was in makeup. She did an incredible job.” For heavy action scenes, though, Coffee is happy to let one of her several stuntpeople take over. “I want to do as much as helps me get back into the dialogue. I’m in pretty good shape, but I’ve got some knee injuries, and I wouldn’t ever want to be so bold as to try to do things that people spend years and years training for. So I leave it to the experts, for the most part.”
On playing a Hexenbiest, Coffee observes, “They can bite people and they have access to evil spells. One of the characteristics of a Hexenbiest is a preference for witchcraft and the dark arts. I think she feels that when she witches out and ‘woges’ [the GRIMM term for a Wesen showing his or her true face], that’s the purest expression of her soul—dark as it may be. The ability to scare and intimidate someone with that face contributes to her confidence when she’s in human form, so it makes her fearless.”
Adalind was not originally conceived as a series regular. When that came about in season two, “I was so excited,” Coffee recalls. “I love being in Portland, I love the people I work with and I love the crew—and getting to be so evil, especially on a sci-fi genre show. I’ve always wanted to do that.” She adds that she was ignorant of the scope of Adalind’s role when she was first cast: “During the pilot, I knew that I was one of Renard’s henchwomen, and that I’d be carrying out some dastardly deeds, but I didn’t know the extent of the role, so it’s all been very shocking.”
One of the dastardly things Adalind did was pretend to be in love with Nick’s police partner Hank, played by Russell Hornsby, who wound up with a magical disease and almost died. Coffee says she enjoyed playing that story arc: “Russell is awesome. But that’s just the worst, messing with someone’s romantic emotions like that. That’s the most evil anyone can possibly do.”