BWW Interview: Claire Coffee on GRIMM, Theatre at Northwestern, and Being a New Mom
Love her or hate her as Adalind on GRIMM, Calire Coffee has made this character unforgettable in the series every time she has appeared. As Adalind she has gone from villainess, to mother, to helpless, and now possible romantic interest, her character has run the gamut. A new Mom in real life, she chatted about what to expect in the next half of the season, balancing being a mom and being an actress, and what her Northwestern theatre training.
A lot of the current actresses on NBC are from Northwestern, they must have a great drama program!
Claire Coffee: Yes- it's a really, really good program; Northwestern is, and I think, you know, there's a lot of drama schools that do well in Hollywood. But Northwestern, it's not a conservatory so you have other classes.
And you know it's not just theater based training. And they don't have auditions. It's just - it's based on your GPA and credentials. So they end up getting a lot of students who are very hard workers and highly motivated. And you know all the skills to really help you in the business where tenacity is kind of the name of the game.
So we all had to do - Student Theater was the main focus at Northwestern and all these great theatre groups. And you know when you were in all these theater groups you really had to do everything, you know, produce, and behind the scenes and all that.
Have you had a chance to reflect on your characters journey? At the beginning she was evil. She was actually one of the first Grimm the audience saw. Have you had a chance to kind of step back and say man, what an arc for this character?
Claire Coffee: Oh yes. I think rollercoaster defines it most accurately. It's been - I really do try to take it day-by-day. And we don't get the scripts, you know, except for probably a week in advance, so - so, it's great.
I never knew where she was going, which helps, because you can kind of take each insane thing at face value and not really worry about what, you know, too far in the future or how it's going to affect things in the future.
But you know as an actress - as an actress that's really all you want is to be able to play extraordinary circumstances. And I feel like I got to play three different characters in the same show so far, so it's been great fun for me.
In the past, actresses in particular, have cited Co-creator and Executive Producer David Greenwalt as a consistent champion of complicated, multilayered, female characters. Have you found that to be a factor with your character? And just in general, how have you found the experience of working with him as a collaborative partner?
Claire Coffee: You know he's fantastic. Both Jim and David they really - well first they balance each other out so perfectly. And you know David is - he's just a champion of the show and all of is.
I get calls from him every so often just telling me like oh, you're doing such a great job. We're so happy that, you know, you are with us. And just really proud all of the work. And that's for everybody.
And the feeling on set that the both of them have created is just - that we're all one - a big family and everyone is just really wanting everybody else to succeed. So but it's rare and really wonderful.
And I would say yes they - I am so lucky that they've put so much faith in me to kind of carry out the insanity that is Adalind's character. But you know as I talk to them a lot about like this, life is never complicated as well.
So it's not - it's definitely extraordinary circumstances, but they approach everything the most grounded way possible. So, nothing is crazy to them. So like of course she's going to lose her powers and gain her powers again and you know, sleep with Nick and then have a baby.
And it will be fine and you know, they'll be living together. And it's amazing, this is what's happening. So taking all of that at face value.
But it's a very longwinded way of saying yes, David Greenwalt is a fantastic champion of female - complicated female characters.
You have a lot of interaction with Juliette. What is it like working with her and also what is your relationship with Juliette like off the screen?
Claire Coffee: Well working with Bitsie (Tulloch) from an actor's standpoint is great. She is super professional. She always brings stuff to work off of, so that was great last year to get to do that.
And then off screen Bitsie, Bree (Turner), and I are very close. We have, you know, girl dates frequently and yes, it's awesome.
Airing on NBC at 9pm on Fridays, you can check out how she juggles everything onscreen and what is next for her character!
Photo Credit: NBC