Grimm's Reggie Lee Previews Filipino Fairy Tales, the Sgt's First-Name Mystery and 'The Dirty Wu'

Grimm - Season 3For years, Grimm‘s Sgt. Wu has toiled tirelessly in the background of the NBC series’ fictional Portland Police Department. He’s offered exposition. He’s tossed off sarcastic one-liners. And he’s gone about his days blissfully unaware that mythical monsters make up half of his town.

On Friday (9/8c), that changes forever when Reggie Lee‘s wisecracking character follows in Hank’s path and has a traumatic introduction to the Wesen world.

It’s a tough hour for Wu but a great one for Lee – and not just because his character finally gets a first name. (More on that later.)

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“I worked really hard on this particular episode, and I loved it. I was tired, I was frustrated, I was really fulfilled by the end of it,” says the actor, whose Wu is at the center of the action when a hellacious creature called the Aswang attacks one of his childhood friends.

Despite all the fun he had shooting the installment, Lee couldn’t resist taking a good-natured shot at co-star David Giuntoli.

“David gets [to play] emotion in little bits here and there throughout the entire season,” Lee says, laughing, while in his case, “It’s like, ‘Let’s dump it all into one episode!'”

Read on as Lee gives TVLine scoop on the Wesen o’ the Week, revels in the glory of finally having an on-screen first name and celebrates being immortalized by a Portland pastry stop.

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TVLINE | Tell me about how this Wu-centric episode came about? Did you have any hand in saying like, ‘Hey, maybe it’d be nice to flesh my character out a little bit’? Or was it brought to you by the producers?
They actually came to me. Most of my background is Filipino and partly Chinese, but mostly Filipino. They asked me for any kind of Filipino/Chinese fairytales, so I gave them three from each. And I didn’t even know they started working on the outline on one of them until I said, “Hey, did you guys get my email?” because I hadn’t heard, and they’re constantly busy… They’re like, “Oh yeah, we’ve already got an outline on the Ass-wang.” [Laughs] I said, “Uh…that is fantastic, but that’s not how it’s pronounced! But you can pronounce it like that — and maybe people should in the episode just for a laugh!” But it’s the Aswang [pronounced ahs-wong].

They’re so great at being collaborative, so they wanted to tie in this whole thing  — about [Wu] seeing something for the first time — with my actual background, and they succeeded. They did a great job. Brenna Kouf, who wrote the episode, she did a fantastic job. From the first draft that I saw, it was already very true to everything about this particular folklore. And also, she really brought out some different dynamics in Wu that you don’t expect. You see him in a very sardonic state most of the time, so when you see him care about something or when you see him be upset about something, it’s not usual.

TVLINE There’s also all these little asides to the fans. I think at Comic-Con you said, “You know, I think this season I’d just like to not wear my uniform for a while,” and we have him in several different outfits in this episode. We see him at home, we learn his first name…
We tried to clear Lou because that was initially my choice I think, and so I’ll tell you – all the paperwork that they give me, like files they carry around, it says ‘Sergeant L. Wu’ on them so up until we saw – and then I saw Drew and I was like ‘Oh.’ Then they told me, there is a Lou Wu, they couldn’t clear that and I think they tried to clear Hugh Wu and that wouldn’t clear so it became Drew, which they actually kind of liked, you know? But it was the last thing that I thought it would be.

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TVLINE | Will we continue to see Wu more outside of the precinct in future episodes?
I sure hope so! I mean, I go on cases all the time, but in terms of my personal life, I went in [Wu’s] bedroom and I was like, “I have a lot of cat figurines!” [Laughs] And it was the first time I’d been in my bedroom! It was like, ‘Wow! I really love cats! A lot!’

There is an aspect of this relationship — about the precinct and the policing, and my relationship with Nick and Hank, and the solving of the cases — that I really love. Listen, as much as I get exposition on a week-to-week basis about cases, I still do really enjoy that and work on it, because I feel like it allows me as an actor to sit in it and be a cop, which is essentially why we do this for a living – to imagine and make it as real for yourself as possible. And let me tell you: As many times as I’ve done it, it’s started to be really real. I feel like I need to go downstairs and get in my squad car right now. They named a donut after me, one of the donut shops over here!

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TVLINE | Stop it.
They call it the Dirty Wu!

TVLINE | What kind of donut is it?
It is a cinammon-sugar donut, drizzled with honey and Nutella. It’s from Pip’s Original, this coffee shop that makes baked goods and donuts and amazing stuff on [Portland’s] Northeast side. Actually, I am going to go down there and thank them today!

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  1. Siobhan says:

    So looking foward to this episode! I love the Sgt. Wu character. I’ve been waiting to see if he would ever be let into the the Wesen Club.

  2. Ooooh a Filipino fairy tale on Grimm! Can’t wait!!!!

  3. Ms Thing says:

    An aswang on grimm! Oh yeah!

  4. meleliot says:

    Finally Wu gets to be a real member of the gang! Love, love, love Grimm!

  5. John NYC says:

    Cats? Henry will NOT be pleased!

  6. Dreamrose says:

    Sgt. Wu is so fun – he has a lot of fantastic one-liners, and some of the best lines in the show, hands down. I’m glad we get an episode about him, and I can’t wait to find out his first name. That, of course, reminds me of Galaxy Quest: “Guy, you *have* a last name!” “Do I?!”

  7. Mary says:

    I love it! Can’t wait to see it. Wu is so awesome and I’m glad that he’s going to be brought into the fold.

  8. Amy H says:

    Love Wu! He’s one of my favorite characters on Grimm. I see lots of great one-liners for him in the future now that he’s being inducted into the Wesen world.

  9. dryedmangoez says:

    It’ll be awesome to see some Filipino folklore brought to live on American television. Hope it is the first of many, because there are certainly MANY Filipino legends Grimm can be inspired by.

  10. MisterGrimmster says:

    As a Filipino, I’m SO looking forward to this episode. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will not be the last wesen inspired from the Philippine folklore.

  11. JB says:

    I really love Grimm. The way that ideas and issues are personified through the wesen and used as a tool reminds me of Buffy’s use of monsters and vampires to personify certain concepts. I love the inherent commentary on race, culture, and class that permeates the show through the use of the wesen. The show is cheesy, fun, entertainment. But it does have a heart of gold and good intentions.

  12. Oh man…thought they’d let Wu in on the secret :( Maybe later..hopefully. On the other hand…I was shocked Tagalog was spoken in tonight’s episode! :) And thank goodness there were subtitles since I only know Taglish :P

  13. Carla Krae says:

    BTVS fans – did you pick up on Wu being in Room 314 at the end at the mental hospital?