Fighting to keep humanity safe from things that go bump in the night is a daily routine for Russell Hornsby in his role as detective Hank Griffin on NBC’s Grimm. We sat down with the star of the supernatural series to learn more about his roots as a stage actor and the “swagger” he shares with his character.
What was your initial reaction to the concept of Grimm, and the script? RUSSELL HORNSBY: My first reaction? Wow, this works for me. I could see myself in the world that the writers had created. I am a dreamer, but I am also a realist so it all made sense to me to have these two worlds collide.
Do you share anything in common with your character? RH: It would be unfair for me not to share how grateful I am that the creative team of Grimm has always allowed me to infuse a great deal of Russell into the fabric of the character of Hank. That being said, I think we—Hank and I—both share an interesting mix of a soulful and slightly cynical demeanor, with just enough swagger to keep us both fun and relevant.
What is your dream role? RH: I come from the stage, so my dream role may not be what people expect. I would very much like to bring my interpretation to the role of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. I find him a fascinating man and character study.
What is the greatest misconception about you? RH: Each time I take to the stage or screen, I shed one skin and take on another. I think sometimes this can be confusing for people. In the end, I really don’t think about it too much, but I would hope that people do remember that behind every actor is a person and, with that being said, I am as multi-faceted as Russell as I am when I am doing my job and sharing a character—as I do on Grimm.