"Welcome to the most allergy-infested field in Oregon," says Sasha Roiz, as he stands in an open area of Kelley Point Park, off North Marine Drive. It's a warm September day, and the air is full of tiny objects -- insects, organic matter and various substances apparently floating down from the tall trees above.
Though Roiz suspects most of the airborne stuff is pollen waiting to attack unsuspecting sinuses, he says, "There's everything floating in the air."
But the aerial invaders are too benign an irritant to really faze Roiz or the rest of the cast and crew at the park to film the Halloween episode of "Grimm." After all, the hit NBC series is the story of Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), a Portland homicide detective with a secret life -- he's a Grimm, able to see the strange creatures lurking below the surface of seemingly normal humans.
Over the course of Season 1, and so far in Season 2, the filmed-in-Portland series has shown Nick contending with snake-like monsters, saber-toothed beasts, murderous ogres and the like. With all this, the "Grimm" veterans can cope with bees, pollen and dust particles hovering in the Portland park's atmosphere.
Sasha Roiz, who plays Captain Renard, on "Grimm," on location filming the Halloween episode in Portland's Kelley Point Park.
NBC Indeed, the Halloween episode (which airs Oct. 26) being filmed tells a story chilling even for "Grimm." The episode explores "La Llorona," a Latin American folk tale about a woman who, after she's rejected by the father of her children, angrily throws the children in the river, where they drown. Though the woman dies, too, she lives on as a ghost who can sometimes be heard weeping for her lost children.
"It's a very dark episode," says Roiz. "Very scary. Anything dealing with danger to children is more terrifying."
But as "Grimm" films its second season in and around Portland, things are looking good for the show. Since making an early Season 2 debut in August, after NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics ended, "Grimm" has been on a roll. Creatively, Season 2 has been about opening up the story, developing the core group of characters, and again making effective use of Portland as a backdrop.
Maybe that support partly explains the relaxed vibe on location with the "Grimm" cast and crew. For cast members Giuntoli and Russell Hornsby, who plays Hank Griffin, Nick's police partner, the day's work is scheduled to continue into the night. But the atmosphere this afternoon is, so far, relaxed and congenial.
The scene in question involves Nick and Hank arriving at a crime scene in a wooded area -- a familiar "Grimm" setting. A half-dozen Portland police cars are parked between the trees, their lights flashing. Nick and Hank's boss, Captain Renard (Roiz), is there to greet the detectives.
Also appearing in the scene is the episode's guest star, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, whose credits include a recurring role in Showtime's "Weeds" and the lead in a popular miniseries, "La Reina del Sur," on the Spanish-language channel Telemundo.
The actors rehearse, then do several takes of the scene, in which Giuntoli, Hornsby and del Castillo walk past the police cars to talk with Renard.
Watching the filming is Iran Daniel, who's doing a story about the episode for Telemundo. The channel, also owned by NBCUniversal, will air the Halloween episode in Spanish, following the NBC broadcast on Oct. 26.
In contrast to the film crew, who sport T-shirts, shorts and jeans, Daniel is polished and camera-ready, wearing a short, strapless print outfit, platform sandals and jewelry.
The episode's director, Holly Dale, calls for another take, and Giuntoli and Hornsby are told, this time, to get in one of the police cars at the end of the scene.
Giuntoli delivers his lines, then, with a serious look on his face, walks toward the driver-side door. He gets there at the same time Hornsby does. "Ooops!" Hornsby says. Giuntoli cracks up when he realizes he's made a blooper. "Hi, Telemundo!" Giuntoli says, flashing a smile at Daniel and the cameraman standing next to her. They do another take, and Giuntoli correctly opens the passenger-side door.
Read the more details about the scene at the source (possible spoilers).