NOT SO GRIM. DA MAN gets up close and personal with Reggie Lee, the witty Sergeant Wu of fantasy TV show “Grimm”
Filipino-American Reggie Lee has been to the most impossible places: From 18th century Singapore in “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” to the fictional city of Gotham in “The Dark Knight Rises.” However, most of the time he only makes brief appearances in the Hollywood blockbusters he’s featured in—much like most actors who share his ethnical background.
Interestingly, it was a real-life location that eventually allowed him to stand out. The city of Portland is the setting of fantasy TV show “Grimm,” where Lee plays a police officer named Sergeant Wu. Known for his witty one-liners and general awesomeness, Sergeant Wu easily became a fan-favorite and is one of the factors that defined the success of “Grimm.”
DA MAN: Hi Reggie! “Grimm” will be celebrating its 100th episode in 2016. Looking back, did you expect the show to be this successful?
Reggie Lee: I always knew that there was something really special about this story. But to be in any show and think that it would reach 100 episodes would be a lie. Not only did we reach 100 episodes, but we did it with a cast and crew that still want to keep going and telling a really great story. And the bonus is we can now go the rest of our lives calling each other “family.”
DA MAN: What went on through your mind when you first decided to take on the role of Sergeant Wu?
Reggie Lee: Well, first of all … there initially was no Sergeant Wu. I had auditioned for the role of Hank [Griffin, main character Nick Burkhardt’s detective partner]. The amazing Russell Hornsby was cast as Hank and, frankly, I can’t see anyone else playing the role. They called my agent and asked if I would be interested in them writing a role for me. And so, Sergeant Wu was born. I really just wanted to know what was in store for him and that, in some way, the character contributed to the story. I take a lot of the character from what’s in the script and his first sarcastic line led me to believe this was a character that wasn’t just a cop that has been in the force for years, but one that had a bit of snark in him for a reason. And it was really great trying to figure out what that was. Since then, I think the writers have fed off what I’ve given them in terms of his life on screen and I, in turn, have fed off their wonderful writing.
DA MAN: So, who is Sergeant Wu in your own view? What qualities about him appeal to you?
Reggie Lee: I feel like he’s someone that truly wants to not only excel in his work, but be the best at doing it. In that regard, I feel like he always wants to have the answers first, be the fastest at figuring things out and not show any signs of weakness if he can help it. I actually think that’s where his sarcasm comes from: He never wants to appear as anything less than the best. Most people that are sarcastic actually are quite insecure. And they cover it up with sarcastic remarks to feel strong.