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'Grimm' crews uses local hospital as backdrop

Popular NBC police show uses Legacy Meridian Park


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - NBCs Grimm has a long history of shooting at Legacy hospitals in the Portland area. This week, it added Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin to its list of settings. Pictured: Russell Hornsby and David Giuntolli play law enforcement partners on the show.Actor David Giuntolli leaned against a nurse’s station at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center and talked Blazers ranking with assistant director Jackson Rowe. Meanwhile, in room D 168, veteran television director Norberto Barba coached actor Reggie Lee in his role as the less-than-suave Sgt. Wu, in a scene where Wu interviewed a patient and crime victim.

Now in its third season, “Grimm” is one of NBC’s police procedurals — albeit a supernatural one where the perp’s profile, more often than not, comes straight from fairy and folk lore.

Giuntoli stars as Nick Burkhardt, a homicide detective with the Portland Police Bureau who happens to have some Grimm blood in his lineage. Using ancient volumes of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” as a field guide of sorts, he eases his way into the family business: hunting “wesen,” a host of “parahuman” creatures.

Like the TNT drama “Leverage,” which began filming in the area during its fifth season, “Grimm” embraces (and even spotlights) its setting in Portland.

As Ashley Stanford Cone, the hospital’s public and community relations specialist, explained, few hospitals allow filming out of fear that it will disrupt patient care. But Legacy Meridian Park had an empty wing — the D unit houses a member of the hospital’s technical support staff, and otherwise serves as storage. It is across the hall from administrative offices, and far from more heavily trafficked units.

The set was expertly dressed as a functional, modern-day hospital earlier this week, with some of the hospital’s own staff playing extras. About 30 employees responded to a call for background players, submitting headshots to Portland-based casting company Extras Only.

Of those, about 10 were cast, Stanford Cone said.

And “Grimm” tapped into Legacy Meridian Park’s institutional knowledge as well: Emergency department nurse Stacy Russell served as medical technical adviser on-set, and spent much of Tuesday afternoon sitting on a stretcher and watching filming.

The partnership has been a successful one, with Stanford Cone describing cast and crew as courteous, professional — and just plain nice.

“Grimm” has filmed at one other Tualatin location, taking external shots of a Tony Tudor-style house in the 6300 block of Wilhelm Road.

The show has also filmed at two other Legacy hospitals: Good Samaritan in Northwest Portland and Legacy Emanuel in North Portland. But Legacy Meridian Park makes a substantial cameo, with crews filming scenes in a waiting area, in the Skybridge and just outside of hospital rooms.

So far this season, Burkhardt has recovered from his own zombie-ism, pursued a serial killer that strongly resembles a bogeyman of Spanish and Portuguese descent, and even encountered Krampus, the bizarro Santa who terrorizes children throughout Austria and eastern Europe with the threat of kidnapping as punishment for bad behavior.

So what brings Burkhardt and partner Hank Griffin (played by Russell Hornsby) to the halls of Tualatin’s own community hospital?

Judging by the dialog, some legendary villain had landed a Portland resident in the hospital — and Burkhardt, Griffin and Wu were at a loss as to how to even begin searching for the suspect.

Without letting too much slip, Rowe could confirm this episode will be the 14th this season, with the tantalizingly creepy title “Mommy Dearest.”

“Grimm” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC.



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