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Main People My place: Silas Weir Mitchell

My place: Silas Weir Mitchell

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Written by Vivian McInerny   
Monday, October 31, 2011


//Photo by Michael Cogliantry [michaelcogliantry.com]

Graceful arches frame the kitchen. Hardwood floors and box-beam ceilings warm the living room. Exterior wood siding, covered front porch and chimney speak of a craftsman heritage. They lie. The house is actually an elaborate set inside a Portland warehouse for the NBC series Grimm, a cop drama inspired by fairy tales.

Actor Silas Weir Mitchell plays Eddie Monroe, a reformed big, bad wolf desperately trying to be good. He lives in the woods in an old house decorated with a mix of not-quite-cool granny cast-offs including a slubby sofa, imitation Eames chair and ’70s end tables.

It’s a wolf’s den of a different sort.

HOME SET HOME: The details are astonishing, from the papered ceiling down to the vintage switch plates. “That’s the whole fun of acting — making it real,” says Mitchell.

WHAT BIG EYES YOU HAVE: His Grimm character keeps his inner beast at bay through a strict regiment of diet, exercise and clock-repair work — hence the Pilates machine and scores of vintage clocks, none showing the correct time.

NO RED IN THE HOOD: The house is dark and slightly dreary with muted colors. Every interior decorator knows red is stimulating. No one wants to excite the wolf.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER: Mitchell spent his real life in a 1752 farm house in Pennsylvania, then a swank 1960s house, until finally “through much huffing and puffing, we landed in a Victorian.”

BLURRING LINES: He rents a contemporary Pearl District loft but has kept his Los Angeles home furnished with antiques, including leather club chairs and, coincidentally, a ship’s clock almost identical to the one on the mantel of his set home.

Actor Silas Weir Mitchell on the set of <em>Grimm</em> which airs Fridays on NBC. His character, a clockmaker with a dark past, lives in a Portland craftsman with every type of clock imaginable. He is trying to be good but the shadow knows. The photographer made a construction paper monster  with his daughter Tanner, 5, to cast the spooky shadow.
The ship's clock at the center of the mantel is almost identical to one Silas owns in real life. He's not sure if his <em>Grimm</em> character is creeping into real life, but on a recent day off he found himself wandering into a Portland antique watch shop. Green tile, a substantial mantel, box beam ceiling and subtle wallpaper help create the faded craftsman feel. The set is a replica of an actual house, rebuilt slightly larger than scale inside a Portland warehouse/studio so that the crew can easily film interiorscenes. It's one of the rare sets for the show which is mostly shot on location in Portland.
Set designers sought vintage furnishings such as the nubby, gold sofa and starburst clock from Portland shops to establish the atmosphere in the home of reformed bad guy, Monroe, played by Silas. They wanted the house to look as if it hadn't been updated for about 30 years.
The star burst style is just one of dozens of clocks in every room of the set house, fitting for the character who does clock repair work.
The details on set are extraordinary, right down to the coasters and open magazines scattered on the mid-century coffee table. One of the magazines even featured a clock on its cover.
Every clock in the house is set to a different time; a little irony in the clock repairman's house. Faded striped wallpaper, dingy colors and dim lighting make the set feel like a bad dream you can't quite wake from.
A model of the solar system, sheet music, playing cards, a brass bird  and, of course, more clocks on a shelf between the living room and dining room hint at the hobbies of lone wolf, Monroe.
The costume Silas sports includes wire-rim glasses, corduroy jacket and jeans to give the Monroe character a slightly professorial air. He  holds the inner workings of a clock. Or so we're told.
Actor Silas Weir Mitchell on the set of Grimm which airs Fridays on NBC. His character, a clockmaker with a dark past, lives in a Portland craftsman with every type of clock imaginable. He is trying to be good but the shadow knows. The photographer made a construction paper monster  with his daughter Tanner, 5, to cast the spooky shadow.PHOTO MICHAEL COGLIANTRY

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+1 #1 GrimmGinny 2011-11-05 20:34
We love this Big Bad Wolf. Last night's "The Three Bears" filmed off Logie Trail.
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+1 #2 GRIMMVivian Mac 2011-11-08 17:54
The show scared the heck out of me. When SIlas smelled the air? Ew! And, oddly, hilarious.
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+1 #3 Luv the wolf AND the house!Mamawolf 2011-11-22 21:26
just a shout out to Silas ~ his character has made Grimm more than a Portland-based curiosity with his fantastic portrayal of Eddie. Little Red Hoods are off to the set designer, too ~ fits the bill very nicely! Hoping Grimm is here to stay a while!!
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+1 #4 Wolf DenVivian Mac 2011-11-25 18:13
The details on set are extraordinary.

I loved that they had magazines on coffee tables folded rolled open to articles.
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+2 #5 Luv the sitesDon 2011-12-01 03:05
We're east coasters who visit daughter in Portland each summer. Great to see all the familiar sites and yeah, Mitchell's character make the show !
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+4 #6 Great ActorConnie 2012-02-04 11:31
Really enjoy this actor, he makes the series.
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0 #7 RE: My place: Silas Weir Mitchelldiddysmom 2012-02-20 06:04
I want those clocks! :)
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+1 #8 Clocking TimeVivian 2012-02-21 15:00
Silas told me that when he was walking around downtown Portland on a rare day off, he wandered into a watch store and thought, "Uh-oh. Is this role getting to me?"
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0 #9 Response to DonVivian 2012-02-21 15:06
It is so much more pleasant than wandering the streets or shipping yards of Baltimore for scenes from The Wire.
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0 #10 friendRonald difilippi 2014-07-23 10:31
Judd nelson and silas wier mitchell are brothers
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