NBC's new series Grimm may be based on familiar fairy tales – but they're not the "happily ever after" kind viewers know and love.
"The thing about Grimm's Fairy Tales, we might know them as happy endings, but ... these aren't very pleasant fairy tales," says David Giuntoli, who stars in the show as homicide detective Nick Burckhardt.
Costar Sasha Roiz, who plays Burckhardt's superior Captain Renard, agrees: "What we know is a very sanitized version. When you read the originals from the 19th century, they're really dark and very scary," he says in an exclusive preview of the series. "They're certainly not a children's fairy tale, the way we know them today."
The show features a few frightening mythological creatures from the original Grimm's Fairy Tales – hexenbiests, which are beautiful women who turn into witches, and goat-like men called ziegevolk, for example. Giuntoli's and Roiz's characters are descendants of the Grimms, criminal profilers who are tasked with maintaining order between these creatures and modern humans.
Inspired by peasant folklore, the Brothers Grimm published hundreds of fairy tales and legends in the 1800s – and each contained a moral lesson.
"They were served as warnings for young kids," explains Russell Hornsby, who stars in the series as Detective Hank Griffin. "Like, if you do this, this will happen. Your behavior has consequences."
"The tales and the metaphors, they still hold true today," Roiz says. "They're quite timeless."
Grimm premieres Oct. 28 (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.
Scott Green / NBC