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COURTESY: NBC UNIVERSAL - The stars of 'Grimm' celebrate episode No. 100. There'll be 123 episodes before the show ends in 2017.When NBC’s “Grimm” began filming in 2011 in Portland, actors and producers and others said that the city and surrounding areas would be stars of the show because of the natural beauty and landscape and easygoing urban vibe.


Now, as “Grimm” wraps up filming and prepares for its sixth and final season on NBC, starting Jan. 6, they don’t want to leave. The eight main actors, as well as late addition Jacqueline Toboni, say Portland has left an indelible mark on their lives — not to mention the show itself, which has helped put each of them on the Hollywood map. Not many people thought “Grimm” would finish one season, much less six, and the main characters have become fairly well known through the more than 100 episodes of the show loosely based on the Grimm fairy tales, where the Grimm descendant (Nick Burkhardt, played by David Giuntoli) helps lead a “Scooby gang” of people in battling the secret society of Wesen creatures.

COURTESY: NBC UNIVERSAL - 'Grimm' stars David Giuntoli (Nick Burkhardt) and Bitsie Tulloch (Juliette/Eve), who are engaged, plan to live in Portland after the end of the show.The actors have lived here during filming for six years, and some of them will be staying, including Giuntoli and co-star/fiancee Bitsie Tulloch (Juliette Silverton/Eve), who plan to live here part-time in their house and Los Angeles part-time.

“You’ll see me around Portland,” Giuntoli says. “Bitsie and I want to make this town as much of a home as we possibly can, knowing that we work for the circus and have to be in L.A.

“We’ve lived in L.A. previously, but L.A. is basically a bit of a hub — you go there to get jobs. I love the people who I know there, but meeting people in L.A., it’s like being in an airport and meeting someone who’s from that airport. No one’s from there, just passing through. Portland is just an easier town, humane, it’s been very good to us, treated us like royalty, so that doesn’t hurt. It’s just an easier way of life. Slower paced. Closer to the earth and outdoors. We love it. I love it that there’s all different types of people here, doesn’t feel like just one industry here. It’s cool.”

Says Tulloch: “I grew up overseas. I lived in L.A. before we moved up here. I am head over heels in love with Portland. I don’t know why anybody would ever leave. It’s the best city.”

Sasha Roiz, who plays the conflicted Capt. Sean Renard, will maintain a condominium in the Pearl District.

“I’m going to keep a presence here,” says Roiz, who sits on the board of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, has acted in a Portland Center Stage production and has investments here, among his civic interests. “I’m very happy here. This city’s been very special and important to me. I could see myself having a long-term relationship with it.”

Bree Turner (Rosalee Calvert) has lived in Portland with her husband and children, as has Claire Coffee (Adalind Schade) and husband Chris Thiele, the host of “Prairie Home Companion.” Coffee and Thiele had a child born here.

Turner wants to stay, having lived here the whole run, but work might take her away. “Portland is part of my soul now forever,” says Turner, who might do a PCS play with fellow “Grimm” actor Silas Weir-Mitchell next year. “I’ll always have some connection to the city. I love it here.”

It’s the same thing with Coffee. “It kind of has to be (the end here),” she says. “We love it. You can’t ask for a better city than this.”

The other stars — Toboni (Trubel, another Grimm), Weir-Mitchell (Monroe), Reggie Lee (Sgt. Wu) and Russell Hornsby (Hank Griffin) — are fairly certain they’ll be leaving Portland. For Hornsby, who had a part in the acclaimed movie “Fences,” says he’ll be moving to New York to be near production for the Netflix series “Seven Seconds.”

Hornsby, who was active with the August Wilson Monologue Project among other things, has an interesting take on his time in Portland.

“It’s the manner of which we were embraced, the easygoing nature of city, how accessible it has become,” he says. “It’s made living here a joy.The food, quality of life, artisans, and to be in a position where you can relax and be in a city that has a lot to offer.

“Having been to New York and L.A., you’re moving a mile a minute, being caught up in the rapture ... I’d like to say, for first time in my life, I was able to ‘walk’ (here), metaphoricaily speaking, just walk and take my time and live life and enjoy a nice Saturday afternoon, not be in a rush to get home. I’m going to miss that. ‘Where’s my fresh juice spot and pilates instructor and where’s the nice movie theater?’” He also says that anonymity has been nice in Portland.

Many crew members, extras and special effects vendors have been local.

Shooting scenes has taken the “Grimm” crew all over the Portland area, including Forest Park; an episode this season has been shot at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River.

“We pretty much hit every quadrant,” Turner says.

Says Roiz: “I think we’ve filmed in every inch of this city. We’ve done good by Portland. It’s been an amazing part of the show, the aesthetic of the show.”

Weir-Mitchell says his character's house originally was a real house (and not on a set) in Southeast Portland, at the end of a tight road — a challenge for production trucks. "It was a testament to how people believed the show wasn't really going to do anything," he says. "It was the least convenient place to shoot for a big production."

But Portland has been a pleasant place to shoot. “Portland is 50 percent of why everything works on the show and within the dynamic of crew and cast,” Turner adds. “We all love working here and living here and repesenting Portland in this cool, fun way. It’s been a character like any of us.”

And, of course, the actors have enjoyed their favorite locales.

“Imperial is my go-to place, right now. Ava Gene’s is really good. Pip’s Donuts — I always pitch them, because they named a donut after me,” Lee says. “It is the food, the people, the outdoor surroundings, the familial nature of Portland.”

Toboni, who has lived part-time on the westside, has liked Blue Star Donuts, Wildfang clothing store and Living Room Theater.

“It’s been the best city on earth to work in and work for, really,” says Toboni, 24, who was hired straight from the University of Michigan. “It’s a city that has such a unique perspective on life and how you treat people. As much as 'Grimm' has given Portland, through volunteering and bringing money and jobs into the community, they have taught us so much.”

Note:Watch for more stories about "Grimm" in editions of the Portland Tribune before the Jan. 6 season premiere on NBC.

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