Femme on Fire: Bitsie Tulloch

By Michael J. Lockhart Photography by NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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It’s almost fall, and the primetime shows have begun their yearly return to our living rooms starting earlier this month with one of last season’s breakout hits: Grimm. Inspired by the dark and horrifying “real” fairy tales collected by the namesake brothers, Grimm follows Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) as he uncovers his family’s legacy of being able to see through supernatural creatures’ humanoid disguises and bring them to justice.

Along for the ride is our newest Femme on Fire, the enticingly gorgeous Juliette, played by Bitsie Tulloch. While she may have started as just a beautiful veterinarian, Tulloch brings an air of sophistication and wit to the role that is fresh, funny and has us wishing we were a big bad wolf if it meant getting to spend time on her turf.

Tulloch sat down with us before the premiere to chat about the new season, her secret bunny talent and, most importantly, the joys of being R2-D2’s one-time girlfriend.

Playboy.com: Tell us about your unusual name; is it an abbreviation of Elizabeth?

Tulloch: Bitsie was my grandfather’s nickname. He was this dashing bomber pilot in WWII and the Korean war; he and I were always close from the time I was born, so people started calling me Bitsie. It’s in honor of him because he passed away about 20 years ago.

Playboy.com: You graduated Harvard magna cum laude in English and American Lit as well as Visual and Environmental Studies; how did that combination come about?

Tulloch: They’re actually pretty similar, because Visual and Environmental Studies is just a pretentious name for the fine arts. That is the official name of my second major. That’s what I ended up doing. It is actually hard to get into because they don’t like people going to Harvard and majoring in…drawing. My hardest classes were art theory.

Playboy.com: What can we look forward to on Grimm this season?

Tulloch: The storylines are bigger and badder. The monsters, the creatures we have going are a little bit scarier. Our showrunners are best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, so they’re really excellent in that sort of mythology, branching out into these weird creature family trees. It’s really cool that NBC is giving them a lot of creative freedom and doing what they’re best at.

Playboy.com: Tell us about your character, Juliette. At the end of last season she finds out that Nick is a Grimm and is in a coma; how will that change things?

Tulloch: I don’t think I can say. [laughs]

*Playboy.com: *Will Juliette evolve any supernatural powers? What would you want them to be?

*Tulloch: *I really have no idea, and I don’t think our showrunners do either — at the end of season one we saw my eyes are black, so it’s up in the air. What I’m most looking forward to, because Juliette’s a veterinarian, is having all these little furballs around me.

*Playboy.com: *If you could choose what mythological creature you would become, what would it be?

Tulloch: There’s a tiger creature at the beginning of this season; it’s badass. I think I’d want to be one of those.

Playboy.com: What type of fairy tales did you read growing up?

Tulloch: Cinderella — any of those rags-to-riches fairytales with the happy ending. One of the things when I first read the script was that as a little kid I was familiar with the happy ending children’s versions, but when the Brothers Grimm were documenting stories 200 years ago they were gruesome and dark and meant to be warnings against living a wicked lifestyle…which is a little ironic talking to Playboy. [laughs] It was really cool to go back to that version.

Playboy.com: How was Comic-Con this year?

Tulloch: We premiered there last year, but to go back there after becoming this cult hit was really awesome. The fans of sci-fi/fantasy are so smart and loyal. I live tweet with them on Fridays when the show airs.

*Playboy.com: *Your film The Artist was one of the most decorated pictures last year. Did you ever imagine this silent French film with a limited budget of $15 million would go on to win Best Picture for both the Oscars and Golden Globes?

Tulloch: At the time, I knew there was something special there and the script was so good. The two leads, nobody knew who they were, and I had been dying to do a period piece. On set I was thinking this could really be amazing, and when I saw the film I was like, “done.”

Playboy.com: What’s this about playing R2-D2’s girlfriend?

Tulloch: [Laughs] That’s the project that I did in college, almost as a joke I thought I would audition for it. It is pretty funny, starting (a career) from being R2-D2’s girlfriend, which for the record he eventually knocks up.

Playboy.com: How does a metal garbage can get it on?

Tulloch: I can’t give away any bedroom secrets, but it happened! Yeah…I was pregnant with Artoo’s baby.

Playboy.com: Are robots good in the bedroom?

Tulloch: Hell yes! There’s quite a lot of buttons to press. [laughs]

Playboy.com: Lightning round:

Favorite city? Barcelona.

Drink? Scotch — Blue Label.

Food? Manchego cheese.

Shot? Kamikaze.

Pickup line? Some guy started blushing once, and I knew what he was going to say was a lot smoother than what he did say. But it came out as “Your eyes are so bright and sparkly.”

Guilty pleasure song? “Take on Me.”

Secret talent? I can flare my nostrils really fast like a little bunny rabbit.

Dream Car? Porsche.

Embarrassing moment? I stuffed my bra with Kleenex, forgot about it and took off my shirt in gym class.

Body Part? Butts, I like butts.

Playboy.com: What do you have coming up?

Tulloch: I have a film called Caroline and Jackie, which premiered at the Tribeca film festival a couple months ago.

Playboy.com: What was your first Playboy?

Tulloch: I was with my dad in a liquor store in San Diego or something, and I was over in the magazine section just totally enthralled. But really, am I supposed to say something about the articles?

GRIMM airs on NBC Mondays at 10/9c. Follow Bitsie on Twitter @BitsieTulloch


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