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TV audience members who have only just discovered the splendid supernatural world of Grimm, season four, will have noticed that a somewhat heavier, and older, Alexis Denisof is back in the land of fantasy and horror, this time on NBC. This modern day version of Grimm’s fairy tales has been around since 2011 and viewers who tuned in back then will notice that a lot has changed since a bald and dying Kate Burton (Daughter of the Welsh icon that was Richard Burton.) drove into Portland, Oregon and her nephew Nick Burkhardt’s life. Burton’s character departs the show by the end of the second episode of season one leaving her nephew the next in line of Grimm’s who can see creatures who inhabit human bodies and who must now “take care” of the ones who misbehave.
47 year old former Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel actor Denisof joined the cast in a recurring role in the season three episode Cold Blooded. The old friend of Anthony Head, who played Giles in the Joss Whedon hit show about a teenage cheerleading vampire killer, recommended Alexis for the role of Wesley, another Watcher who showed up in later seasons of the Whedon show. After Denisof’s character left Sunnydale, he became a regular on Whedon’s spinoff, Angel starring David Boreanaz. On a side note, Head, who knew Denisof from their work together on the 2001 stage production of Rope, was listed in Buffy credits as Anthony Stewart Head due to a Screen Actors Guild member already being registered as Anthony Head. Denisof had no such problem.
The American actor trained for three years at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) during the time he lived in London. After living in the United Kingdom for 13 years, he perfected his English accent, although he could drop it whenever he needed to as evidenced by his first starring role opposite Christopher Lee in the 1989 film Murder Story. The film, made in The Netherlands was about an American teen who teams up with Lee to solve a murder. Filmed around a Dutch/American Air Base in the area, Denisof worked with a lot of American teenagers from the base’s high school.
Alexis Denisof’s stint on season four of Grimm (Which actually began in season three) puts him firmly back in the world of supernatural, or paranormal, TV. He plays Viktor Albert Wilhelm George Beckendorf, in the modern setting of fairy tale creatures who walk among us. The actor has come a long way since his start in the film world as a teen who wants to be a writer, Murder Story. Since then he has been a bumbling Watcher inBuffy the Vampire Slayer and then his character from the Buffy verse evolved into a pretty kick-a** demon hunter in Angel.
Since Angel ended in 2004 and before appearing on Grimm, Denisof has worked on television pretty steadily but not in the realm of fantasy, although he did appear in H+, a science fiction series in 2011. The husband of Alyson Hannigan, the two met on the set of Buffy, has worked on the big screen, The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, he also worked with Joss Whedon again in the 2012 film Much Ado About Nothing.
Away from season four of the Grimm verse Alexis Denisof is back on TV in another world that has nothing to do with the supernatural. He is working on the MTV drama Finding Carter, about a girl kidnapped when she was a toddler who returns to her biological family. In Grimm Denisof’s character has been described by him as a posh bad guy. This is immediately evident in the small scene he plays in the Grimm episode Highway of Tears. It is nice to see this “multilingual” actor back on television and hopefully he will be a recurring character in the NBC series for a long time. To see just how much Alexis has changed, below is a trailer to his 1989 film Murder Story with Christopher Lee.
By Michael Smith