Things in Oregon are about to take a turn for the downright horrifying.
The US television series “Grimm,” which revolves around cases involving mystical terrors, is about to add a new name to its list of fearsome creatures – the aswang, a staple of Filipino folklore. The shape-shifting terror will plague the upcoming episode “Mother Dearest,” which is scheduled to air on March 7.
“Pinoy pride?” More like “Pinoy fright”
Interestingly, the team that will deal with this menace counts a Filipino among their number.
Reggie Lee, a Filipino-American actor, plays the role of Sargeant Wu on the show. Wu works with fellow protagonists Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) and Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), gathering information for the team and helping to guard humanity from the threat posed by mythological creatures known as the Wesen (the German word for “creature”).
In a recent interview (http://www.cleveland.com/tv-blog/index.ssf/2014/03/reggie_lee_gets_monstrous_good_story_on_nbcs_grimm.html), Lee shared that it was his knowledge of Filipino folklore that led to the inclusion of the aswang in the Grimm mythos.
"They came to me and asked if I knew any Filipino fairy tales," recounted Lee. "I'm very in touch with my Filipino culture, so I told them, 'Yeah, I know a ton. Would you like a list?"
Don’t expect the aswang to be a regular fright, er, sight on the show, though – the episode will be more of an emotional journey for Lee’s character than anything else.
“Mother Dearest” features a couple who moved to Portland from the Philippines, and the aswang that subsequently pops up to cause trouble. As the team investigates these bizarre circumstances, Wu struggles with his own feelings - the woman involved in the case happens to be a former flame.
"It's a self-contained episode in terms of the folklore," Lee revealed. "In terms of the effects it has on the characters, it has ramifications that continue throughout the rest of the season. Yes, you'll get snarky, sarcastic Wu, but, with this experience, he has a lot to deal with."
Lee was satisfied with the new spin the producers put on the aswang – traditionally a long-tongued shape-shifter that feasts on small children and even the unborn.
"They took the major aspects of the aswang and stayed very true to the folklore," affirmed Lee. "The look they came up with didn't quite match up to my image of the aswang, but people who work on the show are saying it's the creepiest creature they've seen yet. And this deep into the third season, that's really saying something."
On the TV show’s official Twitter page, what appears to be a sneak peak of the reimagined aswang was revealed to the world:
Behind you. — TJD, GMA News