MANILA, Philippines – The Filipino folk creature “aswang” would make its appearance in NBC’s fantasy-detective series “Grimm” – and it may even be scarier than Filipinos imagined it.
When Filipinos here see the “aswang” as a vampire-like shape shifter that feeds on the unborn, the hit series made it even more twisted – a bald, pale creature with sharp claws and skull-shaped face. The show’s official Twitter account gives its viewers a look.
The show’s producers said the “aswang” may be the scariest creature they featured in the show.
“It’s the scariest Wesen ever,” executive producer Jim Kouf said in an interview at “Entertainment Weekly.” “Wesen” is the German word for creatures.
It is not coincidental that the idea for “aswang” came from the show’s Filipino actor – Reggie Valdez who plays the role of Sergeant Wu, the sarcastic cop from Portland who works with show’s main characters detective Nick and Hank.
Valdez was born in Quezon city, Philippines and took on the screen name Reggie Lee after being cast for Hispanic instead of Asian roles.
“The creators are so wonderfully collaborative. They actually came to me and said, ‘Do you know any of – do you know any Filipino folklore?’ I said, ‘Yes. We have actually quite a bit,’” Lee said in an interview with Broadway World.com.
“And so I gave them a list and it included the aswang — which is probably the most popular one in Filipino folklore,” he added.
Lee said Filipinos he knows “are excited about it.” “I mean how often really do you get a Filipino storyline in a show? Not very often. I can’t think of any. So how great for them to really focus on that,” he said.
In the episode titled “Mother Dearest,” Lee said his character would help a couple who just moved from the Philippines to Portland. The woman is an ex-girlfriend of Lee’s character, he said in an interview with Cleveland.com.
The aswang followed the couple who was expecting a child, Lee said.
“Grimm” features detectives Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) and Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) who help guard the world from mythological creatures called Wesen. The show is inspired by the German authors Brothers Grimm famous for its collection of folklore.