Written By Summer 2015 : Page 27

by persuading Greenwalt to take one last meeting—it was Gumer who quit to teach, at Pepperdine. A photograph of the agent, dozing atop a stack of scripts, holds a hallowed place on Greenwalt’s desk: “I look at it every day.” Big Reveal A bizarre bromance portrait of Greenwalt and Kouf, painted by the actor Jeff Bridges, dominates a wall of the GK Pro-ductions suite, located in Universal Studios’ Sid Sheinberg building. Naturally, there’s a story behind the blurry render-ing. At 18, Greenwalt landed a Universal mailroom job but didn’t begin writing screenplays until age 25, while working as a stand-in for his friend Bridges. After Greenwalt met Kouf at a Dan Petrie Jr. poker game, the two teamed up and went on to an early 1980s Paramount deal, where Bridges gifted them with the painting. The pair wrote the comedies Wacko, Class, American Dreamer, and Secret Admirer togeth-er, before going their separate ways—Greenwalt to TV and Kouf to the features Shaker Run, Stakeout, and Rush Hour — not reuniting until the 2000-2001 Angel . “I knew he would love television if I could get him into it,” Greenwalt says. Now, at the end of each Grimm episode, the gilt-framed painting shows up as their company logo, creepy and amus-ing enough to fit the tone of the show, which deftly balances humor, horror, and romance. “It was about being very tired and kind of old,” the para-doxically energetic, bearded Greenwalt says of his desire five years ago to quit the industry. “I came into TV in my 40s, which is kind of late in the game, and I worked so hard for so many years that I was pretty run down. I had some great success, and then I had some shows that were a little more frustrating, and a couple of pilots that didn’t go, so I was not really interested anymore.” Reinvigorated by Milliner’s Brothers Grimm concept, Greenwalt still faced the challenge of structuring a series based solely on those dark, 19th-century narratives that have delighted and terrified generations of children. Granted, the academic folklorists Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm wrote more than 200 tales: a useful selling tool for the network, maybe. But Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Red Riding Hood were already creatively well picked over, and fewer than a dozen of the stories would hold up to further reinvention in hour-long television episodes. Immediately, Greenwalt and Kouf decided that they didn’t

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