How Fil-Am actor Reggie Lee brought 'aswang' to Grimm

By Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Mar 14 2014 05:13 PM | Updated as of Oct 10 2016 12:13 PM

HOLLYWOOD – An episode of the hit TV series Grimm takes on Filipino folklore. One of the show's stars, who happens to be Filipino, is thrilled to bring a slice of his culture to the small screen.

Before shooting the new episodes of "Grimm", Reggie Lee spent time with his Filipino family and friends in Los Angeles.

They celebrated the success of the show's "Aswang" episode which centered around Lee's character.

"Andaming suporta. It makes me cry a little bit. I've never been, more than this time, as proud as I am to be a Filipino. I've never seen a mainstream Filipino storyline in US television. I'm really proud," Lee said.

Lee is not yet sure if "Grimm" will use other characters from Philippine folklore. But he is excited to tackle the effects of the aswang experience on his previously unflappable character, Sergeant Wu.

"Binigay ko yung manananggal, yung dwende saka tiktik. But they really, really fell for the tiktik. So I was really happy that they stayed true to the Filipino story," he said.

If they do another episode on a Philippine creature, the Hollywood actor jokes that he will teach his co-stars to properly pronounce Filipino words.

"Yung pronunciation nila, hindi correct eh. Sabi nila "ass-wang." I said, "Hindi, hindi." Hindi ass-wang. Aswang yon," he said.

Lee is among a few Philippine-born Hollywood actors regularly seen on US TV shows.

He's happy that the Filipino storyline paved the way for other Fil-Am performers Tess Paras and Alain Uy to guest on the aswang episode of the show.

It took years of hard work in Hollywood before Lee got a role as steady and significant as his "Grimm" character.

"I'm so grateful. Most of all to you guys who have been with me since the beginning? We can kind of grow up together here," he said, referring to the media.

This April, Lee will receive the Visionary Award from East-West Players, one of the most respected Asian organizations in Hollywood for his contributions to the entertainment industry.