What We Do In The Shadows'journey to the small-screen began with the 2014 film of the same name. It was a collaboration between Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititiand the feature-lengthfilm was based on a short film they made called What We Do In The Shadows: Interviews With Some Vampires - amockumentary-style film that featured traditional vampires living in modern-day society.
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The movie was critically hailed as being hilarious, droll, surreal and a wonderful parody on vampire films. Producers were clamoring for Clement and Waititi to adapt the movie into a TV show. They eventually worked with FX and introduced a new principal cast: Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Bery), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Guillermo De la Cruz (Harvey Guilln) and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch). Since the show's premiere in 2019, it's been praised as one of the best TV sitcoms and celebrated for its bizarre and hilarious concept while being supported by endearing and eccentric characters. Fans craving substance about the show, its actors, and the production process can sink their teeth into these 10 facts.
Nandor the Relentless is the self-appointed leader of the group. He carries himself with high-regard and tends to look down on others. However, his emotions couldn't be further from his projections and facade.
This is something about the character that his actor resonated with. Novak explained to Den of The Geek, that much like Nandor, hehas a "handsome, warrior-like" appearance, but deep down they're both silly and insecure about themselves. Many viewers can relate to this.
Being a vampire, it's commonplace for characters like Nandor or Naja to turn into bats and fly several stories up like it's nothing. Laszlo's actor Matt Berry mentioned that while he enjoys working on the show, one of the few issues is when he has to be hoisted up 50 feet in the air for a stunt.
Berry admitted he's afraid of heights and it can be difficult for him to act natural while he's hovering that high up.
When Clement was figuring out where to set the series, he had some considerations to make. New Orleans and Detroit were considered, but he passed on them. Clement felt like these locations had been there and done it as far as vampire media went.
While filming a movie on Staten Island and writing the series' pilot, he decided to set the show there. Clement regarded Staten Island as a prime location where the main characters had access to New York City but their mansion residence wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb.
One of the film's key elements that remained on the show was the improvisation. Actors like Demetriou, Proksch, and Berry have backgrounds in improv and they enjoy the process.
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They've said it's also helped make the show feel more organic and authentic. However, a big difference between the film and TV show is that despite the improvisation, the series has a fully developed script. Meanwhile, the film's script mostly served as a guide for the actors and allowed them to freely improvise.
The decision to have new central characters was a plan from the beginning. The show's creator/producers, Clement and Waititi, had no intentions or desires to reprise their characters from the film.
Despite producers pushing for the characters to return, Clement felt he had no legitimate reason to move their characters from New Zealand to the States. Meanwhile, Waititi wasn't fond of shaving or putting on makeup and didn't want to keep going through the process.
The idea of including energy vampires was an idea Clement and Waititi wanted to do for a while. The pair use the term to describe individuals they'd come across at a party or social gathering that'd rope them into long-winded and dull conversations.
This was where the series' energy vampire, Colin, came from. Colin's energy vampire status was also used as a device to explain why he could walk out in daylight. One of the frustrating aspects of the movie for Clement was filming strictly night scenes, which made him feel like a vampire himself.
Despite being one of the most powerful vampires in the series, Colin is low on the social totem pole. Colin's actor Proksch said he based his performance on a combination of people he met in Los Angeles.
While talking to Vulture, he mentioned that having lived in the city, "you're going to meet a lot of people who get on your nerves." When it came to Colin's ramblings, Proksch utilized his improv background and spouted Colin's rantings on the fly.
The film and series were based on not just vampire films, but also the mockumentary series The Office. However, Berry admitted that he's not fond of documentary-style comedies or dramas. Nonetheless, he's praised the show's special effects and has mentioned it was one of his favorite aspects from the series.
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He admired how the show's cinematography was shot like a crude student film, but then these otherworldly occurrences happen, including flying vampires, transforming into animals, or items or people catching on fire.
The film had no female vampires, but Nadja was introduced in the series and the actress couldn't be happier. Nadja's a randy but melodramatic Romani vampire who's been married to Laszlo for centuries.
Clement partially based the character on his Greek in-laws. Meanwhile, Demetriou instilled some of her Cypriot family into Nadja's characterization. Demetrious, besides having a background in improv, is also a writer and felt Nadja was a character she'd come up with as someone she's known in real life.
Berry's favorite moment in the series and his career came in season two when Mark Hamill guest-starred as a senior vampire who was out to get Laszlo. Berry was ecstatic to work with the man who portrayed Luke Skywalker.
The exact sequencehadtheir characters in a barfight and wielding pole sticks. The way they held the poles and their stances were reminiscent of the Star Wars franchises' lightsaber duels, whichthrilled Berry. He couldn't describe how he felt in the moment as it was so surreal, but he remarked it was a moment he'd never forget.
NEXT: What We Do In The Shadows Season 3 Ordered By FX
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