Cast and crew members of the hit FX show “What We Do in the Shadows” virtually gathered to discuss their feelings about the show’s second season as well as what fans might see in season three. Haley Joel Osment, who guest-starred on the show as Topher, a fan favorite, moderated the panel and brought smiles to everyone’s faces. This was a fantastic panel that gave fans insight about the actors and their characters, as well as a look into what we can expect for the show’s third season — even cast members were surprised by this one!
First, Osment directed his questions toward Harvey Guillen, who plays Guillermo, asking about Guillermo’s character growth in the second season. Guillen did not know where the plot was going at first, but he says that Guillermo is now torn between his destiny and who he truly wants to be. Not to mention that Guillermo is struggling with his loyalty to his vampire housemates while also being a vampire hunter! But, overall, Guillen loves the growth his character has gotten so far.
In regard to the elaborate stunts at the end of the season, Guillen says he didn’t know that was happening. He started working out and training, but ultimately he saw the action scenes as a sort of dance like he was “just doing a musical.” He also states that he’s happy because “fans like seeing someone who can kick ass who isn’t just a stereotypical brown kid.” Agreed, Harvey!
Speaking of musicals, “What We Do in the Shadows” surprised fans by incorporating a musical episode into season two. Matt Berry, Laszlo on the show, wrote “quite a bit for it,” but doesn’t know what actually made the cut since he hasn’t watched that episode. Natasia chimed in saying she did watch it and there were some amazing songs that made it in, but she captured the attention of fans when stating that she and Matt wrote at least one of the songs while hanging out in Matt’s dressing room. Truly iconic, if I do say so myself.
But perhaps the biggest question was for Kayvan Novak, Nandor on screen. Nandor and Guillermo went through a big blow up at the end of season two, prompting Osment to ask if the two can return to their previous dynamic. Novak describes the relationship as “co-dependent” because Guillermo needs to feel the want to be a vampire and Nandor needs someone who actually listens to him in his household. After all, “who will he boss around?” And because Nandor and Guillermo can both literally kill each other by nature, Novak has no idea how that relationship will evolve. Which is okay, because we’re excited to see where it goes nonetheless!
The show’s second season brought a lot more creepy creatures, but the doll resembling Nadja which also contains her soul is probably the creepiest of all. Unfortunately, Natasia did have to record the doll’s script at home during lockdown, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have fun with improvising. It seems that she doesn’t need other actors around her to exercise that skill! She apologizes in case the recordings didn’t sound good, but she says it’s easy to improvise by herself because she’s a “fantastic actress.” It doesn’t hurt that she finally gets to work with actors as good as herself, an opportunity she’s longed for in the past.
Fans of the show lost their minds when Mark Hamill guest-starred on the show last season. Because the show is filmed in Toronto, Canada, the writers often run into issues with getting the actors to the set on time due to visa issues, and this causes problems with making sure the writing is tailored to each actor. Fortunately, they had no problems and plenty of time to get Hamill’s script perfect.
However, the rumors are true about Hamill’s lightsaber performance! Paul and Stefani recall that Hamill caught everyone off guard when he strayed from the stunt choreography and held a pool stick like a lightsaber. According to Matt Berry, who participated in the fight, “It doesn’t matter how cool you are or in character you are when you have Luke Skywalker in front of you.” We can only imagine. This must have been a dream come true!
I think the most interesting bit of the panel was watching everyone discuss their adjustments to filming at night in Toronto’s winter. While creators Paul and Stefani described the physical effects this schedule had on them, Natasia says that it “makes you mad,” but that it can also be good for the show because “you sort of become a vampire.” I guess that goes to show just how dedicated this cast is to staying in character through method acting.
Osment was incredibly impressed with the gang’s house and how intricate it is. In fact, he says he’s never seen so many lit candles, especially on a set. Natasia also expresses her adoration for the “weird vampire house,” but she also recounts a time when she accidentally set herself on fire when pausing near a candle. I’m sure filming with all those candles is quite an experience, but perhaps Natasia should have kept that particular one as a souvenir of sorts!
Speaking of souvenirs, everyone took some time to show off things they’ve stolen from set, although Paul maintains that he was never told about any rules on what can and cannot be kept. So anything is fair game, right? While everyone shows off their stolen spoils, Guillen discusses his Instagram show, “Before the Shadows.” He says the show started as a one-time thing, but the demand for more content made him want to give fans as much as he is able to. He and his sister have been writing it and making sure it gets to all social media platforms simultaneously, which is a great feat for just two people!
Unfortunately, Kayvan Novak’s connection dropped out for a lot of the panel. Because of this, Osment directed his question about Nandor toward the other panelists: Do you think Nandor has a chance at love in the next season? Laszlo and Nadja have a “centuries-long romance,” and there are questions about whether Nandor might find that for himself. Paul Simms chimes in to say that, if there’s any preview he can give, it’s that every character is still searching for something. Nandor might look for love, whereas Colin might seek to understand how he became an energy vampire. The latter is especially interesting because Colin also developed some new skills during the second season. Regardless of the character in question, it’s going to be fascinating to see what each character wants, how they go about searching for it, and ultimately how the vampires wants conflict with Guillermo’s.
Now for the most exciting part of the panel! Novak finally returned to the screen and, in true Nandor fashion, slowly raised his cat into view and saying, “I’ve turned myself into a cat!” I’m not sure if I’ve ever laughed that hard during a panel. Plus, that Russian Blue kitty was pretty darn cute!
But in all seriousness, Paul Simms did have something big to say. When asked what creatures season three may bring, Natasia asked Simms and Stefani Robinson if they could “come up with some sort of vampire puppies and kittens so we play with small animals on set.” Simms then revealed that season three will bring the gang some hell hounds to protect them — but that’s all he’s going to say. This is an exciting addition to the show’s plot, especially because we don’t yet know what the vampires need protection from. Perhaps more vampire hunters? Maybe Guillermo himself? No matter what it is, we can’t wait to find out!
Working from home during lockdown has affected everyone on the panel, but that isn’t stopping them from moving forward. This panel was not only a great look into the future of the show, but also the dynamic between the cast. (I’m not going to lie, Natasia is an absolute goddess in my eyes after demonstrating her self confidence in her acting.) We can’t wait to see where season three takes our favorite vampire gang!
“What We Do in the Shadows” airs on FX Network and streams on Hulu the following day.