WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS on FX and FX Hulu
Moderator Haley Joel Osment
Harvey Guillen, creator
A household of vampires living in Staten Island try to find their place in the world. For me, it’s the best comedy on television so get to it!
Haley: Thank you everyone for being with us today. Harvey, we left off Season one with a cliff hanger and an arc to the finale in season two. How did your character evolve?
Harvey: I didn’t know we were going in that direction I season one and the storyline has been awesome. I don’t’ think anyone expected it. Season two started with a bang killing vampires and evil from getting to my housemates. Guillermo is torn but being loyal to a T. He loves his housemates.
Haley: You had stunt work to do.
Harvey: That was fun, I didn’t know that was going to happen until Season 2. I started going to the gym and working out which is good for me but all the stunt stuff I did was like a dance. In that sense it was just like doing a musical. It looked cool on camera. People have been really responding to it.
Haley: Kayvan: There are a lot of ups and down for your characters with Guillermo. Do you think Nandor has turned a corner despite that big blow up?
Kayvan: That’s a good question. I would say that it’s a really dysfunctional relationship that they have. The way they have this co dependency together, one hand Guillermo wanted to be a vampire and now he doesn’t need to be one because he’s a vampire killer. Nandor needs Guillermo so who is he going to boss around. Now that this big reveal has happened. I have no idea how this relationship is going to evolve. Nandoor basically has someone that can kill him. ‘m concerned.
Paul: Stephani and I have some ideas where its going but we won’t say.
Haley: It’s been green-lit for a third season as you write from your vampire hideouts.
Paul: We know what’s happening but we can’t tell you.
Haley: Natasha you worked with a puppet version of yourself. I was lucky enough to see all the improve on set, was it hard to improvise with yourself?
Natasia: I did all the recording of the voice actually in lockdown so if it doesn’t sound that good, that’s why. It was easy to improvise with myself because I am a fantastic improvisor and actress.
Haley: I also did my ADR from this room, did you all do that?
Natasia: Its always been my dream to work against someone who is as good as me so I finally got to do that with myself.
Haley: You and Matt had an extended musical episode in the club. How much was written from that episode and how much didn’t make it into the show.
Matt: I don’t know because I haven’t seen that episode. They are more or less 30 second long. They weren’t full songs so I don’t know.
Natasia: I did see it and there were some amazing songs written in and a couple, I’m very pleased to say, that me and Matt penned in his little dressing room on a keyboard that also made it it. Yea, there were some amazing ones.
Haley: Mark, I heard you were very ill during the episode during your big promotion.
Mark: Yea, when you get sick filming and on location it sucks. You have none of your creature comforts with you. Too boot it is in Toronto Canada which is very cold. You take a lot of drugs and smile and you take the smooth with the rough. The flying was fun, it is a little painful as all the other vampire’s know more than I do. Yea, its work so you go to work and do it. Hopefully the episode didn’t suffer.
Haley: Do you think Collin is the most powerful vampire in the house.
Mark: We all have our own specialties that we play off of each other. If he gets them all in the room and they aren’t aware he can cause a lot of problems. Guillermo is very powerful now and Kayvan has his powers and Matt has his and Natasia is loud so we all have things that are powers.
Haley: Stefani and Paul, how far in advance did you know that Jim the Vampire would be Mark Hamill?
Stefani: I felt like we had enough time, more than in the past. There is scheduling and visa issues and shooting close to the holidays its hard to lock people down. In this instance we knew ahead of time and had enough time to write the part specifically geared toward him.
Haley: Was the pool cue or light saber thing happen on set?
Stefani: That was one of those that happened on set, it was the stunt coordinators that came up with it during rehearsal and something that was designed for that specific space when they were blocking it all out.
Paul: We thought maybe they would hit pool cues at each other and on the day and we were shooting it and Mark Hamill picked up the pool cue everyone said ‘oh my gawd’.
Stefani: I never saw Matt so giggly.
Matt: I was in front of Luke Skywalker and it doesn’t matter how cool you think you are or in character you are, you’re not, you are seven years old with Luke Skywalker in front of you. Pretty special.
Haley: About the directors, you can tell there is a different approach from directors so how do you work with that?
Paul: I’ll jump in, the interesting thing is that Kyle is great and our editor Yanna directed two episodes for the first time but it was a really funny experience. She has seen every bit of film and knows how everything goes together and knew what we needed and what we didn’t need. You don’t usually get that from a first time director.
Matt: You’d never know she was a first time director
Natasia: No matter who the director is I send little bits of paper to the cast saying ‘don’t f**k it up’. So there are lots of directors but I’m always directing.
Haley: From this point on didn’t you say ‘I refuse to be directed!’
Natasia: That was an actor that I worked with that said she was self directing. She was so upset with production that she was self directing like, ‘and action’, ‘camera one on me and action’.
Haley: This show as I found out in the few days that I was there was very nocturnal like its characters and cold when you are shooting. That is real snow you are working in, how challenging is that working through the nights and trying to sleep all day. Added to that all the time in the make up trailer.
Stefani: A lot of Captain’s Oil.
Paul: I’m a nocturnal person so it doesn’t wear on me. I start at 6 pm to daylight, I can’t imagine being an actor doing it.
Natasia: It makes you made but it makes you like a vampire but sometimes you are human and think ‘oh, I think I’m gonna die’. It’s a very surreal experience but it works for the show.
Stefani: There are waves and stages to it. It’s like a long extended sleepover at a theatre camp with your friends, but there is a point where your body is shutting down and your body turns colors and you’ve only eaten deviled eggs.
Matt: It doesn’t help when they dye your hair black because you look even more withdrawn.
Mark: As much as we love Toronto, filming in a cold place doesn’t help when it’s the seventh week and your doing an outdoor night shoot and you can’t feel your feet. The crew isn’t as babied as the actors and they start falling and getting sick.
Paul: It doesn’t.
Haley: One thing that does make it on the screen is working in the vampire house. I have never seen so many lit candles on a set before which lends to the atmosphere. What is it like working in that environment?
Natasia: One of my favorite parts of the show, I still can’t believe it that it’s a weird vampire house. I want to take it on the road to have people visit.
Mark: I’ve never in any of my shows worked in such an elaborate and really beautiful set and it lends itself to your creativity which helps a lot.
Matt: I was asked this afternoon, its not only the best set I’ve ever worked on but the best set I’ve ever seen. We have a music room that was built and only on the scnee for like 11 seconds and it was incredible.
Natasia: The only issue with lit candles is you can’t stop and take a photo or you will set yourself on fire.
Matt: The terror in their eyes was hilarious.
Natasia: Setting yourself on fire is so embarrassing.
Haley: Is there a policy about taking something from the set.
Matt: That’s from the Necromancers hut.
Paul: No one informed me about the policy so I didn’t get anything.
Haley: I remember one night that someone’s teeth were misplaced. Do you forget they are there?
Matt: That’s not the issue, its forgetting to put them in before a scene.
Natasia: Forgetting to put them in after lunch and they can’t use it because I’m an idiot for not putting my teeth in. Matt tried to pull a prank on me putting red stuff on his teeth. To this day I don’t know what it was.
Haley: Harvey, how has your podcast with the show been with fans.
Harvey: It started off like a one time thing and then after the first episode aired fans asked when will the next one air. So I really just did it because the fans were asking for it. Sharing the videos and having fun and Natasia shared clips and to give fans something. The show is a 30 minute show and people want more so I did it as a ‘here’s something’ and I think we shot 14 episodes and we had the writers, directors, producers and Paul and hear the stories. I didn’t know where Paul grew up and we had a whole conversation like that. It was time consuming though. I was a five day a week thing with jokes, artwork from fans and my sister jumped on and produced it. We were working to stream through all social medias at the same time. It was a lot of work. I’m glad we did it.
Haley: We are doing this remotely so to talk about it, how has everyone’s quarantine been?
Natasia: I’ve been busy with a show called What We Do Before What We Do When What We Do In The Shadows.
Paul: Stefani and I have been busy editing and learning how to do things remotely and get everyone loop and ADR lines remotely and get Mark’s voice to sound like it wasn’t in a big echo-y room.
Mark: It was fine for everything else but for this it echoed.
Haley: Then I’ll throw this to everyone, most of our characters have had successful and romantic adventures. Can Nandor fine love in season 3?
Stefani: Good question Haley.
Paul: Yea, Nandor is lonely and if there is a preview of season 3 they are searching. Nandor is searching for love, there might be new duties – I’m giving too much away.
Haley: I’ll plow ahead, we saw a big broadening of the magical world and the creatures who live in it, what sort of creatures are still out there for the characters?
Paul: Yes there are. I’m trying to think of one to say that won’t spoil anything.
Stefani: There are creatures who live on edifices.
Natasia: Can you come up with some vampire puppies and kittens.
Paul: I will say the vampires get a hell hound to protect them.
Natasia: You thought we were going to get our animal guy back.
Mark: I felt like I was doing something wrong just standing next to him.
Haley: Have there been live bats on the set or is that CGI?
Paul: We’ve had a goat.
Stefani: I live racoon and a gecko.
Matt: A Small dinosaur of some sort.
Natasia: the bat quite often is a rubber bat on a stick and I’m always like very good, and they say ‘no, no that’s the bat’.
Haley: Its been great to see your faces, Harvey, Mark, Natasia, Matt, Kayvan, Stefani and Paul take care.