“Allowing us to improvise makes a world of a difference,” reveals Harvey Guillén about working on “What We Do in the Shadows.” For our recent webchat he continues, “I’ve been doing a couple projects, since we took a break, and it’s not the norm. Being able to improvise is such a huge gift that we don’t take for granted. It’s what makes the show breathe and feel real. We say the lines exactly the way they are. Then we’ll do an improvised take. In the editing room like 50 will be improvised and 50 will be the scripted version, but you’re still in the same world.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“What We Do in the Shadows,” which has finished its third season, is a vampire mockumentary based on the movie of the same name. The second season broke through at the Emmy Awards with 10 nominations. It tells the story of three traditional vampires and an energy sucking vampire living together. Guillén plays Guillermo, a familiar living with the vampires who hopes they will choose to turn him into one.
He explains, “I think he wants to be a vampire because he didn’t have a smooth high school experience. Growing up, I think he was bullied a lot. I think he wanted to escape. From the films he watched he became infatuated with this idea of being a vampire. They live forever. They are after lust. They feast. And that’s pretty much all they do. He wants to be comfortable in his own skin. He really admires that there’s something about a vampire that so exotic and seductive.”
Guillen reflects on how his character contrasts to the vampires on the show. He says, “you lose humanity as you’ve been alive for hundreds of years. That’s the thing that I do appreciate about Guillermo, he leads with empathy. He does care for his mom. He does cares for Nandor (Kayvan Novak). He does care for these jerks who are mean to him. He even goes back to a theatre full of vampires to save them. And at the end of this massacre vampires, the only thing they can think of is that they have to do their own dry cleaning.”
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