Harvey Guillén, who plays the vampire-wrangling familiar Guillermo de la Cruz in FX’s comedy What We Do in the Shadows admitted he was too freaked out to watch the movie before he auditioned for the series.
Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s 2014 cult comedy film What We Do in the Shadows was so powerful, that Guillén said watching it beforehand could have put too much pressure on him to nail the audition.
“I love the movie, but I loved it after I auditioned,” Guillen told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “I hadn’t seen the film when I first auditioned because I didn’t want to be influenced by it in my choices in my acting.”
Harvey Guillén shares why he is glad he didn’t watch ‘What We do in the Shadows’ movie beforehand
In retrospect, Guillén is glad he made the choice to go into the audition a little cold. “Because I think if I would have watched it, I would have been freaked out because it’s so good,” he said. “I would have freaked myself out at the audition. Like, ‘I have to do a good job because the movie so good!’ And not watching it, I kind of gave myself that untainted idea of what the character could be.”
Even though Guillén didn’t want the film to influence his audition, the What We Do in the Shadows movie and tv series have some major differences. The series includes energy vampire Colin Robinson, who essentially bores his victims, draining them of their energy. The series also features a main female character, Nadja. While the only female character in the film is Pauline aka “The Beast.”
Also, “There was no Guillermo in the movie, which is great,” Guillen added.
How does ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ movie blend with the TV series?
While there are some differences, the comedic writing, mockumentary style, and the story that follows a group of vampires trying to assimilate into modern society threaded perfectly from the movie to the series.
Also, actors and characters from What We Do in the Shadows movie pop up in the series. Just behind the scenes. Familiar Jackie Van Beek from the film ended up behind the camera on the series.
“Jackie’s character who was a familiar, later on directed one of the episodes in the first season,” Guillén shared. “So I’ve actually worked for the original familiar Jackie. And so it’s nice to kind of do my own spin on it.”
‘What We Do in the Shadows’ movie spun off this endless world of stories
Guillén said everyone was well aware of the care that had to be taken with the FX series. “We know how good the movie is and we know how diehard fans feel about the movie,” he said. “And we always were just hopeful that they would understand that we’re in the same world, out of the same tree, just a different branch.”
“And so we’re all connected and it’s just that we’ve had those characters come and visit us and show how they live harmoniously together in the same world,” he added. “So there’s enough room for everyone in this world that Taika [Waititi] and Jemaine [Clement] have created.”
“Such brilliant geniuses that they created a world where the sky’s the limit. They went off to do other shows. And I clearly could see any of those characters in any of their other shows kind of intertwining … so they did a fantastic job. So I’m really happy that they created this world. And look at us now.”
Harvey Guillén created his own ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ branch
The voratious thrist for all things What We do in the Shadows was the inspiration behind podcast, Behind the Shadows with Harvey Guillen. The weekly behind-the-scenes podcast provides that extra companion nugget to the weekly series as Guillén takes fans beyond the coffin and shares fun stories from working on the show.
The podcast is new but was brewing in the back of Guillén’s mind since season 2. celebrate,” he recalled, due to coronavirus (Covid-19).
“So I did [the podcast] more for the fans,” he said. “Let’s celebrate together and we’ll talk about stories behind the scenes that no one knew while we’re getting ready for this episode. And as the season progressed, we just started talking more to guest stars and people behind the camera and producers and stunt coordinators and all that. And people found it fascinating like I love to hear that stuff. So we were like, OK well, let’s keep doing it. So it’s more giving back to the fans and giving the behind the scenes stuff that they love. Because if you’re a real diehard fan, you want to know how something was made. Or have a question of that day on set. Or what was the funniest story, what was that guest star’s experience like.”
Behind the Shadows podcast episodes drop weekly. What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 currently airs every Tuesday at 10 PM ET on FX.