Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
SYFY WIRE San Diego Comic-Con 2019

SDCC: What We Do in the Shadows panel spills on Season 1 and superstar cameos

By Donnie Lederer
What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows, the hit FX series based on the Taika Waititi/Jemaine Clement film of the same name is gearing up for its second season. The location moved to Staten Island and featured a whole new set of eccentric vampires. Following the adventures of "regular" vampires Nando, Laszlo, and Nadja, and "energy" vampire Colin Robinson, the television show perfectly recreates the vibe which made the movie hilarious.

Season one ended with the revelation that Nando's familiar, Guillermo, was a descendant of the Van Helsing family. This revelation doesn't bode well for all parties involved. To talk about these developments and more for season two, we were joined at San Diego Comic-Con by visual effects supervisor Brendan Taylor, executive producers Paul Sims, Stefani Robinson, Taika Waititi, and Jemaine Clement. Joining them were cast members Matt Berry (Laszlo), Kayvan Novak (Nando), Natasia Demetriou (Nadja), Harvey Guillen (Guillermo), and Mark Proksch (Colin Robinson). Here's what we were able to "draw" out of them.

The panel began with a viewing of the series' seventh episode, "The Trial." A panel discussion followed, moderated by Westworld's Evan Rachel Wood. Wood asked Clement and Waititi how the episode came about, which featured cameos from such stars as Tilda Swinton, Wesley Snipes, and Dave Bautista. Clement said that Only Lovers Left Alive was premiering at SXSW the same time as their movie, and he thought it would be cool if all the vampires got together, and the idea to make it funny came from that.

Clement then gave Keifer Sutherland a hard time, since he had a scheduling conflict. "He couldn't make it from his side of Toronto to OUR side of Toronto. He couldn't pull it off."

Waititi then turned the questioning back on Wood, asking her how it was to film the episode. "I was starstruck the whole time," she said. "I play in dramas, so I come home and watch the Flight of the Concords."

Questioning moved to the cast of the show. Matt Berry says he has something he never had before: people yelling BAT at him. "I'm not home to London much, but when I am, and I am on the tube, that's where I hear it the most." Looking right at the audience, "GOOD ON YOU," he said to a roomful of laughter.

Kayvan Novak talked about his accent, and how its inspiration was pretty local. "It's a mix of Jemaine and Taika's with a hint of Iranian," he said.

Natasia Demetriou discussed her flying and climbing throughout the season, which required a lot of wirework, "It's really good, but unfortunately, I will be having no children now. It's amazing, but you do feel like a big baby though because you are in this big harness."

The discussion moved back to the making of the show itself. EP Paul Simms said while there is a script, he gives the actors freedom to ad-lib. "the scene is scripted, but the actual dialogue is very ad-libbed. As long as they know what the scene is about, we let them do what they want."

Visual Effects supervisor Brendan Taylor discussed the hardest shots when making the show, "When Jenna became a bat and when the Baron ate the pizza. I always have to tell my team, 'your job is not to be funny. Your job is to make the effect real. Let the actors bring the funny to the show." It is apparent, as the effects on the series are fantastic.

Even with the show renewed for a second season, there's nothing they can say about it just yet. "We just had our first meeting in New York. We are still trying to figure out what the season will be about before we can write it," said Simms.

The panel closed out with two "shorts." Simms told the audience that with so much improv on the show, they could take scenes from the cutting room floor and make short films with them. The first showed Nando in a more extended cut of his citizenship test, and the second revolved around Colin Robinson showing the house he can turn into a gecko.

What We Do in the Shadows season 2 will air in 2020.

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.