What We Do In The Shadows: 11 Trivia Tidbits
After months of waiting we finally get to enjoy the magical majesty that is season 4 of What We Do In The Shadows. The mockumentary vampiric comedy from the mind of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi mixes the fantastic with the mundane to create a sitcom like no other. Here are 11 facts approved by the vampiric council.
It Was Based On A Short Film
While many know that the What We Do in The Shadow’s series is based on the Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement 2014 indie cult classic feature film of the same name, what you may not know is that THAT film is based on a short film made by the duo in 2005 entitled What We Do in The Shadows: Interviews With Some Vampires.
Colin The Energy Vampire Improvises His Rants
Mark Proksch, who plays Colin in the series, said the character is based on several people he’s met in L.A. through temp jobs and grad school. Colin is known for sucking the energy out of anyone who converses with him with long boring explanations of the mundane. Proksch told Vulture his favorite topics to drone on about are 60’s jazz and wine, because he’s able to tap into his own knowledge base for the improvised rant. He added, “They usually just give me an idea and I’ll go off on it, or else in the script they’ll give me a jumping-off point, which is really very nice that they consider me good enough to do that.”
Mark Hamill Is A Huge Fan
Mark Hamill, who was featured in the second season of the show, is also one of its biggest fans. Hamill told Rolling Stone, “It immediately became one of my all-time favorite comedies I’ve ever seen on television.” Show creator Jemaine Clement said, “Out of all the people I’ve met, even at Comic-Con, none of them was as excited about the show as Mark Hamill. One time, I was at Skywalker Ranch, and they have a lightsaber there. And I was so excited to see this lightsaber. Our costume designer, Amanda Neale, gave Mark the ring I wore in the film, and he was as excited to have that as I was about the lightsaber, which blew me away.”
Why Taika Didn’t Return
When Waititi and Clement were discussing the early drafts of the show, they decided early on that they could not justify their character’s leaving New Zealand for the U.S. version. In addition, the two had no desire to star in the show, with Taika saying, “we played those characters for so long. We just couldn't think of anything worse than -- also I don't like shaving, clean shaving, my face. I had to that every day for that character. I don't like putting makeup on. I don't like the feeling of it on my skin. I know that sounds insane, but that was one of the reasons I was like, I don't want to be in the show. I hate shaving.”
The Rules Of The Universe
According to Clement, “We stay pretty basic '70s/'80s vampire rules, with a little bit of '30s. They can turn into bats. They can't go in the sunlight; they don't sparkle in the sun, they die. They have to be invited in; in a lot of literature vampires have to be invited into private buildings, but this is a documentary so it's the real rules which means they have to be invited into any building."
The Origins Of The Energy Vampire
Did you know that What We Do In The Shadows is the first appearance of an energy vampire? Taika told Thrillist, “We always talked about energy vampires, like you would be at a party like, ‘Oh, man, stay away from that guy, he's a real energy vampire.’ It was just a term. That was something Jemaine thought would be funny, just to have a character that is essentially human and talks to people. But you see him walk around in the daytime.”
The Show Constantly Films At Night
Because of the vampiric nature of the show, the series has more night shoots than most. Because of this, they try to improvise quickly and concisely on outdoor shots, because according to Natasia Demetriou, “when you’re outside and Mark is in a grave and it’s minus-15, you’ve got to get through it, or someone might die.”
The Cameo Filled Vampiric Council
In the episode “The Trial,” you may have noticed some familiar faces (pun intended). The episode served as an all-out cameo-fest with former TV and movie vampires. Tilda Swinton from Only Lovers Left Alive, Evan Rachel Wood from True Blood, Danny Trejo from From Dusk till Dawn, and Paul Reubens from Buffy the Vampire Slayer all appear in the episode, along with a Skype call with Wesley Snipes from Blade.
The Idea Came From A Vampire Sketch
Jemaine told The New York Times “We had played this thing on stage one time. Taika, Bret , and I all went to Calgary, to do a show, where one of us was on stage playing a vampire, doing vampire jokes. The only one I remember is like : ‘I just flew from Transylvania, and boy are my arms tired. Because they were wings, and I flew all the way.’ I think that was Taika doing that, and then I’d get up from the audience, dressed as a vampire, too, and I’m heckling him. ‘You’ve been heckling me for 250 years!’ ‘You heckled me in Vienna in 1563!’
The Creators and Cast Are Constantly Sleeping On Set
Taika Waititi told The New York Times that he and Jemaine are always searching for places to sleep while filming at night. Waititi said, “We’d nap all the time. I’d see a couch and be like, ‘There’s my couch.’ Matt Berry is also a huge napper. On the sets, we’d scope out the beds. And I’d be, ‘Oh, that’s mine.” And then I’d come in and Matt would be in it.’
Natasia Demetriou Caught On Fire While On Set
Natasia Demetriou, who portrays Nadja in the show, revealed on the commentary that she accidentally caught herself ablaze while on set. According to Demetriou, the set is covered with candles and while staking a photo, she lingered a bit too long and caught on fire before the fire marshal safely put her out.
For exclusive ComedyNerd content and more, subscribe to our spiffy newsletter:
Top Image: FX