Mark Hamill on 'What We Do in the Shadows' Role and Wanting to Work With Taika Waititi (Exclusive)

'When franchises collide,' the 'Star Wars' actor quips ahead of his debut as an ancient vampire on the acclaimed FX comedy.

While no stranger to the dark side, Mark Hamill has never played a vampire before. That is, until now that he’s appearing on season two of What We Do in the Shadows, the series based on the film by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. Making his debut on Wednesday’s episode, “On the Run” written by Emmy nominee Stefani Robinson, Hamill plays an ancient vampire and rival of Laszlo (Matt Berry). 

A big fan of the film as well as the series about Staten Island-based vampires adapting to a modern world, Hamill shared his love for the FX comedy with his millions of followers, which caught the attention of the producers. “I was tweeting about it to try and tell my followers, ‘I love the show. You should watch this show,’ mostly from a selfish standpoint because everything I like seems to get canceled,” the Star Wars actor tells ET’s Ash Crossan. “It wasn’t like I was trying to offer myself to be on the show. I’m happy to just be in the audience.”

Luckily for him and fans alike, the acclaimed series was renewed for a second season and the producers thought of him for an original role. “When they sent me the script, I thought for sure I'm going to be a head of the PTA or I'm going to be working at the Department of Motor Vehicles,” Hamill says. “When I saw they were wanting me to play the character called The Vampire, I just couldn't believe it. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I love a challenge. I've got to do this.’”

The end result is a menacing ancient force, who makes quite the entrance, floating down from the sky with his slicked back gray hair tucked under a lush European-styled dark hood. His arrival immediately sparks confusion among the quartet of vampires, Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Colin (Mark Proksch) and Laszlo, who spends the rest of the episode in hiding.

While a fan of the whole ensemble, Hamill’s entrance was his only opportunity to work with everyone before spending the rest of his time mostly opposite Berry. “It was great that I had at least one scene with the whole cast. I’m such a fan and they’re all so good,” he says, adding that Clement was also on set that first night while Waititi “was obviously busy with other things.”

Russ Martin/FX

In addition to executive producing What We Do in the Shadows, Waititi was also busy promoting what would become his Oscar-winning film, Jojo Rabbit, which was released at the same time they were filming season two. 

Ahead of Hamill’s debut on the show, it was announced by Disney that the filmmaker would be returning to the Star Wars franchise after directing an episode of The Mandalorian to helm a standalone feature film. At the mention of the news, Hamill jokes, “When franchises collide, eh?” 

While the 68-year-old actor would love to work with Waititi, “my Star Wars days are over,” he says. “But like I say, there are so many stories they can tell, so many talented actors and writers and directors, and now I can just be a fan. I’ll always be partial to any Star Wars project.”

In the meantime, fans can enjoy the crossover between Star Wars and What We Do in the Shadows, when Hamill brings a little extra force of darkness to the series.  

What We Do in the Shadows airs 10 p.m. ET on FX.