'What We Do in the Shadows' EP Says Guillermo's Family Will Return in Season 5 (Exclusive)
What We Do in the Shadows, the Emmy-nominated FX mockumentary following four vampires and their familiar living in Staten Island, just closed out another captivating and darkly funny installment of the series with a surprisingly emotional season 4 finale.
Already renewed for seasons 5 and 6, the series is set to begin production on new episodes in the next few days as fans eagerly await to see what happens with Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) and Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) after executive producer Paul Simms and the creative team took big swings with the characters in season 4.
Among them was seeing Guillermo, a descendant of Van Hesling, officially coming out as gay while navigating his complicated relationship with Nandor, who spent most of season 4 in search of a long-term companion. Guillermo’s sexuality was addressed during a midseason episode, when the familiar visited his family and was forced to reveal that despite being related to a notorious vampire killer, he actually wants to become one.
“In season 5, we have a really good episode where we’ll see Guillermo with his family again,” Simms says, adding that they’re “always expanding and opening that world” fans have been given glimpses of from season to season.
While speaking to ET, Simms and Proksch opened up about key moments from season 4, Baby Colin’s unexpected maturity and where things go from here. [Warning: spoilers for the season 4 finale of What We Do in the Shadows.]
ET: Congrats on another fantastic season. How do you feel about what you achieved with season 4 overall, especially given some of the big swings you took with so many of the characters?
Paul Simms: It’s a combination of very satisfied and relieved because you’re right, we did take some big swings on both a silliness level and on the technical level. Like as soon as the night before we started shooting, we realized we had to come up with a different way of doing the whole Baby Colin thing and had to sort of figure it out as we went along. And we weren’t even sure if it was gonna work until we’d already shot the whole season. So, that was a little bit of a tightrope walk.
But I don’t know, this season just felt very fun to me. I mean, part of it might have been also that we shot two seasons in one year, both of them under COVID protocols. And I think there was, in a positive way, a little bit of delirium that set in and made us be a little bit sillier and have more fun. You now how you get punchy when you haven’t slept? Well, imagine a whole year of that. I think that’s what made this season what it was.
In the finale, Colin finally grew up. What was it like playing him through all the various ages this season?
Mark Proksch: It was exciting because you take a character that you’re very used to playing and change him up considerably. So, you have to figure out what would Colin Robinson be like as a tween or a toddler even. The thing that I enjoy about Colin is that he has somewhat esoteric references and can draw on about nothing for a long time. And as a child, what would that be? Obviously, the child Colin Robinson doesn’t have the information and knowledge that a mid-40s Colin Robinson has. And so, it was exciting to be constrained by those parameters going in.
PS: For Mark, this whole season, it was constraints, really. You can’t use the references his character usually uses. And when we eventually shot his head, it was like, “OK, Mark. Be funny. But you have to be looking 40 degrees that way and have your eyes looking upward and don’t move ‘cause the light has to be just the way it was when we shot it. And the line before you can’t change and the line after you can’t change. Now, go be funny.” But he managed to do it. It was really fun watching. He even found ways to ad lib and improvise in the tiny little envelopes that we gave him.
How does it feel having Colin back to normal, or a version close to what he was because I can’t imagine he’s the same exact Colin as before?
MP: It was surprisingly refreshing to get back into the beige uniform that Colin wears. It was easy to slip right back into that character. I mean, for me, they filmed the majority of the season without me and so, I didn’t know exactly if I would be able to get right back into the swing and match where they were in the season. I think I was a little too energetic in my performance.
PS: Nonsense! It was, for all of us on set watching when he came back in as Colin, it was exciting. It was like the first time in a year we’d seen him and it felt like, “Mark’s back and Colin’s back!” I don’t think he missed a beat.
Do you think Colin is the same Colin as before, or will there be changes moving forward now that he’s gone through what he has in season 4?
MP: You know, that’s above my pay grade. As far as performance-wise, it’s hard because no matter what I’ve been informed by this season. And so, there may be subtle things that I put in, subtle touches, but nothing major and probably nothing that the viewers will really even notice.
How does the season 4 finale set up things moving forward with Colin but also the other characters?
PS: It’s a little bit about whether Colin was fully reset or if this experience changed him. I think the biggest thing, obviously from the finale, is Guillermo making such a rash and maybe ill-considered decision [to become a vampire]. That’s obviously gonna have massive repercussions.
Are you excited about potentially going there with Guillermo? Because his desire to be a vampire is something that’s been talked about for four seasons now.
PS: It was the first in the first five minutes of the pilot. It was about Guillermo wanting to be a vampire. But a lot of this show is, if there’s any consistent theme of this show, it’s probably, “Be careful what you wish for.” I mean, it was something that played out literally with Nandor this season, but it’s an overarching team of the show. So, the Guillermo stuff is gonna be really funny.
Do you have a favorite scene or episode from season 4? Is there anything that stands out to you about what you got to do this year?
MP: It all stands out. And I know that’s not a great answer for you. But each episode changes and Colin Robinson grows up in a matter of a TV season over 10 episodes.
As far as a scene, what I really enjoyed was getting to, as adult Colin or teen Colin, try to pull off some song and dance very awkwardly and stumbly. That was probably my favorite moment of the season. And, you know, Colin discovering the secret closet and room behind his bed and reemerging like a superhero. You know, heroes change their clothing and in Colin’s case, puts on the glasses and reemerges as Colin Robinson. That was really fun, and it turned out great.
PS: A lot of it to me is just the silliest stuff. I loved the opening scene where Baby Colin was running around the house and Guillermo was trying to corral him and he ends up running into the camera and breaking it with a sword. I loved that kind of physical comedy.
I loved the episode where they had the private school admissions interview because it was such a simple idea carried to such an extreme point. I really liked the hunting trip they went on with the neighbor, Sean [Anthony Atamanuik]. They had so many things that I liked, including the long sort of argument, the seething argument between Laszlo and Nandor. I loved the Mayberry R.F.D. part where Baby Colin is taking a walk with Sean and talking about how he likes to hammer holes in the wall and how he doesn’t really know why he likes to do it.
What We Do in the Shadows is now streaming on Hulu.
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