With its comedically subversive take on the vampire genre, What Do in the Shadows has successfully transitioned from film to television, expanding on the premise of Taika Waititi’s acclaimed film. Among the film and television series’ most prominent fans is Mark Hamill, who will guest-star on the second season’s upcoming sixth episode.
Entertainment Weekly shared the first official still of Hamill as an ancient vampire rival to Lazlo, whose return drives the protagonist into hiding. After seeing Hamill enthusiastically praise the television adaptation on Twitter, the producers decided to reach out to Hamill for a role on the show. For Hamill, who was impressed by how well the property had been adapted for television, the opportunity was one he couldn’t pass up.
“We saw the pilot and, not only was it on par with the film, but it added elements that I had never heard before like the addition of the energy vampire. The whole cast is one of the best ensembles in television history,” explained Hamill. “I would’ve been happy just visiting the set, they certainly didn’t need me to come in and mess it up somehow. But I thought I would check out the script and see what they had in mind. I expected the role to be like the next-door neighbor or someone who works at the Department of Motor Vehicles. When I read I was going to play a vampire, I just about shot out of my chair. What a great honor!”
As Lazlo’s rival, Hamill spent a fair bit of his appearance opposite star Matt Berry. For the veteran actor, one of the biggest challenges was not breaking character when faced with Berry’s hilarious improvisational skills.
“One of the real challenges of working with Matt was trying to keep a straight face when he would improvise,” recalled Hamill. “Each line he said was more obscene and profane than the next. Mark Hamill the actor found that hilarious but my character does not. I had to work really hard to try and stay in character the best I could.”
Airing Wednesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on FX, What We Do in the Shadows stars Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Matt Berry, Mark Proksch and Harvey Guillen. Taika Waititi co-produces alongside Jemaine Clement, Scott Rudin, Paul Simms and Garrett Basch.
The first official still of Mark Hamill's vampiric character on What We Do in the Shadows has debuted online.