While Harvey Guillén is fast becoming one of the most dependable and versatile actors in Hollywood, he's always looking to help out friends however he can on their projects. Coincidentally, it was through connections he made on FX's What We Do in the Shadows, and HBO's Room 104 is how he stumbled upon his latest sci-fi buddy comedy in Decal's I'm Totally Fine. The film follows Vanessa (Jillian Bell), who takes a personal holiday after mourning the loss of her best friend, Jennifer (Natalie Morales). Things take an eerie turn when Vanessa finds extraterrestrial life, which takes on a familiar form. Guillén, who plays a DJ, spoke to Bleeding Cool about how he got involved and worked with first-time feature director Brandon Dermer.
The Familiar Connections Entering "I'm Totally Fine"
Bleeding Cool: How'd you get involved with 'I'm Totally Fine?'
Guillén: I was shooting 'What We Do in the Shadows' with Kyle Newacheck as the director, and he told me, "I got this film, and I got a part of it for you." I said, "Let me know, and I'll be there." Sure enough, he tells me I'm playing a DJ, and we were in Temecula (California), shooting this film at the height of the crazy time with the pandemic, but safely done. It was wonderful. Jillian, Natalie, and everyone were phenomenal, and I'm glad to be a part of it.
What's it like filming your scenes with Jillian and Natalie?
They're fantastic. I've worked with Natalie before because not only is she a phenomenal actress, she's an amazing director as well. She directed me in 'Room 104' for HBO a couple of years ago, right after 'Shadows' premiered. I knew she was a fan of the show, had always been supportive, and was lovely about any project. We have a lot of mutual friends, so it was only a matter of time before we worked together. When you run with a circle of friends you admire, you're like, "Oh my God! They're so talented and great. Oh, they know of 'so and so.'" It's always a gathering of people and artists who love creating great content, and it was a blast.
You got to work with Brandon and [writer] Alisha [Ketry], who were doing their first feature. Can you describe the set he ran?
Working with him was fantastic. He's always open when it comes to the scenes. If you have questions or come in with an idea, he's there to listen. He has a vision already, but he's also like, "Okay, so let's do that!" He was always prepared in an all-hands-on-deck scenario. Even his partner at the time was helping in finding the filming location. The house that we shot in was done through his partner. Everyone's passionate about it and wants it to be the best it can be. It was a great experience.
I'm Totally Fine, which also stars Newacheck, Blake Anderson, Cyrina Fiallo, and Karen Maruyama is in theaters, digital, and on-demand.