What We Do in The Shadows: Harvey Guillén on Guillermo's S04 Growth

If there's one thing that drives Harvey Guillén's Guillermo de la Cruz on FX's What We Do in the Shadows is that he'll do everything he can never be marginalized again after decades of service to his vampire roommates, especially the one he considers his best friend and "master" Nandor (Kayvan Novak). During season four, things took a dramatic turn, even by series' standards, as the familiar-turned-vampire hunter-turned-bodyguard finally had enough of waiting for Nandor to turn him into a vampire. Instead, Guillermo used whatever profits he skimmed from Nadja's (Natasia Demetriou) burned-down vampire nightclub to pay vampire convenience store clerk Derek (Chris Sandiford) to turn him at the end of the season four season finale "Sunrise, Sunset." While promoting his sci-fi buddy comedy I'm Totally Fine, Guillén spoke to Bleeding Cool about his favorite season four moments, Guillermo's pent-up frustrations, and building up what's next for Guillermo and Nandor's relationship entering season five.

What We Do in The Shadows: Harvey Guillén on Guillermo's Growth in S4
Kayvan Novak and Harvey Guillen in What We Do in the Shadows. Image courtesy of FX

Guillermo's Growth in What We Do in the Shadows Season Four

Bleeding Cool: What was your favorite season four moment?

Guillén: We're halfway down in the middle of shooting season five now. In season four, I enjoyed "The Night Market" episode, which was just like a mini-movie. We shot at this place called "The Hearn," and it was like a giant movie. We were shooting action, sword fighting, flipping, jumping off balconies, landing on trailers, jumping from car to car, and doing some cool stickwork was a really fun experience for me. I love when I get to challenge myself, play something, and do something that doesn't necessarily come naturally or something that I do every day. To learn a new fighting technique within hours was a good challenge placed upon me and working with our stunt director, Tig [Fong]. We did a great job, so I'm excited and proud of that episode a lot. For a different reason, I'm emotionally more proud of the coming-out episode for Guillermo [in "Pine Barrens"]. Those two would be my best experiences for season four just because one is so action-packed and the other one so heartfelt.

What We Do in the Shadows S04E07 "Pine Barrens" Explores Connections
"WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS" — 'Pine Barrens" — Season 4, Episode 7 (Airs August 16) — Pictured: Harvey Guillén as Guillermo. CR: Russ Martin/FX.

Can you break down Guillermo's growth at a personal level and what it meant to you this season?

It was nice to see where [Guillermo] becomes more proactive about his future and takes initiative in taking the reins because he's been holding off for permission and someone else let him be and live the life or afterlife he's always wanted. He's done with that. It's been 13 years of being a servant, familiar, bodyguard, confidant, and sounding board, like everything to this master that now he's realizing has no intentions of potentially ever making to a vampire. He takes a different road, and so what comes out of that is a better road. Will it be? You will have to tune in and see what the result is.

What We Do in The Shadows: Harvey Guillén on Guillermo's Growth in S4
Kayvan Novak and Harvey Guillen in What We Do in the Shadows. Image courtesy of FX

You go from battling Nandor in "The Night Market" to getting entangled in a pseudo-love triangle. Can you preview Guillermo's relationship going forward in season five?

Like any relationship with time, who you are today is not who you were yesterday and who you will be tomorrow. When we leave them off at the status of the relationship, it doesn't look great, because how would you feel if someone that you devoted a large part of your life to who says they're your friend, confidant, and also in the position to give you everything you ever wanted, but still choose not to? It does a lot of things to your psyche. Last season, Nandor went overboard when he duplicated the only boyfriend that Guillermo has ever had and that fucked with him and his psyche because it really kind of shows he doesn't care about me at all.

"How could you be so selfish? You don't care about me at all. I've never had a boyfriend in my life, and the one time I get one, you destroy and ruin it." That's a toxic relationship, and that's a relationship you either separate yourself and take yourself out of and say, "I love elements of this relationship, but we've got to work on things. I've got to be honest, and this is what I don't like." That can be relatable to anyone in a toxic friendship or relationship. It has hit its boiling point. So what will come from it is the result of all these years and frustration, and we'll see what happens.

Decal's I'm Totally Fine, which also stars Jillian Bell, Natalie Morales, Cyrina Fiallo, Blake Anderson, Karen Maruyama, and Kyle Newacheck is in theaters, digital, and on-demand.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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