What We Do in the Shadows is kicking off its fifth season from a unique position, as FX renewed the series for both Seasons 5 and 6 in 2022, ensuring that we’ll get at least another season of antics from Staten Island’s beloved bumbling vampires. And the potential for the series to stretch beyond that is massive. As star Kristen Schaal explains to Consequence, “I think this is one of the most unique shows to ever come along for an actor. Writers, producers, directors — everybody I talk to on the show doesn’t want to leave it. because it has the ability to kind of be whatever it wants.”
For the cast, there’s a comfort that comes with their relative job security. “It’s nice to know what’s coming up in your life if you can, as much as possible,” notes Natasia Demetriou, who plays the long-lived Nadja. “Because if you don’t know [if the show’s been renewed], there’s always a chance you’re like, ‘Bye then, this is it.’ It’s very comforting to be like, ‘Oh, I did a really bad job in that episode. Well, I’ve got 10 more coming up.'”
“It does help you relax and have fun, instead of over-think every single moment you’re acting,” says Mark Proksch, who plays energy vampire Colin Robinson.
Yet while the security of knowing that at least one more season is confirmed is a benefit, what clearly excites the cast about the prospect of additional seasons is the show’s capacity for change. “We’re living in this tandem reality of ‘vampires can exist’ and anything can happen and everything is sort of on the table,” Schaal says. “The comedy can be completely irreverent, which is so refreshing, and our characters can become smoke. Our characters have lived forever. Our characters could morph. You know, you could cut [to] a hundred years [later] and we’d still be alive. You could do a flashback episode 2000 years ago, we might still be alive. It’s a playground for the most creative ideas imaginable.”
Demetriou notes that the writers’ devotion to creating new scenarios for these characters “maybe is a little bit why the show has managed to continue, because they reinvent everything so much. I think it’s quite purposeful for the writers to be like, ‘Right, let’s completely change it up. Let’s emphasize this element of a character. Let’s put the spotlight on this relationship.'”
Schaal only recently became a series regular, after recurring on the show for several seasons, but says that even when only coming in part-time, “I know that when I go to work or get invited to come play with everybody, that I will be doing something that I’ve never done before. I won’t be like, ‘Oh, this scene again. How do I make this different from the last time I ordered coffee and a thing?’ No, it’s like, ‘You’re going to be talking to a demon. You’re going to be flying over here. You’re going to be making a new soul come to life. It’s just so fun.”
After Schaal says this, I ask her co-star Harvey Guillén how he feels about the experience. “It’s all right,” he replies with a perfect deadpan.