Mark Proksch says he enjoys it when fans of his outlandish vampire comedy, What We Do in the Shadows, watch the episodes multiple times to get every chuckle out of them.
“To have a show that people even want to see twice is so rare in this day and age,” Proksch told UPI in a recent video interview.
“It’s because we are not a drama with a couple of jokes in it. We are just a hard comedy and we don’t take ourselves very seriously at all. We’re not trying to teach a lesson. We’re not trying to get people to think in any way. I think that has a model for long-term success.”
Created by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, the half-hour show is about a group of ancient, bickering vampire roommates and their caretaker surviving in contemporary Staten Island. Season 3 debuts Thursday on FX.
Proksch thinks Colin Robinson, the energy vampire-office drone he plays, is the most relatable character on the show, since most viewers probably know at least one boring, frustrating person who seems to drain the life forces out of others.
Proksch likens Colin to his previous roles — Price on Better Call Saul and Nate from The Office — noting they are “subtle, dry” characters surrounded by and forced to react to more colorful personalities.
He joked that if he ever pens his autobiography, he could call it They Dressed Me in Pleats or Forever in Beige because of the funny, unassuming characters he typically plays.
The actor hopes the return of Shadows will offer a little joy to those who have been suffering through the coronavirus pandemic and various other hardships that are causing stress and division.
“Usually, when you put out a TV show, it’s just to get people to watch it and, so, it can stay on the air and you are proud of it,” Proksch said.
“I tend to choose stuff that I actually want to do. But, in this instance, it definitely has that extra layer on top of really making people laugh and be happy during an awful, awful time in the history of the world.”
Harvey Guillen, who plays Guillermo, the undead group’s kind-hearted and underappreciated human helper, said he also loves offering some levity when things are bleak.
“Times are dark, and we don’t know what the future holds, but one thing we do need is an escape and entertainment and to laugh,” Guillen told UPI in a separate chat.
“People still constantly tweet that they rewatch it every weekend because it makes them laugh.”
Kayvan Novak, who plays vampire Nandor the Relentless, also likes hearing from viewers who understand, appreciate and find comfort in the show’s over-the-top humor.
“My job is to make the audience laugh and make the audience care and make the audience come back for more. That’s all that I can strive for and aim for,” Novak said.
Season 2 of Shadows ended spectacularly with Guillermo revealing himself as a vampire killing machine to protect Nandor, Colin, Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Berry).
Season 3 finds Guillermo imprisoned by his friends who can’t decide whether to execute him for slaying other members of their species or let him go back to serving their every whim.
The group also is shocked to learn its members have been put in charge of a prestigious vampire council, since Guillermo has killed everyone else.
Guillermo’s newly discovered powers give him an edge. He literally could do anything he wants, even leave or murder the vampires who have been abusing him, but he selflessly chooses to stay and support them.
“His loyalty lies with his chosen family, which is this group of [expletives],” Guillen laughed.
“They mistreat him so much, but, at the end of the day, he is loyal. He is a friend. He knows that, deep down inside, Nandor does care for him. He has to believe that. Otherwise, he would have walked out that door. The second he stops believing that or feels that he’s not on his side — then things might change.”
Season 3 will reveal whether Nandor, Colin, Nadja and Laszlo will get their acts together and rise to the occasion to be worthy members of the vampire council.
“They get this new responsibility, but they are so consumed with one-upmanship with each other,” Novak said. “They never really have time to enjoy it because they are always looking over their shoulders. It is like the promotion from hell.”