Does Harvey Guillén From ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Look Familiar?


On a fluffy August afternoon, actor Harvey Guillén splashed out on Staten Island’s grounds. comfortable harbor.

For the past three years, Guillén has lived as a star on a fictional Staten Island. “What We Do in the Shadows” FX’s wacky vampire comedy. But “Shadows” is filmed in Toronto. And Guillén had never before visited the real New York borough he reached by ferry. (One film musical devotee quickly paid tribute. Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl” on the way.) Snug Harbor is a former home for retired sailors and one of Staten Island’s celebrities. most haunted placesseemed like a good place to start.

“It’s really beautiful,” he said.

A local person pointed out a nearby building where a horrific murder was allegedly committed. “What kind of murder?” Guillén asked with a twist, rising like a party balloon.

An effortless sweetness actor, he has inspired shows like “Shadows.” “Wizards” and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” with kindness and deep humanity. (In many episodes of “Shadows,” only human.) What is he like off-screen? Let’s just say I’ve never met a man who deserved a lollipop so quickly.

Still, Guillén spent ten years navigating the rather bizarre worlds of television. So even after learning that the gruesome murder in question really happened, really spooky – a mother killer succeeded with rusty scissors – not impressed for a long time. She walked into the botanical garden of Snug Harbor, a swaying blouse as she left, a silk shirt adorned with roses.

Created by Jemaine Clement and 2014 fake movie, It returns on Thursday with its third season. Already renewed for the fourth. Guillén plays the familiar Guillermo in this tale of semi-perfect vampires unable to enslave America. For a small reward, she cleans their house, bury their corpse, and connects with the 21st century.

“I like being familiar,” Guillermo says in the pilot episode. “This is a very satisfying job. Well, actually calling it work means it pays off.”

Guillermo hopes that his main employer, Nandor (Kayvan Novak), will turn him into a vampire too. Nandor (“Guillermo is familiar to me, but sometimes a little too familiar”), who likes to joke at his own expense, cannot be offended. Yet Guillermo continues to clean and bury, making the world better for those who love him even if they don’t.

Guillén argued that this is a universal experience. “We were all in a job we ignored for promotion; “We’ve all fallen in love with someone from afar.” “We are all Guillermo.”

GuillenThe 31st grew up in and around Southern California, the child of Mexican immigrants. His family moved often and he began performing early.

“I was like a vaudeville show,” he said. “I made friends as the class clown.”

In elementary school, during winter break, she saw a television broadcast of “Annie.” “I want to be like that,” he told his mother. “I want to be an orphan.” His mother told him that these children were not orphans. They were actors. And acting was for rich kids.

Undeterred, Guillén spent weeks collecting empty soda cans, using them until he was able to take an improv class at the local community center. she loved it. “I felt this crackle hearing people laugh,” he said. Collected more boxes.

She acted throughout school, often playing with animals and helpers. He rarely saw anything like him—Latin, chubby—in movies or on TV, which was sometimes discouraging. Worse still, he was a “really troubled” high school teacher who told him he was too weird, too fat, and dark to be a real actor—the teacher suggested a career in community theater instead, because “theatre will be forgiving,” Guillén said. “I just remember being discouraged.”

After a brief stay at the University of Southern Utah—”Everybody there was Mormon and white,” he said—he returned to Southern California, enrolling in a nearby community college. He then went to the American Academy of Music and Drama. Performing Arts College, but left as soon as I got a job doing musicals. Universal Studios Japan. (When he arrived in Osaka, he learned that he would play them in Japanese.) When his contract expired, he worked in educational theater in Los Angeles, then moved to New York and woke up at 5 a.m. to audition for musicals he had never booked.

It didn’t take long. He starred as a series regular in the fat camp comedy in 2010. “Huge.” He watched more television—some great, some not—and eventually Guillén felt comfortable enough to reject roles that he found demeaning, episodes that joked about their size, didn’t name his characters.

“He was like the Fat Man. Or Fat Number Two. The Fat Man Who Gets Punched,” he said. “It was really discouraging.”

One night, at a no-frills wine and cheese party for a friend, he met a woman who told him about a new show. “What Do We Do In The Shadows?” Most of the roles have been played. Not Guillermo.

The character distribution described Guillermo as middle-aged. But Guillén still auditioned. She parted her hair in the middle, wore a sweater vest, and stuck fake glasses up her nose. A casting assistant got it on tape.

Paul Simms, one of the show’s writers and executive producers, saw the tape. Many of the actors who auditioned gave the character a sinister look. But Guillén tried something softer, more vulnerable. “Harvey’s own true personal sweetness came out,” Simms said.

When Guillén arrived on set, he saw that the wardrobe department had prepared Guillermo’s clothes according to auditions. Same with Guillermo’s hair. Even in the pilot, Guillén began to deepen and complicate his character, improvising a moment in which Guillermo brought out his indecision by letting him play over his master’s coffin.

“It adds so much humanity to Guillermo,” the writer and producer said. Gloria Calderon Kellett, a close friend. “She adds so much from her own personal journey and does so much more.”

Although Guillermo was considered a secondary character, the writers threw more lines and scenes at him. It soon became a fan favorite and inspired many Nandor-Guillermo fan art – portmanteau: Nandermo – mostly romantic.

Novak He hung some of this art on his wall. Guillén, who he described as “this kid from LA who jokes in a second,” told him he had made up his own comedy play. “I thought I was funny,” Novak said in a sporadic video call. “But this guy is really funny, always funny.”

Guillén likes to be funny. He likes to make people laugh. But she wants to be and do more. In the second season of “Shadows,” Guillermo discovers that he shares the same DNA with a famous vampire hunter; Guillén petitioned to do his own stunts. The production company hesitated, but clung to its guns, namely its holy water and wooden stakes.

Performed in the season finale an ecstatic fight sequence While he was sick with a fever of 102 degrees. He wanted viewers to know that someone with a body like his could still kick vampire ass.

“He knows he wasn’t just doing this for himself,” Calderon Kellett said. “It needs to crush that because it will open the door to more people in the future.”

Season three finds Guillermo defending himself—sometimes—and daring more colorful sweater vests: Guillermo may never be a vampire, but he claims himself as a man. Guillén never ceased to be assertive, but the role gave him even more confidence. He never saw himself on TV as a child. now he NS on television, he plans to stay there.

“I don’t wait for people’s permission to be comfortable with my body, my weirdness, my brownness,” he said after jetting off a few grands in front of a chapel. another murder site. “It’s okay if you don’t feel comfortable being proud of me.”


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