Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Where You've Seen The Cast Of What We Do In The Shadows Before

"What We Do in the Shadows," a hysterical FX series based on Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement's film of the same name, revolves around the daily lives of four vampire roommates living together on Staten Island. Between transforming into bats, dining on randos, dealing with vampire politics, and attending the occasional party, the vamps at the center of the story get pulled into a wide variety of shenanigans, both mundane and fantastic. 

Thanks to the brilliant performances of its ensemble cast, "What We Do in the Shadows" is an irresistible comedy. Every character is a memorable mixture of bizarre quirks and outlandish experiences, from the oldest vampires of the group to the most clueless humans. Their lives are vastly different from our own, what with the whole "immortal creatures of the night" thing, but this talented bunch of actors makes them feel utterly real. To many viewers, some of these performers might also seem strikingly familiar. From comedy specials to procedural dramas, this is where you've seen the cast of "What We Do in the Shadows" before.

Kayvan Novak as Nandor the Relentless

The oldest vampire in the Staten Island house, Nandor the Relentless is 750 years young. Born in present-day Iran in the mid-13th century, Nandor was once a soldier in the Ottoman Empire, which meant doing a lot of killing and pillaging, marrying 37 wives, and rocking fabulous hats. He's something of a control freak, but Nandor protests that he just likes things a certain way — even if that means getting ready for special occasions by sprinkling glitter all over himself, a la Edward Cullen.

Nandor is played by Kayvan Novak, a BAFTA-winning British actor with a vast and varied career. Perhaps most amusingly, Novak once hosted his own prank call show, "Fonejacker," where he prank-called unsuspecting victims from nearby locations. In 2013, Novak appeared as Jake Abbasi on two episodes of "Skins" Season 7. "Doctor Who" fans will recognize his voice as Handles the Cyberman from the episode "The Time of the Doctor," which sees the Eleventh Doctor regenerate. Novak also does quite a bit of voice work, including regular roles as Dr. Loocifer and Isambard King Kong Brunel on "Danger Mouse," Brains and Ned Tedford on "Thunderbirds Are Go," and Fabian Kingsworth and Rex Licardo on "Archer."

Matt Berry as Laszlo Cravensworth

Laszlo Cravensworth is a 300-year-old vampire and Nadja's husband. Married life is anything but dull for Laszlo, who is irrepressibly lascivious. He's also devoted to his many hobbies, including fashion, topiary, filmmaking (of a particularly NSFW bent), and nautical music. He's also a skilled bartender, which comes in handy when Laszlo takes on the persona of Jackie Daytona while living in Pennsylvania.

Like his co-star Kayvan Novak, actor Matt Berry is a BAFTA winner, thanks to his work on "Toast of London." After starting his TV career as a crew member, Berry got work doing sketch comedy on a British video game show called "Game Over." His first major role foreshadowed his work as Laszlo: He played bizarre actor Todd Rivers on the cult favorite horror-comedy "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace." After replacing a series regular on "The Mighty Boosh," Berry played Douglas Reynholm on "The IT Crowd." 

Since then, Berry has enjoyed minor roles in a number of well-loved series, including "The Sarah Silverman Program," "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," "Portlandia," and "Community." Notably, he co-created and starred on his sitcom "Toast of London," which saw him play yet another outlandish actor. Like Laszlo, he also has a musical side: Berry actually wrote the haunting theme music for "Toast of London" himself.

Natasia Demetriou as Nadja

Raised without a surname in the 15th century on a snake-infested Greek island once pillaged by Nandor the Relentless, Nadja survived against all odds ... only to see her mother eaten by a bear. Luckily, after she was transformed into a vampire by the Baron, her prospects improved. Often the smartest person in the room and the only voice of reason, Nadja is skilled in the fine art of throwing shade. She also has a special relationship with her doll, which is possessed by the ghost of her own soul. 

Like the vampire she plays, Natasia Demetriou is a force to be reckoned with as a talented actor, comedian, and screenwriter. She's been especially active in the British comedy scene. Starting in 2018, Demetriou worked with her brother Jamie Demetriou of "Fleabag" fame on "Stath Lets Flats," a sitcom about a leasing agency that earned two BAFTAs. Working with comedian Ellie White, she also co-wrote and starred on the British sketch comedy series "Ellie & Natasia" in 2019. More recently, Demetriou and her brother appeared in the 2020 comedy-musical "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga."

Harvey Guillén as Guillermo de la Cruz

Guillermo de la Cruz, Nandor's hard-working familiar, has dreamed of becoming a bloodsucker ever since he saw Antonio Banderas play Armand in "Interview With A Vampire." But he also inherited the Van Helsing vampire hunter gene. This puts him in a weird spot ... and comes in handy when he needs to defeat the vampire roomies' enemies.

This fierce and friendly killer is brought to life by Harvey Guillén, who's become a familiar face (pun intended) in the sci-fi and fantasy scene. Guillén's first TV role came on "Miss Guided" back in 2008. In 2010, Guillén earned a regular part on teen drama "Huge" as misunderstood Alistair Delgado. Fans of "Raising Hope" will recognize him for his brief role as Elijah, partner of Sabrina's best friend.

Guillén jumped to genre fiction as Cousin Blobbin on superhero series "The Thundermans." He then appeared on the short-lived "Eye Candy," based on the R. L. Stine novel of the same name. Guillén snagged a major role as Benedict Pickwick on "The Magicians" in 2017, shortly before he landed the part of Guillermo. He's also popped up on several other cult favorite series, including "The Owl House," "iZombie," "The Good Place," and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."

Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson

Colin Robinson is a unique sort of vampire: He feeds on others' energy by being annoying in their vicinity. While this might seem less than fearsome, Colin can drain his roommates to the point of exhaustion and even does "quick mega-feeds" at city council meetings. While his flatmates grow to care for him, they tend to exclude him from meetings. But despite his exhausting personality, Colin can be a pretty decent friend.

Before playing deadpan Colin, Mark Proksch trolled local newscasts as K-Strass, a self-described yo-yo master with no actual yo-yo skills. According to Deadspin, K-Strass popped up throughout the Midwest, baffling scores of anchors, hosts, and viewers . In 2010, he gained widespread fame as Nate Nickerson on "The Office." Proksch is also well known to Adult Swim fans as a member of the "On Cinema" universe, which comprises a number of avant-garde comedy web series.  Fans of "Better Call Saul" will also recognize the actor as IT tech and drug supplier Daniel "Pryce" Wormald.

Doug Jones as the Baron

Born around the time of the Norman conquest, Baron Afanas is a Nosferatu-esque vampire supremacist who tries to take over New York. But he also has a lighter side, which leads him to drive toy cars around the supermarket and pose for portraits with the Staten Island vampire family. He meets his long-overdue end at Guillermo's hands, but is ultimately revealed to have survived — albeit as a scorched torso.

The Baron is played by Doug Jones, whose incredible flexibility and gangly proportions have seen him play many mythical creatures. After a number of minor and commercial roles — most prominently McDonald's Mac Tonight mascot — he landed the role of Billy Butcherson in the 1993 Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus." He gained greater fame as Abe Sapien in the "Hellboy" films and the faun in "Pan's Labyrinth." His long collaboration with director Guillermo del Toro reached new heights when he starred as the Amphibian Man in "The Shape of Water." Jones is no stranger to the small screen either: He's a series regular on "Star Trek: Discovery" as Captain Saru.

Kristen Schaal as the Guide

Whenever the Staten Island vamps interact with the Vampiric Council, they have to deal with the Guide. The Guide has been working for the Council since the mid-18th century. She eagerly creates websites, onboards new Councils, manages Ceremony of Judgment stage directions, and offers guided tours of the Vampiric Council artifact collection.

Fans of "What We Do in the Shadows" creator Jemaine Clement might remember Kristen Schaal, who plays the Guide, from her role as obsessed groupie Mel on "Flight of the Conchords." She also served as a commentator on "The Daily Show" for eight years. As a voice actor, she's played bunny-eared Louise Belcher on "Bob's Burgers," code-cracking Mabel Pines on "Gravity Falls," and tragic Sarah Lynn on "BoJack Horseman." As far as recent live-action work goes, she enjoyed a recurring part on "30 Rock" as NBC page Hazel Wassername, and starred as Carol on end-times comedy "The Last Man on Earth." Few actors are as well known to animation fans as they are to comedy enthusiasts, but Schaal has a talent for breaking the mold.

Jake McDorman as Jeff

Poor Nadja is doomed to experience lost love every time she reunites with her multiply-reincarnated beau, Jeff. Though Jeff is reborn over and over again over the course of many centuries, he always ends up getting beheaded by a jealous Laszlo. In the modern day, the ill-fated lover reunites with Nadja once more as Jeff the security guard. Things don't go well.

Playing the oft-headless swain is Jake McDorman, who can usually be found on TV dramas. McDorman appeared on a handful of procedural shows in the 2000s, including "CSI: Miami" and "Cold Case." During this time, he also played the boyfriend of an immuno-compromised teenage girl in the "House" episode "Safe." McDorman has an interesting history with movies and TV shows based on true crime stories: Most notably, he played key roles in "The Craigslist Killer" and "Dopesick." Recent years have seen him land some of his biggest roles yet, including the part of astronaut Alan Shepard on "The Right Stuff."

Haley Joel Osment as Topher

Hired to be Laszlo and Nadja's familiar, Topher has no interest in joining the ranks of the undead. In fact, he likes to get away with doing the bare minimum. But he still manages  to make an impression, to the point that after Topher dies from an accidental electrocution, Nadja and Laszlo revive him. Unfortunately, the shoddy necromancing job leaves the couple stuck with a zombie. It doesn't impact his job performance.

Haley Joel Osment has enjoyed a long and busy acting career that began long before "What We Do in the Shadows" hit the small screen. After appearing in a 1993 Pizza Hut commercial, Osment landed the role of Forrest Junior in "Forrest Gump." He soon topped that by playing Cole Sear in "The Sixth Sense." After enjoying such early stardom, Osment has managed to find plenty of steady work throughout his adult years in a variety of interesting productions. These range from sci-fi saga "Future Man" to tech comedy "Silicon Valley," which saw him play noxious Dr. Stu Camillo and moneyed VR proponent Keenan Feldspar, respectively. Gamers might also recognize him as the voice of Sora and Vanitas from the "Kingdom Hearts" franchise.

Beanie Feldstein as Jenna the LARPer

A student at Staten Island Community College, Jenna is a LARPer who crosses paths with the vampires when Guillermo unsuccessfully attempts to make her the Baron's next virgin feast. Nadja takes pity on Jenna after the other LARPers kick her out of a quest, and decides to turn the girl. At first, Jenna makes an absolutely abysmal vampire, but with Nadja's help, she comes into her own.

Beanie Feldstein, younger sister of actor Jonah Hill, plays this adorable nerd. Feldstein landed a variety of small roles on everything from "Orange is the New Black" to "My Wife and Kids" throughout the 2000s and 2010s. But her career truly took off in 2017 when she played Julie Steffans in Greta Gerwig's acclaimed coming-of-age film "Lady Bird." She followed that up with a starring role as high-achieving Molly in the celebrated 2019 teen comedy "Booksmart." 2021 was an even bigger year for Feldstein: She played the lead role of Brigid in the psychological drama "The Humans" and starred as Monica Lewinsky on "Impeachment: American Crime Story."

Vanessa Bayer as Evie

When Colin Robinson's workplace gets a new hire named Evie Russell, he finally meets his match. Evie is an emotional vampire who subsists off others' pity. While Colin's workplace usually acts as an endlessly refreshed buffet of energy for him to drain, Evie sucks the place dry, leaving him malnourished. Despite an initial showdown, the two end up becoming the ultimate energy vampire power couple — at least until Colin decides the whole thing is too much, even for him.

Evie is played by comedian Vanessa Bayer. Bayer got her big break when she joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 2010. She remained on the series until 2017, during which time she became known for playing characters like child actress Laura Parsons and an underappreciated wife in a very memorable Totino's ad. In addition to her work on "SNL," Bayer has appeared on quite a few comedy shows, including "Drunk History," "Portlandia," "I Think You Should Leave," and "Comedy Bang! Bang!" "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" fans might also recognize Bayer from her recurring role as Officer Debbie Fogle, a corrupt cop who ends up going to prison for her crimes.

Cree Summer as Jan

Jan is the charismatic leader of a vampire aerobics cult Nandor gets caught up in. She's convinced her followers they regain their humanity during the day, to the point that they even eat and drink (followed by profuse vomiting). She's so persuasive, she ends up losing her entire cult after they expose themselves to direct sunlight.

If Jan sounds familiar, there's a good reason: She's played by voice-acting legend Cree Summer. If you've watched cartoons at some point during the last 30 years, you've heard her voice: Summer played Penny on "Inspector Gadget," Elmyra Duff and Mary Melody on "Tiny Toon Adventures," Susie Carmichael on "Rugrats," Luminara Unduli on "Star Wars: Clone Wars," Valerie Gray on "Danny Phantom," and both Beast Girl and Elasti-Girl on "Teen Titans Go!" She's also appeared in her fair share of live-action roles: Gen Xers will likely remember Summer as free-spirited hippie chick Winifred "Freddie" Brooks on "A Different World." More recently, Summer played Lenny on "Better Things" and Dr. Octavia Laurent on "Queen Sugar."

Aida Turturro as Gail

Gail has had an on-again-off-again relationship with Nandor since they first met in the 1980s. After years of rejecting Nandor's offer to make her into a vampire, Gail becomes a werewolf while dating Staten Island Werewolf Support Group member Anton. After she is killed by Nadja in a kickball accident, Nandor turns her, transforming her into a rare werewolf-vampire hybrid.

Gail is played by Aida Turturro, who's best known for playing Tony Soprano's sister Janice on the era-defining HBO series "The Sopranos." Beyond that classic show, Turturro has appeared on a number of TV series, many of them procedurals. She's enjoyed roles on "Law & Order," "Medium," "The Practice," "Nurse Jackie," "Blue Bloods," "ER," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders," just to name a few. In 2013, Turturro landed a particularly memorable recurring role as Judge Felicia Catano on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." In more recent years, she's been busy playing smuggler Heddie Hawkins on "The Blacklist." Fans of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" might also recognize the curly-haired actress as Maura Figgis, the murderous sister of a major mobster.

Jeremy O. Harris as Colby

Manhattan familiar Colby serves 400-year-old child vampires Radinka the Brutal and Dantos the Cruel. When Colby learns how long Guillermo has served as a familiar, he tells him about the Familiars Union and invites him to subscribe to their newsletter. While brief, the encounter serves as a reminder to Guillermo that Nandor is not a very good master. This sets him on the path to eventually becoming the vamp's bodyguard, even though he still can't convince anyone to turn him.

This small role is made memorable by Jeremy O. Harris, who is uniquely able to delve into characters' motivations as an accomplished playwright. Harris is best known for "Slave Play," an engrossing exploration of interracial relationships that won him the Paula Vogel Playwrighting Award and earned a whopping 12 Tony nominations. Harris has also appeared on a few television series, including "Emily in Paris," where he played fashion designer Grégory Elliot Duprée. Recently, Harris played himself on "Gossip Girl," where, according to The New York Times, his subversive interpretation of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus" made such a splash, the real-world Public Theater ended up commissioning it.