‘What We Do In the Shadows’: That Kickball Scene Got Even Rowdier When They Stopped Filming
Kickball is still a raucous set piece for What We Do in the Shadows. The stars and producers spoke about the kickball scene on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel. Kayvan Novak, who plays Nandor, said the cast was throwing more than just the big red ball between takes.
“We were just having mad snowball fights for a lot of it,” Novak said. “I think when we’re outside, I find that as a cast we get more and more hyper. The colder it gets, the more hyperactive we get. And I think it really helped in that scene because we were charging around, kicking these balls.”
The Canadian winter provided the snowballs for the cast. What We Do in the Shadows Executive Producer Paul Simms vouched for the temperature while filming the kickball scene.
“The one thing I think they’ll all tell you is how cold it was, because all the snow in that scene is real,” Simms said. “It was maybe our first exterior of the shoot. And we even delayed it one day because they said that, oh, there’s going to be too much snow; we can’t shoot it. And then we were like, ‘Well, we’re in Canada and it’s winter and so there’s going to be more snow the next day,’ so we did it.”
Although filmed in Toronto, Ontario, What We Do in the Shadows takes place in New York. While Nandor, Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) live in the city, the kickball game occurs on Staten Island.
Kickball is a staple of American middle school physical education classes, therefore grown adults playing it is hilarious, let alone 100-year-old vampires. The playing field is a baseball diamond and the rules are the same. However, instead of whacking a small ball with a bat, players kick a large bouncy ball and run around bases. Pitchers roll the big ball across the field instead of tossing it through the air.
“I mean, I’m a soccer player myself, so I don’t have a problem kicking a ball,” Novak continued. “Running in a circle in the snow, though, my fitness levels are definitely not what they should be. But it was a fun night.”
The rowdiness was not always violent, Harvey Guillén said. The What We Do in the Shadows cast enjoyed some cooperative snow play, too.
“I just remember playing in the snow with Kayvan and everyone and making snowmen kind of stuff and Kayvan getting in trouble because he had a brandnew coat that was tailor-made,” Guillén said. “Then we thought it would be fun to go on the swing and he’s pushing me.”
Guillén was an accomplice in ruining Novak’s What We Do in the Shadows wardrobe, he admitted. They planned a pratfall without thinking about their wardrobe.
“We did a bit where he pushed me and I came back into him and he falls in the snow,” Guillén said. “And the wardrobe department was like, ‘Noooo! Noooo!’ like screaming because it’s, like, a crushed red velvet cape and tailored to Kayvan, brand new. It’s now in the snow, like, completely covered and wet.”
What We Do in the Shadows airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on FX and episodes are available to stream Fridays on Hulu. We’ll have more with the cast of What We Do in the Shadows here on Showbiz Cheat Sheet.