Why ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Season 4 Added Kristen Schaal to Permanent Cast

The FX comedy What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 is midway through the latest adventures of the vampire household. Baby Colin is running amok and the vampire nightclub is thriving. The roommates welcome a new cast member more regularly into the fold, too. What We Do in the Shadows first cast Kristen Schaal as The Guide in season 1 and returned in season 3. Now, the show made her a regular cast member. 

'What We Do in the Shadows' Season 4: Kristen Schaal wears a black robe and black hat as The Guide
Kristen Schaal | Russ Martin/FX

Schaal and writer/executive producers Paul Simms and Stefani Robinson were on a Television Critics Association panel on June 6. They discussed why The Guide became a regular What We Do in the Shadows cast member. What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX, and the following day on Hulu.

‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Wanted Kristen Schaal since season 1

Schaal appeared in a What We Do in the Shadows Season 1 episode that introduced the Vampire Council. In 2019, Schaal was too busy for more appearances. 

“ I think from the first moment she guest-starred in that episode of the first season, it was just a matter of availability,” Simms said. “We loved her from the beginning, and how did we engineer it so that we worked her into the actual series?”

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When the Vampire Council became involved in What We Do in the Shadows stories again, they brought Schaal back.

“I feel like because we knew that we were going to, I think, center more of the stories around the actual vampire council,” Robinson said. “And Kristen had come for specifically that, and her character obviously was very enmeshed in that, it just seemed like a perfect opportunity in a way that made sense without shoehorning it in, and we sort of take it a step further, obviously, this season.”

Kristen Schaal gave ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Season 4 more story

Adding any character to an existing cast opens up new story ideas. For vampires, the possibilities were endless. 

“It’s also just a fun, sort of, general emotional story we’ve talked about for a while,” Simms said. “This group of vampires has been together for 200 years or so, insular and everything, and what happens when there’s an outsider who sort of wants a friend, wants to be part of the group? And they sort of let her in, but they sort of don’t let her in.  I think that was something we emotionally wanted to explore.”

Schaal appreciated the stories What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 wrote for The Guide.

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“That right there was really easy for me to play because I don’t feel like I’m an OG part of the cast,” Schaal said. “Like, I always feel like an outsider. I think, because I love this show too and, in all my years working, there’s only so many times where a cast comes together where everybody is firing on all cylinders, is funny every take, and so just to get to play with these guys for me is just the biggest gift. So I will continue to circle around and fan out and hope I get to do more.”

The Guide and Nadja have a thing too

One of those new corners of story What We Do in the Shadows Season 4 opens up is The Guide and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou)

“Even The Guide’s character is sort of like that with Nadja,” Simms said. “She idolizes Nadja. And you can see in the nightclub episodes that as Nadja starts dressing more extravagantly, The Guide does too and just really wants to be, like, part of the team.”

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