What We Do in the Shadows is nothing if not inventive and the show’s fourth episode, titled “The Night Market,” is exactly that, and more.
The episode sees vampire housemates Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Baby Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) and familiar-turned-bodyguard Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) visiting a Night Market, a secret location only the supernatural creatures of Staten Island know about.
They head to the Night Market so Nadja can find a special item to make a bargain with the Wraiths from the local Vampiric Council, who are unhappy with the way they are being treated at Nadja’s nightclub.
What viewers may not expect, though, is for Nandor and Guillermo to end up in a battle to the death after coming across an underground fight club, where familiars go up against one another at their master’s command.
Actors Novak and Guillén spoke to Newsweek about filming the scene, which the latter called his favorite of the new season.
Kayvan Novak and Harvey Guillén Break Down Night Market Fight in ‘What We Do in the Shadows’
“The Night Market” was filmed in The Hearn, a decommissioned electrical generating station in Toronto that Novak and Guillén spent much of the interview trying to remember the name of.
It is said to be one of Toronto’s most haunted places, at least that’s what the actors said after Novak successfully found the location on Google, and so it seems like an apt spot to use for an episode of a vampire comedy show.
When asked about filming together on the episode, and in particular what it was like to act out another fight scene between Nandor and Guillermo, Guillén told Newsweek: “[It was] so fun, I think the Night Market is one of my favorite episodes.
“It was the middle of winter, we’re shooting somewhere, like, what was that thing called Kayvan?”
To which Novak responded: “Not the Hub, the jig? It was one syllable, the big f***ing cold structure in the middle of Toronto.” He later Googled the location and told his co-star that it was called The Hearn.
Guillén explained that the fight scene was a “big monster” of a shoot because it took several days to complete, with the actors and extras fighting off the cold to complete filming for the scene.
“It was freezing, but it was the middle winter. That was so fun to do, all the stunt stuff, and [to] learn more about Guillermo and some of the new, you know, skills he picked up in London,” Guillén shared.
“Which is a conversation that we had [on set] because […] he’s never picked up a sword before in a fight and so it was like, ‘Oh, well, he was away for a year, he might have, you know, done some training in London.’ So we justified it that way.”
The scene, at first, sees Guillermo defeat several familiars, but when he refuses to give a killing blow the vampires demand that he go up against one of their own in a fight to the death.
In a bid to save his friend, Nandor steps up to fight against Guillermo instead, and while he promises only to pretend to kill him, the vampire and bodyguard end up in a rather tense battle, complete with sword-fighting and backflips.
“Then Kayvan [was] picking me up shouting ‘I think I killed my friend!’” Guillén said of the way the scene evolved. “Those chants were not in the script, like, Kayvan was the one who started that chant and then everyone in all the background started chanting that, and then they kept on [doing it].
“But it was so fun to shoot, I think we shot that scene in, like, two to three days, it was a big monster to shoot.”
Novak added to his co-star’s answer by heaping praise on the actors that were in the scene with them, saying: “Shout out to all the background actors in that scene, because they were there the whole [time], I think four or five days almost. They’re just giving it like 1,000 percent in sub-zero conditions.”
Guillén said: “Yeah, it was really cold, and then we had an actual subway train inside [The Hearn].
“It looked really cool and, if you look closely, it looks like we’re in a subway in Staten Island and like a regular, you know, tube, and it was all brought in just for that event and it was so cool.
“And, then, even the details, like even the creatures, and the fairies, and the sparks from someone just sharpening knives and whatnot. That was probably one of the coolest sets we have this season, for sure.”
He said: “I think, actually, one of the most interesting ones is probably the most visually elaborate and big scale, and expensive, episodes we’ve ever done, where the vampires go to a supernatural Night Market, which is where all the supernatural creatures gather and barter and trade with each other.
“It’s really an ‘I can’t believe it’ set, when you see it, the scope and the scale of it. And it’s a very funny [episode], but it’s our biggest […] movie-like story yet and [it] was hard to do.
“But, for the fans who like seeing other other supernatural creatures and other aspects of the world, the supernatural world, that exists just beneath the surface of the regular world we live in, it’s going to be very exciting.”
What We Do in the Shadows airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX, and episodes are available to stream the next day on Hulu.
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