What We Do in the Shadows has attracted many brilliant guest stars over the years, with beloved actors such as Mark Hamill, Dave Bautista and Benedict Wong bringing their comedic talents to the supernatural mockumentary show. However, some of the best celebrity cameos have come from performers paying homage to their previous roles, resulting in one of the smartest gags on the show. In a season 1 episode “Trial,” Nandor, Laszlo and Nadia are brought to trial by the Vampire Council – it turns out that these are five actors who have played vampires in films and television.
Notable fanged faces include Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive), Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn), Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood), Paul Reubens (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) . “) and Wesley Snipes (from the Blade film franchise). The Board names “Tom” and “Brad” (Cruise and Pitt, both from Interview with the Vampire) and “Kiefer” (Sutherland, from The Lost Boys), reinforcing the idea that in the world of What We Do in the Shadows, every actor who has ever played a vampire is actually a vampire.
In a clever mix of fact and fiction, each actor is styled after their former role – for example, Swinton has long gray hair like her character Eve in Only Lovers Left Alive. Jemaine Clement said Entertainment Weekly that Swinton directly inspired the idea when Only Lovers Left Left Alive and the original What We Do in the Shadows screened at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival.