Harvey Guillén nabbed his What We Do in the Shadows audition thanks to a wine and cheese night

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
Harvey Guillén nabbed his What We Do in the Shadows audition thanks to a wine and cheese night
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Harvey Guillén landed his What We Do in the Shadows audition in the battiest of ways.

While appearing on EW's Brave Warriors panel at Comic-Con alongside Elizabeth Tulloch, Lisette Olivera, and Jacob Batalon, Guillén broke down the bizarre story that led to booking his star-making role on the vampire comedy. While attending a friend's wine and cheese party to meet her new baby, he met a woman made Yvonne, who texted him the next day encouraging him to audition for her fiancé's show, which was Shadows.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: (L-R) Lisette Olivera, Harvey Guillén, Jacob Batalon, and Elizabeth Tulloch speaks onstage at Entertainment Weekly's "Brave Warriors" panel during 2022 Comic-Con International: San Diego at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: (L-R) Lisette Olivera, Harvey Guillén, Jacob Batalon, and Elizabeth Tulloch speaks onstage at Entertainment Weekly's "Brave Warriors" panel during 2022 Comic-Con International: San Diego at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Amy Sussman/Getty Lisette Olivera, Harvey Guillén, Jacob Batalon, and Elizabeth Tulloch at EW's Brave Warriors San Diego Comic-Con 2022 panel

"That's the most Hollywood story ever, like at Schwab's soda fountain trying to get a milkshake and someone's like, 'Do you want to be in Hollywood?'" Guillén joked. "The next day I get a text from an unknown number like, 'Hey it's me,' and I'm like, 'Who's me?' and she's like, 'This is Yvonne. We met last night, and I think you're so effing funny, you should audition for my fiance's new show. It's a TV show, but you got to hurry because they already cast everyone else but this role.'"

Despite being a bit skeptical, Guillén decided to take the audition because he was eager to meet the famed casting director, Allison Jones. It was an unlikely role for him, given the character was 20 years older than him. But he decided to dress for it. "I was like, 'I'm going to look older and look like the character,'" he explained. "I got these Harry Potter glasses and I popped the lenses out and I parted my hair in the middle. The only Guillermo I knew was Guillermo del Toro and there was this drawing of him in his book of monsters with his hair parted down the middle, so I was like, 'That's Guillermo!' And I wore a nasty brown sweater shirt and a long-sleeved orange shirt."

But — twist — Jones wasn't even there. Guillén described the audition as one of the most embarrassing moments of his life, when he accidentally almost walked off with the microphone still attached to his shirt.

“WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS” -- “Reunited” -- Season 4, Episode 1 (Airs July 12) — Pictured: Kayvan Novak as Nandor, Harvey Guillén as Guillermo. CR: Russ Martin: FX
“WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS” -- “Reunited” -- Season 4, Episode 1 (Airs July 12) — Pictured: Kayvan Novak as Nandor, Harvey Guillén as Guillermo. CR: Russ Martin: FX

Russ Martin/FX Kayvan Novak and Harvey Guillén on 'What We Do in the Shadows'

But FX, Jones, and creators Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi unanimously chose Guillén to read opposite lead Kayvan Novak. But Guillén never heard from them and never had that screen test opposite Novak. "On a Sunday afternoon before they started production on a Tuesday, I got a call from Jemaine and Taika, and they were like, 'You're it, see you on set.' I got fitted on Tuesday and was filming on Wednesday."

Guillén said he took it as a lesson to always be open to whatever might come your way. "I was playing by the book for so many years and then I go to a wine and cheese night and it changes my life," he marveled. "Anything's possible."

Related content: