Stefani Robinson Talks ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ And Vampires
If you haven’t seen the season finale yet of What We Do In the Shadows, there are no spoilers here. It’s a twist you didn’t see coming. I caught up with Stefani Robinson to talk about working in the writers room of Atlanta and how she joined Taika Waititi for his new fun show What We Do in The Shadows. The show is dark and funny and it’s about vampires. Nadja, Laszlo, Nandor the Relentless, and Colin Robinson are four vampire roommates living together in Staten Island and they do vampire things, turning into bats and drinking blood and human life forces!
It’s delicious and funny and a mashup of all things watchable. I caught up with co-executive producer and writer Stefani Robinson to talk about her newest adventure.
What’s your first memory of wanting to be on TV or in a movie?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be in the movie Spy Kids really badly. I think I thought most of their cool gadgets were probably real and that was very exciting to me at the time.
You worked in an agency before you got into writing. How much did that prepare you for what you’re doing?
I think working at an agency prepared me in many different ways. I think the biggest thing it prepared me for was dealing with different personalities. You get exposed to all types working at an agency. I learned how to manage different sets of expectations and temperaments, which helps as I jump from writers room to writers room.
Talk about the experience of Atlanta‘s writing room.
The Atlanta writers room is great. It’s definitely less traditional than most rooms I’ve been in, but I think that’s where the magic of the show comes from. I think a large part of the show is autobiographical in some way, so there’s a heaviness to the writing process there. But I think more of the room is spent making each other laugh.
What We Do in the Shadows is so much fun. How did that happen?
Paul Simms, a good friend and executive producer on Atlanta, is also the showrunner of What We Do in the Shadows. They were looking for writers, and I let him know that I was a huge fan of the movie and of Jemaine and Taika. Ultimately, I was lucky enough to be asked to join the show.
Were you always a horror fan?
I’ve always been a fan of horror, but even more specifically, I’ve always been a fan of vampires. They’re my favorite monsters. I remember watching Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula movie as a kid… I loved it. I was way too young to have been watching it at the time.
I love that it’s so silly and just so much fun. How much fun is it for you to write these characters?
It’s very fun to write for these characters! They have such distinct voices and personalities that get stuck in your head. The actors are also such great people, and we’ve all become friends. And writing for your friends is a rare but rewarding thing. You’re very excited to try to make them laugh and to write to their strengths.
Talk about working with someone like Taika.
Working with Jemaine and Taika is so much fun. They’ve known each other for a very long time, and they make the work feel like theatre camp or something. They’re so funny and silly.
Do you ever wonder “How will we pull it off?”
I often wondered if we would pull a lot of this season off. This show has so many stunts and special effects on top of all the silliness. There were many cold nights on set at four in the morning where things felt very tricky; We have actors attached to cranes flying all over the place, spewing blood, and in the rain, and ultimately it all needs to be funny. But we always managed to pull it off.
There’s so much potential for the vampires. Will we be treated to a season 2?
Yes, there will be a season 2!