Mark Proksch, showrunner Paul Simms, and finale co-writer Sam Johnson spoke to IndieWire about setting up the destiny — and face — of their “Shadows” star.
[Editor’s Note: The following interview contains spoilers for “What We Do in the Shadows” Season 3, Episode 10, “The Portrait.”]
Final week, tragedy struck “What We Do within the Shadows,” however hope springs — or crawls — everlasting. After the ghastly dying of Colin Robinson in Season 3’s penultimate episode, the finale reveals that the bespectacled power vampire lives on, within the haunting new type of a toddler — although whether or not or not “Child Colin” is identical creature he as soon as was stays to be seen.
“A giant a part of the season we’re taking pictures now, Season 4, is about, ‘Is he going to inevitably develop as much as be an power vampire?’” showrunner, govt producer, and finale co-writer Paul Simms stated in an interview with IndieWire. “Is he going to develop as much as be precisely what he was earlier than? Or is there an opportunity he can keep away from that destiny and mature into one thing model new that’s perhaps not an energy-draining kind?’”
“We don’t know if he’ll be the identical man — and I don’t know that, as of but,” Mark Proksch stated. “It’s fascinating. It poses some type of psychological problem, after I come again in character kind [and have to figure out] what that can be.”
Whereas Simms, Proksch, and co-executive producer (and finale co-writer) Sam Johnson had been all cautious to not spoil what’s forward, the trio did supply a number of telling particulars in regards to the Season 3 finale, creature results, and behind-the-scenes intel, together with a really particular “Child Colin” present that’s confirmed too disturbing to show. The next dialog has been flippantly edited for concision and readability.
First issues first, what ought to we name this new iteration of Colin?
Paul Simms, showrunner: Within the script we name him — or it — Child Colin. However a giant a part of the season we’re taking pictures now, Season 4, is about, “Is he going to inevitably develop as much as be an power vampire? Is he going to develop as much as be precisely what he was earlier than? Or is there an opportunity he can keep away from that destiny and mature into one thing model new that’s perhaps not an energy-draining kind?”
Russ Martin / FX
What drove the concept for Colin’s journey this yr, form of pushing him into this new kind?
Paul: Properly, a part of it was our discussions within the writers’ room after we had been making an attempt to determine how he turned an power vampire. Was he born an power vampire? Was he was an power vampire? We had countless debates about it and will by no means choose any remaining backstory. Then we realized, ‘Properly, let’s make that what’s occurring with Colin himself.’ He doesn’t know the way he took place. That’s what led him on the search this season.
The opposite [part] constructed into that was eager to see Colin and Laszlo type of turn out to be buddies. However that’s so implausible — that such an annoying character and such an annoy-able character can be buddies — that there needed to be a very good purpose for it, which we type of secretly laid in by way of the entire season. It was very satisfying to listen to folks on-line midway by way of the season going, “This doesn’t make any sense. Laszlo would by no means be buddies with Colin. Why is he being so good to him? Why is he hanging out with him?” It was very satisfying understanding that we really had a real purpose for it, and it was all motivated.
Mark, how did you study this season’s plan for Colin? Have been you briefed earlier than the season began, or discovering out script by script?
Mark Proksch: Properly, due to the pandemic this yr, we didn’t do our conventional desk learn schedule. We learn all of them, for essentially the most half, earlier than we even began filming. [But] it wasn’t till a pair hours after I learn the episode the place I died, that my boss, Paul Simms, determined to achieve out to me and let me know that I wasn’t killed off.
Mark: That’s how I came upon. However I imply, I knew I wasn’t killed off. [I knew] they most likely had one thing nice in thoughts. A present like that is as near a cartoon as you will get with reside motion. Something can occur on our present as a result of it’s supernatural-esque, however that’s how I came upon.
Paul: I initially had this megalomaniacal fantasy of letting Mark shoot the entire season with out him understanding that his character was going to die, and solely telling Matt Barry the key that [Laszlo, his character] knew [Colin was going to die on his 100th birthday]. However over the course of three days, we had desk reads with all of the actors of all of the scripts collectively, and I noticed we couldn’t actually hold it a secret from Mark. Then when the scripts went out, I used to be like, “Oh shit, I actually need to name him and simply let him know that he’s not being written off the present and say that he’s going to have a really uncommon Season 4.”
However the first viewers for every episode is the actors themselves. We’ve spent a lot time writing it. One of the vital enjoyable elements is once they all learn it collectively and uncover what’s taking place. I did need to keep that shock, no less than for these 5 folks.
Russ Martin / FX
So after you came upon the plan, Mark, did you deal with filming Episode 9 as a goodbye to Colin? Or such as you’d get to play him once more subsequent yr?
Mark: We don’t know if he’ll be the identical man — and I don’t know that, as of but. It’s fascinating. It poses some type of psychological problem, after I come again in character kind [and have to figure out] what that can be. I believe that’s about all I can say.
Paul: We went by way of a variety of variations of his dying in Episode 9. One factor we actually wished to clarify, since we’ve seen Colin faux his dying earlier than, is that there’s received to be one thing ugly that makes [the audience] go, “Wow, he’s actually useless.” That’s how we got here up with Nandor principally tapping him on the top and it exploding like a pumpkin full of brain goo.
As a lot of a great shock because it was, I did really feel unhealthy later within the week after I was studying a number of the folks on Twitter who had been like, “How might they do that to us? That is too unhappy.”
OK, sure, discuss to me in regards to the mind goo.
Sam Johnson, Co-EP and Author: what’s cool about that? The prosthetics folks right here at this present, [led by prosthetics designer] Paul Jones, made a head that may collapse, however it additionally springs again collectively. You might do a number of takes with it. It wasn’t like a one shot “break of a flower pot” form of head. He constructed it after which crammed it with slime, which is sourced from North Carolina or one thing, proper subsequent door from the blood folks.
Mark: It’s all left over from “Double Dare” — the Eighties model, too. It has an odor.
Paul: However even in enhancing, as many occasions as I used to be watching it, I can’t inform the purpose at which Mark’s actual physique will get swapped out for the faux physique, which I believed was cool.
Mark: However can also be turning into an actual concern for my profession.
Russ Martin / FX
I hope you bought to no less than hold the top.
Mark: I did, however Paul Jones made me a miniature forged of my child head as a magnet. My spouse doesn’t permit me to place it wherever.
I do know it may be onerous to get an early take a look at episodes, so have you ever been in a position to see the ultimate model of Child Colin?
Mark: I noticed an early results reduce that Paul despatched me. Aside from that, I haven’t seen the completed model, not but.
Paul: The early model he noticed was a mix of three puppeteers in inexperienced physique fits working the newborn, which had a stand-in head. We wished actual Mark’s head on there, digitally, [but] I believe there was a variety of backwards and forwards about how massive the top ought to be. At one level, it appeared too massive, then it appeared too small. And we wished the correct quantity of moist, drippy, glistening goo on him.
Sam: There are a variety of conversations about, “Is the goo inexperienced or is there blood in it? What’s the colour of the goo inside Colin Robinson?”
Why is Child Colin holding Huge Colin’s glasses? This little factor crawled out of him after which grabbed the glasses off his face?
Paul: In some model, we had the newborn carrying the glasses and it appeared simply too corny or one thing. However I believe it’s like that kids’s ebook, “Are You My Mother.” [pauses] I don’t know, man. It’s an inexpressible emotional connection from whence he got here or one thing. Boy, that’ll sound loopy.
Mark: It’s “2001!” It’s the ape throwing the bone!
Paul: Sure, use that reply. That’s a greater reply.
OK, final thing: Colin stated his father was “actually dynamic and outgoing, form of a RuPaul kind.” Viago (Taika Waititi) warns his assistant to not document over “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” after which Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) downloads all of the seasons for Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) earlier than her journey to England. Why do vampires love “RuPaul’s Drag Race”?
Paul: That was an ad-lib from Mark that simply appeared humorous. However then Taika additionally simply ad-libbed that when he was doing it, after which we added that the tape had been taped over. Then with Nadja, we thought, “Properly, for those who had been going someplace to a brand new job, and also you’d heard that the boss at your new job actually likes RuPaul, after all, you’re going to look at each season of RuPaul to get caught up.” It’s Nadja being a sensible skilled businesswoman, I believe. […] Additionally, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is simply cool.
“What We Do within the Shadows” Seasons 1-3 can be found to stream by way of FX on Hulu. FX has already renewed the collection for Season 4.
https://www.indiewire.com/2021/10/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-colin-robinson-mark-proksch-interview-season-3-finale-1234675199/ | What We Do within the Shadows: Mark Proksch on Colin Robinson’s Season 3