‘What We Do in the Shadows’ gives ‘lazy’ vampires a home in Staten Island


When you think vampires, you think horror and mystery — OK, even sexy sometimes a la “True Blood.”

“What We Do In the Shadows” shows what a group of vampires do the rest of the time when they’re lounging around in Staten Island.

The new FX comedy, premiering Wednesday (10 p.m.), is based on a 2014 movie of the same name starring Jermaine Clement (“Flight of the Conchords”) and Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) — and plays like an extension of “The Office,” only this time with vampires. The mockumentary follows a trio of undead roommates living in Staten Island and captures the mundane moments of their daily existence — from squabbles over household chores to the difficulties of procuring the blood of virgins.

“I saw the movie when it came out, just as a fan,” says executive producer Paul Simms, who previously worked on “Conchords” with Clement. Simms says even though it’s been five years since the film, the FX series hasn’t been in the works this entire time.

“Jemaine and [Taika Waititi] made the movie, and they were not actively trying to make a show,” he says. “Then [co-executive producer Scott Rudin] said it should be a show. So it’s only been about a year that we’ve been putting it together. I liked the challenge of trying to figure out how to make it a new setting and new vampires, but still maintain the comedy of what the movie was.”The main challenge? Finding vampires who could hold a candle to Clement and Waititi, who co-created and starred in the film but opted not to appear in the FX series (they’re both executive producers). “The vampires are, in their own strange way, immigrants — both to America and immigrants in time, since they’re from a different time but live in the modern time,” says Simms. “We felt like British actors were the right way to go.”

That led to the show’s main trio of Staten Island vampires: Lazlo (Matt Berry, “Toast of London”); Nandor (Kayvan Novak, “Danger Mouse”; and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou, “Stath Lets Flats”). Each plays an aristocratic, Bela Lugosi-type vampire dealing with life in the New York City borough.