What We Do In the Shadows' latest episode featured several high-profile cameos, including some that could be considered franchise crossovers. After familiar Guillermo accidentally kills the Baron Afanas (Doug Jones), by bursting through the front doors at dawn while the ancient demon was dancing in the foyer after wild night out, things get sticky. Luckily for Guillermo, though, Nando, Nadja, and Laszlo are high from sucking on the blood of some ravers.
When the trio sees the Baron’s burnt corpse downstairs, they can’t remember if they killed him or not, and because Guillermo is Guillermo, no one even thinks to suspect him. They attempt to bury him in secret, but the Baron’s familiar sees them and it’s not long before they’re all facing the Vampiric Council to answer for Afanas’ murder. (It’s worth mentioning that when given his “last drink” as part of the burial rite, Afanas’ eyes do open, so it’s possible he’s going the way of the King of Mississippi and rotting alive underground until someone finds him.)
But speaking of True Blood, the real point of this episode is handful of brilliantly meta cameos that make up the Vampiric Council. Not only do Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, and Jonny Brugh reprise their roles from the original film, other prominent actors from vampire franchises also appear - as themselves. The show's conceit is that many of the actors who've played vampires in the past, are, in fact, actual vampires. So, which of your favorite actors are actually blood-sucking demons? Read on to find out.
Dave Bautista: Bautista doesn't actually play a version of himself, but he's too important not to include on this list. Drax's alter-ego makes an appearance as Garrett, a vampire falsely accused of turning a baby into a vampire and leaving it in the Bronx nearly a century before. The trio encounter him while waiting for their trial and it's especially awkward considering Laszlo's actually responsible for turning the kid and dumping him uptown.
Kristen Schaal: Schaal also isn't playing herself, but her presence as council messenger and general coordinator is an unforgettable callback to her time on Clement's HBO series, Flight of the Conchords. Just as her character on Conchords was a stalker, Schaal as the council messenger who sends 500 ravens to the trio's manse after the Baron's death.
Paul Reubens: After creating and starring in Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Reubens also starred in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer as vampire villain Lothos' number two Amilyn. Like the rest of the council, he's made up to look like his former character, and considering that movie dropped over 25 years ago, it's an impressive feat (even with facial hair).
Danny Trejo: Trejo's turn as a vamp came in Quentin Tarantino's cult horror flick From Dusk Till Dawn. In it, he plays the vampire Razor Charlie, who, along with the Baron, fell victim to the deadly combination of sunlight and open doors. Trejo would also go on to star in the season 2 premiere of the From Dusk Till Dawn series, but not as a vampire. Clearly a move designed to quiet suspicion surrounding his true nature.
Evan Rachel Wood: Wood played Queen of Louisiana, Sophie-Ann LeClerq on True Blood. She was glamorous, intelligent, cutthroat and... broke. During her tenure on the show, it was revealed that she was selling her own blood as V to humans (and purchasing a few scratch-offs here and there) in order to pay off her debts and get the IRS off her back. That storyline alone makes her a natural to appear on What We Do in the Shadows.
Wesley Snipes (via Skype): In the episode Snipes is introduced as a daywalker because of his nature as half-human/half-vampire. He's by far the least popular member of the council given his popularization of vampire hunting in the Blade movies. In an hilarious contrast to his film character, his Skype connection keeps cutting out, resulting in him constantly interrupting the ceremony.
Tilda Swinton: Inducted into vampire club in 2014 after her role as Eve in Jim Jarmusch's The Only Lovers Left Alive, Swinton serves as the leader of the council and presides over the trial. Her presence along with Waititi's and Dave Bautista's makes this a bit of an MCU reunion as well as a What We Do In the Shadows reunion.
If you're wondering about other famous former vampire players, the What We Do In The Shadows episode name drops some absent council members as well, including Tom (Cruise) and Brad (Pitt), Rob (Pattinson) and Kiefer (Sutherland).