Some may consider many of the stars of the “Real Housewives” to be monstrous, but in creating his 2019 mockumentary horror-comedy series “What We Do in the Shadows” for FX, Hollywood multi-hyphenate Jemaine Clement decided to turn the cameras on some actual monsters in the same vein as the Bravo franchise. Based on the 2014 film of the same name, the show chronicles the daily goings-on of centuries-old vampires who live together in a disheveled Staten Island estate. Executive producer Paul Simms told a New York Comic-Con audience, “We liked the idea that these vampires had maybe 200 years ago been sent to conquer America, but they’d sort of lost their way.” Along with the “Real Housewives,” some other unlikely sources provided Jemaine and his team inspo for the series. Rotten Tomatoes reports, “On the non-vampire side of things, they looked at the Metallica documentary ‘Some Kind of Monster’ and the classic ‘Grey Gardens’ to tackle roommate dysfunction and life in a dilapidated mansion.” It all adds up to a hilarious take on the bloodsucker genre.
While set in Staten Island, no part of the show is actually filmed there. The “What We Do in the Shadows” pilot was lensed in Los Angeles in early 2018 and, then, once the series got picked up, the production moved some 2,500 miles east to Toronto. The transition created a bit of a complication when it came to the show’s central location – the dimly-lit manse that serves as the lair of Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak) and his fellow vampires, Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Berry), Nadja of Antipaxos (Natasia Demetriou) and Colin Robertson (Mark Proksch), as well as their Familiar, Guillermo de la Cruz (Harvey Guillén).
In truth, three different sites are used to portray the spooky estate, the most recognizable of which is a towering three-story dwelling located in South Pasadena. Known as the Torrance-Childs House, the looming structure can be found on a sleepy suburban corner at 929 Buena Vista St. (Please remember this is a private home. Do not trespass or bother the residents or the property in any way.)