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Harvey Guillén Talks Bringing Guillermo to Life in What We Do in the Shadows

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What We Do in the Shadows is one of the best comedies on TV and Guillermo, played by out actor Harvey Guillén,  is the show’s beating, still-living heart.

Season three of FX’s hit comedy series premiered last night, and Variety sat down with star Harvey Guillén about his role as the human familiar on the show.

Guillén said that he got to help shape the character into someone that felt real. “It was a great honor to create the character from the floor up,” Guillén said. “Guillermo was 20 years older when I auditioned for him. He didn’t have a last name. And I gave him his last name De la Cruz by asking, ‘Can I give him a last name? I feel like he’s not whole if he doesn’t have a last name.’

So when we got a view of Guillermo’s home life in season two, it meant a lot to Guillen to make it as authentic as possible. “I have people who reached out who said, ‘That felt like I was talking to my mom.’ He said, ‘Amá,’” Guillén told Variety. “Even the smallest thing like when you call your mother amá, an endearing way of saying mother. You wouldn’t know that unless you yourself have lived that. To have somebody say, ‘Whoa, I felt like I was in a living room of somebody I know,’ that means a lot to me, even down to the buñuelos.”

“We can say it until we’re blue in the face: representation does matter,” Guillén continued. “When you see yourself on screen, you feel validated, you feel seen. And for so long, I didn’t see those family storylines. I didn’t see a brown, round, and proud — as I like to call myself — kid on screen.”

The beloved actor also teased a little bit about what we can expect for Guillermo in season three. “I can say one thing for sure: Everyone has their limits,” he said. “Everyone can be pushed to the limit until they can’t take any more. And I think that you will see that this season with Guillermo.”

What We Do in the Shadows airs new episodes on FX on Thursdays at 10pm and the next day on FX on Hulu.

RELATED | How Comedy Helped Harvey Guillén Find His Tribe

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