‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Prosthetics Designer on Creating Guillermo’s Hellish Hybrids

[This interview was conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike authorization.]

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for What We Do in the Shadows, Season 5, Episode 7, “Hybrid Creatures.”]

When it comes to What We Do in the Shadows, fans may believe they’ve seen it all, but Season 5’s episode, “Hybrid Creatures,” certainly proved them wrong, as several startling creatures taking after Guillermo’s (Harvey Guillén) likeness were unveiled.

Part of Laszlo’s (Matt Berry) experiments testing Guillermo’s slow transformation into a vampire, viewers got a peek at what happens when you mix his DNA with frogs, rats, sheep, dogs, and more in the installment, and TV Insider was on set in November 2022 to see some of these creations in person.

Paul Jones Behind the Scenes of 'What We Do in the Shadows'

(Credit: Russ Martin/FX)

While some hybrids involved actual actors, others were crafted by the show’s prosthetics designer, Paul Jones, whose other TV credits include shows like The Boys and Star Trek: Discovery. “These are little frogs that we have,” he pointed out to us alongside other visiting reporters at the Toronto-based set as the little frogs resembling Guillermo rested in a waterless tank. The little frogs were rigged to green-screen-covered tubes that connected to fixtures that allowed puppeteers to mimic “croaky movements,” Jones noted.

“We have about four other animals as well,” he’d noted at the time. Capturing these creatures was quite a feat as he notes “it was a pretty intense [episode],” to shoot, “but it was really good.”

Guillermo Frog hybrid from 'What We Do in the Shadows' Season 5

(Credit: Russ Martin/FX)

While on set, Jones also pulled out the tadpole, lovingly (or horrifyingly) referred to as Binky, holding up the creature with Guillermo’s face, he said, “We had two versions. This was for popping up in a net and we actually did a scan of Harvey’s face. So this is actually his face just with gills.” The other puppet, Jones revealed, “was rigged so it could actually go underwater and it could swim and his tail would flip around. So we shot a whole swimming scene.”

When we asked Jones if this is the most effect-heavy episode, he said, “Definitely the most effects-heavy.” He noted that “this block has been relatively easy” otherwise.

As fans who tuned in would recognize, these hybrids, particularly the frogs, sported Guillermo’s signature hairdo. Jones shared the resemblance was almost taken a step further as he said, “They’ve all got Guillermo hair of course, and we were so close to giving them Guillermo glasses as well, but we couldn’t justify it.”

Even without the glasses, we’d recognize Guillermo’s face anywhere, even as hybrids now being housed at a Staten Island elderly home. What did you think of the hybrids? Let us know in the comments section, below, and don’t miss more of What We Do in the Shadows as Season 5 continues on FX.

What We Do in the Shadows, Season 5, Thursdays, 10/9c, FX (next day on Hulu)


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