It took three seasons, but What We Do In The Shadows is finally spoofing the Twilight franchise—specifically, the infamous baseball game from the first movie. Tonight’s episode, titled “Gail,” sees Nandor (Kayvan Novak) taking up with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, played by The Sopranos’ Aida Turturro. Despite Nandor’s devotion, Gail has been sleeping with his mortal enemy—a werewolf. When Gail’s lovers find out about each other, they settle things the way all supernatural creatures do (presumably): with a game of kickball.
This love triangle between a human, a vampire, and a werewolfmakes Gail the Bella Swan of WWDITS. But Turturro told The A.V. Club that when the part was offered to her, she was drawn to Gail’s confidence. “I don’t usually walk around feeling great or sexy. Who does?” Turturro asks, before quickly answering that Gail does. “I loved channeling that. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s the one stringing the vampire and werewolf along.” Turturro’s right that Gail’s hardly helpless. By episode’s end, she’s become both a werewolf and a vampire, and still unwilling to commit to either of her boyfriends. In one of Turturro’s favorite scenes, Gail turns down Nandor’s marriage proposal. “I love that she basically just says ‘Maybe another time,’ and moves along. It’s interesting and hysterical,” the actor tells The A.V. Club.
Turturro caught up on WWDITS after accepting the part, quickly becoming a big fan of the show. “We filmed in the middle of the pandemic up in Canada. I had to quarantine for two weeks, which is funny because I worked on it just for a few days. But I knew I had to it to be part of the show.” The actor says she liked the role because of the WWDITS’ inherent humor. “It’s so brilliant. Besides the great writing, it comes from character development. Each of the actors have developed wonderfully intricate characters that are so different from each other. I was there for just one episode, but even I got to play a full-formed personality.”
In the episode, Laszlo (Matt Berry) constantly jokes that Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) doesn’t like Gail at all. Before Gail’s introduced, facts about her character are sprinkled through, such as her affinity for strawberry yogurt. She even gives a shout-out to her Thursday night routine of watching Grey’s Anatomy. Turturro says these little details influenced her performance, including her interactions with Demetriou onscreen. “You always have to take into consideration anything written about the person you’re playing, and who is saying it, so you can dissect it best.” She adds that the cast and crew made it easy to fit into the bizarre world of the show. “It’s not everyday you get to have sex with Nandor,” she jokes, before adding: “Kayvan is a generous, honest co-actor. I felt like I was working with all of them for years, it was effortless. When I did The Sopranos, we felt like a family. It was just like that here.”
Turturro played Tony Soprano’s older sister Janice on the acclaimed HBO drama for five seasons. She is also known for her work in shows like ER, Law & Order: SVU, and The Blacklist. The actor says she loves comedy but hasn’t gotten many opportunities to work in the genre. “I grew up with improv. I love improv. I haven’t done it as much on TV yet,” she says. It’s one of the reasons she wanted to be part of WWDITS once she watched it. “In the scene where Gail falls down once the ball hits her, the guys are just sitting above her and they kept going on and on after the script dialogue was done. Their improv was so funny, I was laughing internally.” Turturro thoroughly enjoyed the bizarre jokes and personality traits that come with playing a werewolf, even as stunt doubles were used in the scene of Gail’s transformation.
Now that Nandor has transformed Gail into some sort of vampire-werewolf hybrid, Turturro’s interested in exploring what her character might look like. “It’s weird and not logical when you’re playing these creatures, to think about how they might feel. It’s a lot fun.” She says while there’s no pressure to bring her back, she’d love to return. “I’m not just saying it because it was a job. When you’re in the company of quality, everything becomes easier. You know when you really like something, you get all goopy about it? That’s me. And when’s the next time I’m going to get to play a vampire, anyway?”