Despite What We Do in the Shadows making it to four seasons on FX, Matt Berry had no idea how popular the show is until he made a recent trip to Los Angeles. The British actor, who plays the perpetually horny Laszlo Cravensworth, has been in the UK for most of the pandemic and filming for the FX series takes place in Canada, which left Berry completely unaware that WWDITS became a hit in the States.
“It’s moderately successful in the U.K., to put it kind of politely,” Berry told Polygon before revealing how his Los Angeles trip opened his eyes to the show’s popularity thanks to fans yelling Laszlo’s catchphrase at him:
“When I went [to LA], it’s like, Oh, sh*t, this is quite a thing,” Berry said. “There’s billboards everywhere. You know, people shout on the street and that kind of thing.
“It’s either ‘Bat!’ or ‘Laszlo!’ Mostly ‘Bat!’”
The “Bat!” line has become one of Lazlo’s most fan-favorite quirks — the vampire character yells it whenever he transforms into a bat — and, like most of the show, it was completely improvised. During a recent interview, Berry couldn’t quite place the first time he said it, but he does remember needing a quick way to end a scene with frequent screen partner Natasia Demetriou, who plays his vampire wife Nadja.
“It was just a kind of signifier,” Berry told Polygon. “It’s always funny if someone says the thing that they’re going to do. That’s probably why I said it.”
“I remember almost dying with laughter,” Demetriou added. “It wasn’t in the script.”