Guillermo was raised as a Catholic by his mother Silvia in The Bronx. He first became interested in vampires as a child after seeing Antonio Banderas portray Armand in Interview with a Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. This was Guillermo’s first time seeing a Hispanic vampire in popular culture and Guillermo cosplayed as Armand.
He worked at Panera Bread until 2009, when he became Nandor’s familiar in the hope of one day being turned into a vampire. He moved into Nandor's residence in Staten Island with the vampire couple Laszlo and Nadja and the energy vampire Colin Robinson. Nandor worked Guillermo tirelessly and Guillermo considered himself to be a slave, having to stay awake during the day to lure and dispose of victims and at night to serve the vampires.
Shortly after the documentary crew arrived, Nandor received a letter from Baron Afanas, a ferocious member of vampire royalty, saying that he will visit them soon. In preparation, Nandor asked Guillermo to bring over virgins for a feast. Guillermo invited two LARPers, Jenna and Jonathan, and pretended all the vampires in the house were also role players. Afanas was brought in a stone coffin to the vampires’ attic. As soon as he emerged, he ate Laszlo and Nadja’s familiar, June, making Guillermo nervous. The Baron lamented the vampires not having taken over New York, and threatened them with death if they did not do so by the time he reawakened. Colin then drained the energy of the virgins before the other vampires could eat them.
Later that night, Nandor and Guillermo mused over the tenth anniversary of Guillermo’s servitude. Guillermo prepared to be transformed into a vampire, but Nandor instead rewarded him with a portrait of them both made from glitter. As Nandor returned to his coffin, Guillermo considered exposing the sunlight, but changed his mind.
Guillermo brought the vampires to the LARPers again, but after watching them, the vampires decided that they would taste “too sad”. Nadja felt sorry for Jenna as the other members kept ignoring her, and Nadja turned her into a vampire.
Laszlo caught a werewolf, Arjan, in a trap in his garden. The vampires brought the unconscious werewolf inside and Guillermo nervously bandaged his leg. Arjan reverted back to human form and leapt out of the window. His pack later arrived with him and urinated all over the garden, causing a feud with the vampires. Nandor broke up a fight in their front yard and insisted they follow the rules of the truce laid out in the Staten Island Lycanthrope Vampire Agreement of 1993. In accordance with the rules, he as the strongest vampire fought against the strongest werewolf of the group, Toby, on the roof of an abandoned store. Nandor won the battle by throwing a squeaky bone toy off the roof, which Toby leapt after. The vampires flew away from the scene, leaving a frightened Guillermo behind. The werewolves however left him alone to look after Toby.
Reconsidering their plan to take over New York, the vampires decided to meet with Simon the Devious, the leader of the Manhattan vampires and owner of a popular vampire nightclub The Sassy Cat Club. There, Guillermo went into the familiars room and realised that the other familiars were also poorly treated. Guillermo was then intimidated by another vampire and Nandor did a sloppy job of defending him. Fed up, Guillermo left the club. Nandor met with Simon and he only agreed to join forces if Laszlo handed over his witch skin hat. Laszlo eventually agreed, and Simon went back on his word and kicked the roommates out of the club. Nandor found Guillermo outside and apologised, making up for it by carrying Guillermo while flying over Manhattan, only to accidentally drop him onto a food truck. The vampires visited him in hospital and Nandor told Guillermo he was a friend, before getting embarrassed and making Guillermo forget he said that. Laszlo retrieved his hat from an unconscious Simon at the hospital, and caused Guillermo to flatline every time he put it on.
While attempting to eat Phil, the vampires’ new neighbour, Laszlo entered his window in bat form only to be beaten unconscious with a broom by Phil’s girlfriend. As Nandor, Colin and Guillermo planned to get him out, Staten Island Animal Control arrived and took a caged Laszlo to their shelter. Nandor failed to hypnotise the animal control workers into freeing him, so he tried two other methods of infiltrating the holding room: flying into the window as a bat, which only resulted in him accidentally freeing the wrong bat, and transforming into a dog so he could get taken in, which left him trapped in a cage himself. Nandor and Laszlo were only freed when Guillermo called Nadja for help; she hypnotised the receptionist, Bobby, into letting her in.
Colin sensed angry energy from the attic and realised Afanas was finally awakening. Nandor sent Guillermo to bring him red roses. The Baron requested to have a ‘night on the town’ with Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja. The vampires became intoxicated from drinking the blood of drunken and drugged humans. They just about arrived back at the flat as dawn approached, only for Afanas to burn to death in the sunlight when Guillermo opened the front door with the flowers.
The following night, the vampires buried Afanas in the topiary garden, with no memory of how he was killed. A floating woman arrived and informed the group that they were to be put on trial under the Vampiric Council for their crimes. She led the group to the Temple of Blood-Devourers and made Guillermo wait in the familiars lounge until he was called to testify. The other familiars shared their experiences and admitted they knew very few familiars who became vampires. When Guillermo was called in to testify, he confessed to the murder and the vampires did not believe him as they thought he was either incapable of killing a vampire or lying to protect Nandor. As the council contemplated eating Guillermo, an idea which Nadja agreed with, Nandor confessed to the crime to keep Guillermo safe. The three vampires were sentenced to be killed by being locked in a well and slowly exposed to sunlight. Guillermo was left to escape the underground temple on his own and he accidentally impaled a vampire assistant, Ludwig, on an LED lamp holder after scaring him with his cross. When Guillermo reached the surface, he found Colin, who saved the vampires by shielding the well from the sunlight with a beach umbrella. Guillermo freed the vampires by smuggling them out in a box while they were in bat form.
When Nandor finally realised that his homeland of Al Quolanudar no longer existed, he felt lost and depressed. Guillermo suggested he finish applying for American citizenship and tried to help him revise for the test. While doing this, Guillermo discovered that Jenna was now a vampire and was infuriated that she was transformed before him. Nandor later failed the citizenship test and could not physically recite the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. He bemoaned his failure, causing Guillermo to snap and tell him to stop complaining because he was a vampire. Nandor felt better hearing this and declared himself to be a proud vampire who didn’t need citizenship, failing to realise Guillermo’s hint.
The vampires were asked to host the Bi-Annual Vampire Orgy. Laszlo and Nadja ordered Guillermo to act as a ceiling mirror and organise their sex toys, causing him to become frustrated and storm to his room. Nandor tried to make him feel better by pretending to listen to his problems. The two went shopping for supplies and Guillermo bumped into Jeremy, his friend since high school. Nandor became attracted to Jeremy’s perceived virginity and chronic nosebleed problem and requested Jeremy come to the orgy. Desperate to become a vampire and having already exhausted the town’s supply of virgins, Guillermo invited Jeremy to the “party”. Jeremy arrived and Guillermo hid in his room. Guillermo felt more and more guilty and began to have a panic attack. He ran to save Jeremy as Nadja was about to unveil him to the vampires, only to witness Jeremy having sex with another vampire, Constantin. Disappointed, all the vampire guests left, leaving Jeremy safe.
Guillermo began to feel more lonely and more like a "Renfield" than an Armand. Guillermo sent the DNA of himself and the other vampires to be tested for their ancestry. Laszlo and Nadja refused to look at their results, while Colin discovered that he was 100% white. Guillermo’s test revealed himself to be mostly Mestizo, but also 3.12% Dutch as a descendent of the legendary vampire hunter Van Helsing. Having killed two vampires already, Guillermo began to wonder if his destiny was really to be a vampire hunter and kept his test results a secret from the vampires. Laszlo asked Guillermo to get garden stakes to support his new topiary design and berated Guillermo for their resemblance to wooden stakes.
Nandor discovered he had 200,000 direct living descendants, one of which being a childless woman named Madelaine Darbish living on Staten Island. Despite being warned not to by Colin and Guillermo, Nandor flew up to her window to greet her, not realising she was 94 years old. Madelaine screamed and dropped dead at the sight. The vampires attended her funeral in a church and Nandor began to burn at the religious surroundings. Guillermo tried to extinguish the flames, but accidentally threw holy water at him, worsening his injuries. An angry Nandor extended Guillermo’s servitude by a whole year. As Nandor slept, Guillermo contemplated using the wooden stakes and then threw them across the room in disgust. To Guillermo’s horror, the stakes pierced the nearby portraits of Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja.
During the months leading up to the documentary crew returning, the Vampiric Council sent ten vampire assassins to the Staten Island residence to try to kill the residing vampires. Guillermo successfully killed all of them, sometimes effortlessly, and kept all the killings hidden from his roommates so that they would not suspect his vampire hunter heritage. However, the stress of constantly defending his master took its toll on Guillermo, which worsened when Laszlo and Nadja took on a lazy and unbothered new familiar named Topher. Topher’s charm made the vampires treat him more favourably than Guillermo.
One night, Topher allowed two more vampire assassins to enter the home. After dealing with them, Guillermo scolded Topher in the yard and advised him to stay away from the nearby koi pond due to the electrical short from the heater. Topher attempted to reset the heater but was electrocuted and instantly killed. The vampires took Topher’s corpse to Wallace, a necromancer, who agreed to bring him back. Wallace carried out the ritual and brought him back to consciousness, but when Topher returned to the house it became increasingly clear that he was a zombie. Guillermo tried to warn the vampires but they laughed off his concerns. Topher eventually attacked Guillermo and tried to drown him in the koi pond, but Nandor rescued him. Upon realising Topher couldn’t die, Nandor finally realised he was a zombie, and Guillermo expressed gratitude for Nandor saving him.
When several objects became misplaced and vandalised around the house, Laszlo and Nandor initially blamed Guillermo until Nadja correctly asserted that they had a ghost infestation. Guillermo helped his roommates hold several séances to bring the ghosts of Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja’s human forms back. Nadja allowed her ghost to secretly stay in the house and possess a doll to remain hidden, although Guillermo eventually found out.
On the night of the 2020 Superbowl, Guillermo joined a meeting for the small Mosquito Collectors of the Tri-State Area club to look for virgins. The group turned out to be vampire hunters who were delighted to finally have a new member in their group. One member, Shanice, claimed to be the only one who has actually seen a vampire and sadly explained how she witnessed her college roommate turn into a vampire and disappear from her life. Guillermo realised she was talking about Jenna and was reduced to tears when admitting to the camera crew that he never stopped to think about the loved ones of the vampire victims. The group then encouraged Guillermo to join them for crossbow practice, which he turned out to be amazing at. A flustered Guillermo made his excuses and left the meeting early.
Guillermo decided to continue meeting the Mosquito Collectors in order to infiltrate the group. At the second meeting, the members discussed the house which Shanice believed to be one of the last known locations of Jenna and left in a van to slay the residents inside. Believing the house to be his residence, Guillermo called home in a hushed voice warning them that they will be killed. The vampires, under the impression that they were cursed from a chain email Nandor discovered that night, assumed Guillermo’s voice was that of Bloody Mary and panicked. The club arrived at the house, which turned out to be a completely different home, much to Guillermo’s relief. The group snuck in, split up and discovered multiple sleeping residents, who suddenly awoke and revealed themselves to be vampires. Guillermo fought them off, killing several of them, and rescued Shanice, Claude and Tonya, but was unable to save Derek, who was taken by the vampires. The group drove away in the van in a state of shock. Upon returning home, his roommates were terrified when they heard him knock on the door and were relieved to see him again as it meant their "curse" had been lifted. Nandor blamed Guillermo for his ordeal since he supplied the laptop, but asked him to stay by his coffin for a while in case anyone tried to kill him.
Nadja finally discovered that Nandor destroyed her village when she found a painting of the scene in the house. She flew into a rage and tried to kill Nandor while Colin, already drunk on power from a recent promotion at his workplace, feasted on their energy. Colin used his powers to keep the vampires aggravated and Nandor, Nadja and Laszlo continued to argue with each other until they became too weak, also draining Guillermo in the process. Nandor contemplated eating Guillermo, but did not have the strength. The vampires aged rapidly and begged for mercy from Colin, but he rejected it, claiming that they never treated him as a friend. Colin then multiplied himself, creating two more copies, and declared them to be his new friends, but they became embedded in a boring discussion and fed off each other’s energy for sixty-three minutes until they all bored themselves to death. Colin’s roommates recovered and dragged the Colins’ bodies into the yard for a burial. After they gave a heartfelt eulogy, the original Colin suddenly awakened, admitting that he pretended to be dead in order to hear it. His clones remained dead and Guillermo buried them.
Guillermo ended up burying so many human victims in the front yard that sinkholes started to emerge. One night, while the residents tried to locate each one, a vampire named Jim suddenly appeared. Guillermo hid and Nandor suggested Jim eat Guillermo, much to his annoyance, but Jim was interested in Laszlo instead for not paying back the rent on his beach house one hundred and sixty-seven years ago. Laszlo ran away and did not return for several weeks until the feud was resolved.
When Nadja discovered a poorly Simon living in the sewers of Staten Island with his supposed only remaining companions Carol and Count Rapula, she invited him to stay at her home. Carol was immediately intimidating towards Guillermo and all the vampires assumed she wanted to eat him. However when the two were later alone, she finally spoke and correctly accused him of being a slayer of vampires. She attacked him and Guillermo defended himself with a broken broom, impaling and killing her. Her body immediately turned into ash and Nandor arrived at the scene to investigate the sounds. He saw the dust and Guillermo broke down, admitting that he accidentally killed her, leaving Nandor shocked and suspicious. Nandor insisted they keep the incident a secret to protect them both and Guillermo “dusted” Carol’s remains away. Simon assumed that she had simply ran away. Guillermo, along with his roommates, later refused to help Simon when he stole back Laszlo’s hat and began to drown in sewer water as a result of the hat’s curse.
Benjy, an elderly former familiar who was abandoned and had his memory wiped by Nandor, returned to the Staten Island household, saying his memories returned and he was ready to become a vampire. Guillermo discovered that Celeste, a familiar he knew who served the vampire Houston, had been turned into a vampire and was recruiting multiple familiars and promising to turn them within eight months. Guillermo was so upset at Nandor’s treatment of Benjy that he left to serve Celeste. Guillermo moved into Celeste’s luxury apartment while Houston was away on a trip. Meanwhile, Benjy struggled to serve Nandor due to his old age. Nandor tried to convince Guillermo to return but was unsuccessful, however when Houston returned home early, Celeste admitted she was only pretending to be a vampire. Houston and her vampire friends attacked the familiars and Guillermo fled with Sam, a cat familiar. Nandor found Guillermo outside and took him back, agreeing to grant Guillermo more respect and more days off. Nandor secretly turned Benjy into a vampire and had Guillermo drop him off at a rest stop.
Guillermo began to receive one day a week off, and contemplated getting a part-time job. One night, Nandor and Laszlo were both kidnapped by a coven of witches. Guillermo drove after them with Nadja and Colin to their hideout, an aromatherapy store in Brooklyn. The three were captured and locked in a strange room covered in doors, but Guillermo managed to find the one leading to the exit. They arrived in the room where Nandor and Laszlo were held, with the witches intending to take the vampires’ semen using dangerous surgical tools for their magic. Guillermo offered to sell the witches Nandor and Laszlo’s semen on a regular basis, so that the vampires would be unharmed and the witches would have an endless supply. The witches agreed to this and freed their captives.
Despite his recent fortunes, Guillermo became too distracted by his vampire hunter heritage and left the house without warning. He moved back to Silvia's apartment while the vampires struggled to manage without him. Silvia's fridge broke, so he snuck back into the Staten Island house to retrieve the mini-fridge he gained from Topher. He returned to the house, finding only Nadja’s ghost, who told him they were at the Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires. Guillermo saw the invite and realised it was a trap laid by the Vampiric Council. He armed himself and headed to the theatre, hiding above the stage as his masters, who had been blamed for every single vampire Guillermo had killed, were about to be executed. He swung down and killed most of the attendees, saving the vampires and revealing his hunting skills.
- He shares traits with Deacon's familiar Jackie for both of them seek to become a vampire. She successfully became one by Nick, while Guillermo has not yet accomplished his goal.
- Guillermo has chosen the title “Guillermo the Great” for if he was ever to become a vampire.
- Guillermo is a talented baker.
- He and Jeremy were bullied at school.
- He does not like to “kiss and tell”.
Behind the Scenes
- Guillermo's first name is a reference to Guillermo del Toro, a fellow Mexican and the director of vampire films Blade II and Cronos.
- Guillermo’s surname, de la Cruz, is revealed in “Ancestry” during the scene where he checks his DNA results. His full name therefore translates to “Protector of The Cross”, another indication that he may become a vampire hunter.
- When asked about Guillermo's sexuality, Harvey Guillén stated, "I can certainly say that identify him as queer because he always has borderline homoerotic moments with his master". This has also been alluded to in the show in episode 4 of season 3, in which he is asked about any possible romantic relationships. Guillermo grows flustered when Nadja inquires about a possible boyfriend, in response, Guillermo says that his family keeps"private life" private and comes close to confirming his sexuality before he's cut off by the wedding party.
- The character of Guillermo was originally intended to be middle-aged, but the producers changed this when casting Harvey Guillén.
- What We Do in the Shadows (TV series)
- "City Council"
- "Werewolf Feud"
- "Manhattan Night Club"
- "Animal Control"
- "Baron's Night Out"
- "The Trial"
- "The Orgy"
- "Brain Scramblies"
- "The Curse"
- "Colin's Promotion"
- "On the Run"
- "The Return"
- "Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires"
- Sawyer, Marika (writer) & Woliner, Jason (director) (May 22, 2019). "The Orgy". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 9. FX.
- Sawyer, Marika (writer) & Newacheck, Kyle (director) (April 15, 2020). "Resurrection". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 11. FX.
- Johnson, Sam & Marcil, Chris (writers) & Gorskaya, Yana (director) (May 27, 2020). "Collaboration". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 18. FX.
- Meny, William (writer) & Newacheck, Kyle (director) (June 3, 2020). "Witches". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 19. FX.
- Clement, Jemaine, Robinson, Stefani, Scharpling, Tom and Simms, Paul (writers) & Waititi, Taika (director) (May 29, 2019). "Ancestry". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 10. FX.
- Johnson, Sam, Robinson, Stefani & Simms, Paul (writers) & Newacheck, Kyle (director) (June 10, 2020). "Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 20. FX.
- Clement, Jemaine (writer) & Waititi, Taika (director) (March 27, 2019). "Pilot". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 1. FX.
- Simms, Paul (writer) & Clement, Jemaine (director) (April 3, 2019). "City Council". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 2. FX.
- Lieb, Josh (writer) & Clement, Jemaine (director) (April 10, 2019). "Werewolf Feud". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 4. FX.
- Scharpling, Tom (writer) & Clement, Jemaine (director) (April 17, 2019). "Manhattan Night Club". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 3. FX.
- Sarkies, Duncan (writer) & van Beek, Jackie (director) (April 24, 2019). "Animal Control". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 5. FX.
- Morris, Iain (writer) & van Beek, Jackie (director) (May 1, 2019). "Baron's Night Out". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 6. FX.
- Clement, Jemaine (writer) & Waititi, Taika (director) (May 8, 2019). "The Trial". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 7. FX.
- Robinson, Stefani (writer) & Woliner, Jason (director) (May 15, 2019). "Citizenship". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 8. FX.
- Simms, Paul (writer) & Newacheck, Kyle (director) (April 15, 2020). "Ghosts". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 12. FX.
- Bender, Jake & Dunn, Zach (writers) & Newacheck, Kyle (director) (April 22, 2020). "Brain Scramblies". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 13. FX.
- Naftalis, Sarah (writer) & Johnson, Liza (director) (April 29, 2020). "The Curse". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 14. FX.
- Gohd, Shana (writer) & Clement, Jemaine (director) (May 6, 2020). "Colin's Promotion". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 15. FX.
- Robinson, Stefani (writer) & Gorskaya, Yana (director) (May 13, 2020). "On the Run". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 16. FX.
- Clement, Jemaine (writer & director) (May 20, 2020). "The Return". What We Do in the Shadows. Episode 17. FX.
- "Harvey Guillén Is the Queer, Human Heart of What We Do in the Shadows" - Advocate
- "Before The Shadows: Mark Hamill The Sequel" - YouTube