Veronika Slowikowska On ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ And The Toronto Comedy Scene

Veronika Slowikowska is one of the exciting emerging talents currently populating Toronto’s comedy scene.

The Barrie-born performer has recently had her talents recognised with a starring role on FX’s What We Do In The Shadows. Based on Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s feature film of the same name, the show is a documentary-style look into the daily lives of four vampires who’ve “lived” together for hundreds of years in State Island. Veronika plays the role of Shanice, the nerdy and awkward roommate of Jenna (played by Lady Bird’s Beanie Feldstein).

Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge caught up with Veronika for a quick chat about her recent work.

Q: I’m a sucker for the film version of ‘What We Do In The Shadows’. How exciting was it to be part of this TV continuation of Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement’s vision?

A: I’m also a huge fan of the movie, so I was excited just to even audition. It was seriously a dream come true.

Q: I’m a big fan of ‘The Office’, ‘The Thick Of It’ and anything by Chris Lilley. What was it like being part of a mockumentary?

A: Yes! I also love Chris Lilley, The Office, and right before I auditioned I binged American Vandal. Breaking of the fourth wall is the most fun. Being able to look at the camera and treat it as a character was a whole new layer as an actor.

Q: This is an exciting cast that includes British favourites Kayvan Novak (‘Four Lions’) and Matt Berry (‘The IT Crowd’). What was the atmosphere like on set with all these comedy figures around?

A: I’m a big Matt Berry fan. I love Toast of London. It was a lot of pretending I didn’t know who they were but being in total awe. They’re all just people at the end of the day…super talented, hilarious people.

Q: Could you relate to Shanice in any way?

A: For sure. I’m a total nerd!

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Q: You recently performed at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival with your troupe, My Chemical Bromance. Can you tell us about your troupe and what it is like to be part of the Toronto comedy scene at the moment?

A: Wow yes! So My Chemical Bromance is an all female, musical triad. We dress up as geeky theatre boys who claim to improvise their entire set when in actuality everything is totally planned. Lots of terrible British accents, smoking fake cigars and dance numbers.

The Toronto comedy scene is freakin’ amazing! I kind of love how we’re far enough from New York or LA that no one has the pressure of getting on SNL or moving to Hollywood. We all put on stuff that makes us laugh and if something happens, then it happens. I find the comedy here is very POV and genuine. There’s a great “alt” (hate that term but whatever) scene coming up and you’ll be seeing some new Canadian faces on the rise.

Q: Speaking of My Chemical Bromance, you’ve released a trailer for your brand-new web series, A Boy’s Memoir. Can you talk about the series and your vision for it? If I’m right, you play musical buff Lucas James Danforth?

A: Yeah! It’s this heartfelt, high school, under dog, low fi series! We hope to get a loyal audience who will enjoy the show as much as we love working on it. Check out our trailer on Facebook/YouTube at A Boy’s Memoir!

Q: If you could have any person join My Chemical Bromance, who would it be and why?

A: Kyle Mooney! He’s hilarious and captures character’s insecurities so well.

Q: We often see comedians take sharp turns into dramatic roles. Is that something that might interest you one day?

A: Absolutely. I think most comedic actors are more than capable of dramatic roles, they just get type cast.

Q: What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

A: Good question! I just want to work. Work on stuff I’m proud of! Also write more of my own stuff, that feels good.

Title photo by Connory Ballantyne

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