Taika Waititi has revealed he turned down Cate Blanchett from starring in an episode of What We Do in the Shadows.
The latest episode of Waititi and Jemaine Clement's What We Do in The Shadows TV adaptation depicted an all-star "reunion" of vampires, featuring multiple actors who have previously played vampires in film and TV.
In the episode, the central trio of Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) make a visit to the vampire council, where they meet the original trio from the 2011 film - Viago (Waititi), Vladislav (Clement) and Deacon (Jonny Brugh).
The rest of the council is filled out by an all-star cast of actors who have played vampires - including Evan Rachel Wood, Tilda Swinton, Paul Reubens, Wesley Snipes and Danny Trejo.
But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Waititi revealed their initial list of actors to reach out to included Australian acting royalty Cate Blanchett - but when they realised she had never played a vampire, Waititi turned her down.
"For some reason, Cate Blanchett was on the list. I think maybe people got confused," he said. "I was like, 'Cate, have you ever played a vampire?' She was like, 'No, but I'd love to.' I was like, 'But you haven't?' 'No.' 'Well then you can't be in the show'."
"She was like, 'What? I want to be in it!' I said, 'But you can't, because you haven't been a vampire. Those are the rules!'"
Executive producer Paul Simms also revealed in the interview that Brad Pitt's representatives were open to the star making an appearance - "but by then we were so full up with vampires, we never really followed up", he said. "Which is kind of rude of us, and maybe a mistake."
What We Do in the Shadows has been renewed for a second season. The series screens in New Zealand on SoHo2 on Thursdays and is also available on Neon.