Vampires and gardening don’t seem to share much in common — but don’t tell that to British comedian Natasia Demetriou.
Demetriou, who stars as Nadja in FX’s vampire mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows,” is also co-hosting “The Big Flower Fight,” a reality competition series premiering May 18 on Netflix.
“It is a bit bizarre, isn’t it? It’s a funny combination and it’s very weird,” says Demetriou of her two competing shows. “The only crossover is that Matt Berry’s [‘Shadows] character, Laszlo, had a topiary garden in Season 1. So that’s the only similarity I can think of that has to do with sculpting plants.”
“The Big Flower Fight,” co-hosted by British comedian Vic Reeves, follows teams of sculptors, florists and garden designers as they undertake competitions involving constructing elaborate garden sculptures. In one challenge, for instance, they must make a giant insect sculpture using chicken wire and various plants. The ultimate prize is exposure, since the winning team will display their sculpture at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
Demetriou says she didn’t know much about the art of garden sculpting before agreeing to appear on “The Big Flower Fight.”
“I feel like it’s a very new sort of niche thing they’ve tapped into,” she says. “Obviously everyone knows about gardening and plants — but I had no idea the scale of what the show would be like, and how big and amazing everything would be. I didn’t think it was possible for two people to cut some grass and some chicken wire and then turn it into a giant orangutan, or whatever it was they were doing that week.”
It also marks her first time hosting a reality show.
“I was a bit wary …but Vic Reeves is a very successful, beloved comedian in the UK and I grew up watching him and loving him,” she says. “TV presenting is not so easy. I’ve only done stuff where it’s scripted, so everything you say is pre-decided. Or if you’re improvising, there’s a scenario that you’re in that’s been thought up — whereas when it’s just you, and you accidentally say something like, ‘Oh look, that flower is red!,’ you’re like, ‘Well, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever said’ and now it’s in the show!”
Demetriou filmed her FX and Netflix shows back to back, barely stopping to breathe.
“It was insane … I finished the flower show on a Friday [in October], then I packed and said goodbye to my family on Saturday and Sunday, then flew to Canada [where ‘Shadow’ films] on a Monday,” she says. “I was very tired … but in many ways it was quite similar, because in ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ … You’re not pretending that someone is filming you.’”
Demetriou teases a few Season 2 developments on “Shadows” — including new witches and Nadja singing with her husband, Laszlo (Kayvan Novack) — and says she had no idea her two shows would end up airing simultaneously.
“I hope people aren’t like, ‘Jesus Christ, everywhere I look, there she is!,’” she says. “But I feel like these are the sorts of shows where if you want to watch them, they’re your cup of tea — and if you don’t, you probably won’t.”
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