Talking With The Cast Of Sleepy Hollow! Tom Mison! Len Wiseman! Orlando Jones! Katia Winter! And More!by The Lovely Erica on Oct 17, 2013 • 5:12 pm 1 Comment
Welcome to another special edition of TV Heartbeat – the NYCC interviews! In this episode, we sit down with the cast and creators of Sleepy Hollow for plenty of laughs, insights and a few tips about what’s in store for this season.
Easy and relaxed, the cast and creators poke fun at each other throughout the interviews. The actors themselves are in sharp contrast to the serious and earnest characters they play in the show. For example, Tom tells me that they are certainly a tight knit group, but he claims he “doesn’t know anybody’s name.” Yep, while Ichabod is accidentally charming, Tom himself is deliberately playful. (Oh those charming Brits!)
Orlando starts the interview with a clipped British accent which makes Nicole’s jaw drop and threatens to tell on him to Tom. (Orlando checks to see if Tom has noticed.)
It’s obvious that they have a lot of fun once the cameras stop rolling! However, the group does settle down to seriously (and not so seriously) answer some questions.
Quite aware of the need to balance all the elements of this genre mashup, Alex Kurtzman is highly complimentary of Fox which has picked up Sleepy Hollow for a second season. “Fox has been truly, truly great partners with us. We’ve had this crazy stew of a show: apocalypse mythology, demons, witches, the Revolutionary War, two time periods, time travel. Most people would be like ‘Are you out of your mind?’ They’ve encouraged us to push even further.”
That “crazy stew” has hard for Tom to explain to his mother: “I remember talking to my mum when we were shooting the pilot and she asked what we were doing that day. I was telling her about the man with no head chasing me around with an axe and explaining the show and the ideas for the season as a whole and she was just baffled. ‘So do you think you should…do you want to do maybe some more Shakespeare or something?’”
But in Fox’s infinite wisdom, Sleepy Hollow is the first show of the fall season to get a second season renewal. That hasn’t changed anything about how the show is being run. The brain trust does hedge the question about whether they’ve planned 7 seasons to go along with the “7 years of tribulation” that’s prophesized in the show.
All the same, they have specific parameters on where the story is going. Len jokes “We’re going to do an Underworld crossover.” More seriously though, he gives an outline of where the supernatural element is headed: “We’re falling more along the lines of creatures and mythology that parallel Revelations. So we’re trying to stay a bit more with that universe. Sleepy Hollow is like Halloween every week in a sense that we are promising that kind of escapism. We wanted to bring in a lot of characters that we know, whether it’s a sandman or scarecrow, but make sure they are intertwined within our story so it’s not just the creature of the week. But if we do have a sandman, if we do have a scarecrow, if we do have a witch, it’s all tying into, personally, what’s going on with Abbie and Crane. That’s been fun.”
With such scary elements, the writers and cast use comedy to help balance the tone. As Len puts it: “It’s a balance of a scare that ends with a laugh. It’s scary, but it’s fun.”
Tom agrees: “The writers are acutely aware that they can’t write something as audacious as this without supporting it with something funny. It allows us to be very serious about the judgment, the netherworld, the apocalypse. The characters can be very focused and serious on that, but the show as a whole gets the joke and give you a little wink at the end of all our earnestness.”
Orlando chips in with a more graphic explanation: “When I first saw the pilot, I was like ‘Whoa!’ It ends with something I thought was super creepy… The show is scary, but the shocking thing is that it’s funny. It surprises me every time to go from something where a little bit of pee just shot out (just a little bit)…”
After Nicole recovers from that colorful answer, Orlando continues to talk about his switch from comedy to a more serious role: “This show is not a comedy and this role is not comedic. Part of the reason I stopped doing comedies, frankly, is because they became broad comedies and I was always more interested in character-driven, reality-based comedy stuff. I really like when it’s really grounded. So I think that Irving says things that are really kind of funny, but he’s not a funny person.”
When probed for spoilers, the brains behind the show protest and won’t give anything away. Len admits “Not everyone is what they seem. It’s something that we devilishly enjoy creating in having you really like somebody and then put some twists on it.”
Alex chimes in with “I want to know what’s going on with Katrina! Is she good or is she bad?”
When Tom and Katia get the same question, Tom immediately points the finger (literally) at Katia as the person who isn’t as they seem.
She smiles a long-suffering smile back at him. He gestures that she should take the question and she mimes that her lips are sealed. Yeah, they must have fun on set!
Tom remains coy on the subject: “It’s fun second guessing everyone. Even in the pilot, you had John Cho’s character, who you think is a good guy and then instantly is a bad guy, then dies and then in the next episode he’s back. You can’t really trust anything.”
Katia builds on this and voices a defense for someone who may play for the bad guys: “Just because you work for the bad side doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. There can be reasons for why you work the bad.”
Katia hints at some upcoming scenes that give more background on Katrina and Ichabod’s relationship: “There’s definitely going to be more to their back story and why Katrina is trapped — which is quite an interesting twist coming up. I’m looking forward for people to know our history a little bit more. The scenes in the netherworld will have more weight to it.”
Len also promises we’ll learn more about Ichabod’s past: “As we find out what Ichabod is really attached to and what his real mission was during the war. There’s another side of our Ichabod that plays into him being a little bit tougher and we see that mid-way towards the end of this season, what his true mission is. The professor side of him is also tied in with a different twist.”
So looking backwards in Sleepy Hollow will help shed more light on the future. Beyond that, the creators are mum on the future, but Len so enjoys the world of Sleepy Hollow that he plans on directing another episode, but hasn’t figured out which one yet.
Although no one will say whether or not Abbie and Crane’s relationship will develop into anything else (Tom responds with “These wild assumptions!”), Nicole dodges any questions about the chemistry between the characters: “What chemistry? What are you talking about? I still don’t know what this chemistry is! Ask him [Tom]! We have no idea.”
They do talk about how the cast is really listening to the fans as Nicole states the fans “have a lot of interesting questions and ideas. I’m working on the script all the time and I didn’t think about that. They have such great minds it’s great to connect with everybody.”
Orlando builds on that by saying “We don’t own it anymore. The truth of the matter is that it belongs to all of us and that’s the most fun thing about any version of entertainment. The mediums don’t really matter. It’s that we own this together. Your voice is as important as our voice and not shutting that voice out is, for me, what I wanted to do now.”
With that, the cast gets up to head to panel and then they will close the NYCC with a signing for the fans.
For a closer look at some of the funny from the interviews, click on the video below!
Sleepy Hollow airs at 9/8 C Monday nights (with a repeat on Friday) on Fox.
Comment below with your thoughts or email me at Erica@MikeTheFanboy.com
For more adventures, follow me on twitter: @Cambear
Check out the rest of the photos from the Press room and red carpet below!