If you've been watching "Sleepy Hollow" from the beginning, then you have loved the tale of the Headless Horsemen featuring Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and his partner, police lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie). Only this time, the two are now Witnesses -- those who are destined to stop the apocalypse and protect the world from the forces of hell.
But admittedly, Season 2 has taken a sharp turn into even darker territory -- and the series' rabid fan base aren't happy. The marital issues between Ichabod and Katrina (Katia Winter) are one thing but throw in their son, Henry (John Noble) and it's become the Crane Family Drama Hour.
Hawley (Matt Barr) was introduced as a recurring player and he's been a decent addition but at what cost? We've seen little of Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) and, sadly, even less of Frank Irving (Orlando Jones), though at least he returned from the dead. His intentions, however good or evil, are still unknown. But, hey, if we get more Frank, you'll hear no complaints from me.
So while many have been less than thrilled with the direction the show has taken its sophomore year, Mison promises that everyone will be pleased with the shift it takes in the final five episodes of the season. The accomplished theatre actor spoke to reporters an hour before he was due to head back home to London and discussed his character tackling karaoke, if Ichabod will ever put on another pair of jeans and how he hopes Nicole loves him as much as he loves her -- though his love for Matt might be greater.
What did you think when you were told you were going to do karaoke
[Laughs] Well, I smacked myself 'round the face because that was something I joked about a long, long, long time ago with Heather Regnier, who wrote this next episode. And she called my bluff and actually wrote it in. So I cursed myself, I cursed Heather Regnier, and got to picking what I thought would be a decent song for Ichabod. She allowed me to choose, which was very kind of her.
Will Ichabod ever put on another pair of jeans?
[Laughs] I don't know. We've tried them. We tried the skinny jeans in Season 1, I think. And [in "Pittura Infamante"] he wore a normal pair of trousers. In fact, I've just realized, both those episodes were written by Melissa Blake. She's probably determined to get me in a decent pair of trousers and I think Ichabod just finds them too uncomfortable. He needs room to breathe, if you know what I mean [laughs].
Katrina and Ichabod's relationship has been so up and down lately. Where do you see them in your mind right now and what can you tease about their journey for the rest of the season?
It's quite nice to have the relationship be so layered and for it not to be an easy ride. There are lots of things to criticize about every character on the show and their attitude towards the Crane dilemma. It's easy to criticize Katrina and Ichabod. Is there a way for them to survive in the modern world? Probably not. They've tried their best, they've been going back and forth but it does reach a rather exact denouement very soon. There'll be some revelations that affect the relationship in quite a large way.
STORY CONTINUES AFTER THE VIDEO
What's it been like for you to be on such a popular show with such a wide fan base, how has it changed your everyday experience?
It's delightful. When you do something you're proud of, you want it to reach as large an audience as it can. [For theatre actors], it's finite, whereas when you do a show like this and it's on primetime on one of the networks it can reach a lot of people. It's around forever. I remember working with an older actress in a TV show back home and she said she gets a lot more nervous doing television than she does theatre because she knows you'll never escape it. It'll be around far longer than we will. When I was young, I was in my early 20s when this happened, I was thinking, oh, no, that's not important, let's just come and enjoy it. But now I'm far more aware of that. And pleased that my first big job in America is one that I'm very proud of and there are great writers giving us great stories, I get to work with people like Nicole and Lyndie Greenwood and John Noble, all of the gang, who we work together I think rather nicely. It's something we can all be pleased with. So I'm pleased there are more than 60 people watching a night.
What's your take on the fandom discord?
People are really invested in the show, which is excellent news and the promising thing about the group of people who create this show is they've been listening and they're aware of what is popular and what is less popular. It's very difficult to ignore it: we have a very vocal fan base which I'm particularly grateful for. So it's rather promising that people say what they're unhappy with and it's been listened to. We have 18 episodes and it keeps the creative process a little more organic. It means it's always changing, they can try something and see if it sticks. And if it's less popular, we can twist it. I think that's a very positive way to react to the Twittersphere.
The next episode, "Kali Yuga," features Nick. When Hawley came aboard, Ichabod wasn't wild about him. What does Tom think of Matt, in real life?
Matt is just a delight. I think he's wonderful. He worked on a pilot for KO, who produces our show, but it didn't get picked up. But they said, "We've got this guy who did this pilot and we've fallen in love with him and we think he'll be great for this part so we're going to bring him in." And within five minutes of meeting Matt, you can understand why they fell in love with him. He brings a really, really great atmosphere with him to set and I think he's a terrific actor as well. I rather like him.
It does look like you guys have a lot of fun. Who's the funniest on set?
Katia. She's Swedish and she does a certain, very remote Swedish accent. She realized she can say anything and it destroys me. So whenever I'm trying to concentrate she comes up with "Hello, Thomas" in this weird accent and it kills me. And I hate her for it. So I'm pleased that we've wrapped so I don't have to listen to her when I'm trying to concentrate. But she's excellent.
What will Ichabod do within himself in the modern day if he and Abbie do save the world as they were prophesied?
This is the big dilemma for him and for Abbie. After we've seen Moloch die and Henry disappears, what do they do next? If they're the witnesses and they're meant to stop the apocalypse, and if for all intents and purposes the apocalypse has been stopped, where do they go? Does she go back to Quantico and start training in the FBI? What does Ichabod do? He'd have to get a haircut and a job and that doesn't sound fun. We'll see in the next episode or two how they try to reposition themselves. Then, of course, they realize there's still trouble afoot that will keep them busy. But Ichabod's worried. It goes into quite an existential crisis, what am I if I completed the mission and I'm still here? That's quite fun.
Seriously, though, Ichabod and Abbie's relationship, the teasing, the banter, it's probably one of my favourites on TV. What's that like to play, and do you personally ever want to see it go further?
It's such a joy to play. It's so nice when you're part of a pair who just, we have to rely on each other an awful lot, Nicole and Tom as much as Abbie and Ichabod. It's so nice to have someone on the other side just raising your game all the time. I hope she feels the same for me. It's fun to play with Nicole. We throw ideas in, we seem to agree on everything which is very, very fortunate. We both come from the background where the scene is more important than the individual actor so we're both striving to get the best out of a scene rather than show ourselves off. And I think that's where the magic lies in both trying to tell a story and coming at it from the same direction. It's a real treat, it's a real joy. It's great. And I'm sure she loves me just as much.
Family and family reconciliation are common themes, the Mills sisters, even beyond death. Are the Cranes going to be the counterpoint to that, if they are able to reconcile?
The Cranes are doomed. They were doomed from the start. They're out of odds with each other, they're out of odds with their time, and out of odds with how they plan to spend their time. They were always doomed from the moment Ichabod came out from under the ground and Katrina came out of purgatory and Henry was the horseman of war. I think, particularly in their latter half of the season, you'll start to see that snowball.
Henry has been MIA in the episodes that have aired recently. What can you tease about how he gets woven back into the canvas and how Ichabod reacts to him?
Being MIA has given Henry time to digest, to plan his next move so when he does come back, he comes back with a bang. He's not going to muck about anymore. He's not accepting the "but I'm your father, but I'm your mother" [excuse] anymore. He's back and he wants blood.
"Sleepy Hollow" is a mixture of drama, comedy, action, horror. Is there an element which you enjoy playing the most?
I watched a film the other day, "The Babadook," an Australian horror film. It's amazing, it's so brilliant. Afterwards, I had a bit of an epiphany that the thing that's been most successful with "Sleepy Hollow" has been when it's a horror film every week -- but a horror film that gets the joke, which is quite unique on telly. And that's something that we'll strive to reposition ourselves towards in the coming episodes.
What's your message to fans as Season 2 comes to a close and what's coming up in the finale?
Brace yourselves. There's not going to be the cliffhanger type ending, like Season 1. We're not going to rip that. Instead there is such a level of finality that is rather shocking that will, again, change everything. It's an exciting way to end the season.
"Sleepy Hollow" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Global and Fox.
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