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Sleepy Hollow: Get Cuter, I Dare You; Highlights From an Actor Roundtable

The Mary Sue Exclusive

It’s not often you get to sit down at a press junket, talk to actors and walk away thinking, “God, I really just want to keep picking their brains.” The Sleepy Hollow press roundtables definitely gave off that feeling on the final day of New York Comic Con.

While other members of the press were anxiously hunting for spoilers and trying to pick out plot points they could capitalize on with their up-to-the-minute coverage of the convention, the most interesting tidbits of information came from the actor’s personalities and good humor dealing with the bombardment. They all seemed to be totally in love with the show, a show so many fans have fallen in love with in its first season on air. And that’s something they’ve noticed, too.

When another journalist asked which monster of the show was most intimidating, Orlando Jones (Captain Frank Irving) widened his eyes and said,

Sandman freaked me out a little bit. The Horseman didn’t freak me out as much as the Sandman – the guy with the horns? That thing is creepy to me.

Nicole Beharie (Lt. Abbie Mills) scoffed at his reply and gave her own with the straightforward sass we’ve come to love in her character:

I’m 5’1, okay? I have, in the next few episodes I run downstairs; he’s chasing me with an ax, and I’m a little person. He’s a big guy – like the guy in real life is a big guy, 6’5. So I’m scared by the Horseman. He’s on horses. And I’m in heels.

The best part about the entire interview was how much the actors made each other laugh. Jones took the time to tell us about his interaction with social media, what he loves about the digital space, and how he’s been teaching his cast mates to break the fourth wall and let the fans in. He live tweets episodes – even in Spanish, though he admits to using Google Translate and is thus not always perfect – he reads fan fiction (see below for an excellent synopsis of his recent favorite) and he loves the immediacy of the social networking outlet.

It’s nice to break the fourth wall and mess with fans a little bit because I think the assumption has always been that we don’t know anything about that world. And that the fans think that the shipping and all the terms that go along with it are alien to actors and that may very well be true. But it’s not alien to all of us….

The best part of about it for me is that coming from theater – which we both come from – the interactions you’re able to get digitally is immediate and because we’re isolated in North Carolina, it really gives us an opportunity to be not with executives and not with the show and to see what’s landing and hear what the fans are sharing. And because the fan fiction is so good and the fan art is so amazing no matter what’s going on in your day…I literally was tweeting this morning…they did a phone conversation, a text message conversation, between you [Abbie] and Ichabod. You go out to the store and you’re texting about tea with Ichabod. And it is so funny. It’s so hilarious. Wait ‘til you see. It’s you and him having a text conversation and he doesn’t understand any of the BRB and LOL. It’s “What does that mean Abbie?” It’s so great. That stuff is fun.

Talking to Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane) and Katia Winter (Katrina Crane) about their characters and fictional marriage took the conversation a bit deeper. Both acknowledge – without spoiling anything at all – that Winter’s character will become more and more important in the coming months as she holds many of the secrets that will illuminate the future of humanity.

Considering Milson is the “man-out-of-water” in a show populated by game-changing female characters, certainly not the norm in entertainment, I had to ask what his thoughts were on his place in the ensemble. None were disappointed by his response:

One of the things, when I read the pilot, that made it appeal to me so much is that you have two female leads who aren’t defined by a man. You have Abbie who is just a strong modern woman with important things on her mind. And you have well, a witch, who is far more powerful than her pathetic mortal husband. And you don’t see it enough. All too often scripts are, the women are the girlfriend or the daughter, and they have very little to do other than support the male character’s stories whereas this, the female characters have been well rounded and clear and individual. And that’s hats off to the show for doing that.

Winters agreed, stating:

[T]hat’s what I loved about the characters as well. There should be more female characters like that.

Just before we lost the actors to their next table (roundtables are a bit like grown up musical chairs), we were reassured that it was “all about Katrina” and that the more we got to know her, the more we would know about the fate of humanity.

This was after Mison told us about his wish for more Yolanda, the OnStar lady, in Ichabod’s life.

I’d like to see her become a recurring character,” he said, “She could be like Ziggy in Quantum Leap. Anytime he needs advice and can’t find Katrina, he goes and talks to Yolanda.

The actors from Sleepy Hollow had great insight into their characters, their show and the changing digital space their show was taking off in with such success. I expect we’ll see great things down the road.

Rachael Berkey has written for HelloGigglesHuffington PostBuzzFeed and My Damn Channel. She also has a personal blogtumblr and twitter where she shares her musings on books, Star Wars and whatever TV show she’s currently streaming. She lives in Brooklyn where she is working on writing her first novel, haunts the internet as her alter ego, Bookoisseur, and is still hoping to someday have a pet dragon.

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