“Crazy Creatures & Amazing Characters” – Sleepy Hollow Press Roundtable

Sleepy Hollow image copyright MCM Buzz. Image taken by Josh McCollough

Following on from the Sleepy Hollow Panel at this month’s MCM Birmingham Comic Con, the three visiting stars – Nicole Beharie (Lt. Abbie Mills), Katia Winter (Katrina Crane), Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny Mills) and – spoke a little more about their experiences of the show at a press roundtable discussion. Here’s what they had to say:

 

It’s great to have you here in Birmingham for the MCM Comic Con. Could you start off by telling us a bit about your characters and where you fit into the series for those people who aren’t really familiar with it yet?

Nicole Beharie: So, Ichabod Crane, who we all know from the Washington Irving piece, turns up in modern times in Westchester County, New York, in Sleepy Hollow – which is a real place – and basically bumps into this new female lieutenant, Abbie Mills, whom I play. She’s a very sceptical human being who is on her way out of the city. She doesn’t want to be a cop any more – it’s a small town and she’s over it, and then he brings to the table the fact that the world is coming to an end, that there are demons on their tail and that she is, in fact, one of the two Witnesses of the Apocalypse (laughs). And from there we find out that he was in fact buried for 250 years by his lovely wife, Katrina Crane, played by Katia Winter, and that Abbie comes from a bit of a dark past – that’s she has discarded parts of herself and has had a lot of issues with sanity and drugs and violence. And she has a sister, played by Lyndie Greenwood, who is locked up in a mental institution.

How are you finding the convention scene and meeting your fans?

Lyndie Greenwood: It makes it more fun for us to work on the show. It’s very rewarding when you know people are really enjoying your work. You go to work and feel like, this is what I really wanna do, and there are people appreciating the fact that I’m doing it. And some of the fan art is beautiful!

Nicole Beharie: Yeah, it’s really rewarding. The first Comic Con we did was in San Diego before the show had actually aired, and there were a crazy number of people there in support who had just seen the trailer and a few minutes of the pilot. Then we did the Comic Con in New York and there was a massive turnout. Personally, I’ve always been a nerd – I like my books, I like my comic books, I’ve been watching X-Men and reading sci-fi stories my whole life, so it’s nice to have this refuge. It’s so great to be working on a show like this with all of these people, where even though the girls are all really beautiful and Tom is really handsome, they all have interesting, dynamic stories. Sleepy Hollow is really unconventional – I’m playing a supernatural cop, and then [Katia’s] this witch and you know, [Lyndie’s] like a psychiatric patient and there are all these demons and everything, and then even with this outlandish premise, there are people out there who follow it and who enjoy it and who really connect to the heart of it.

The story of Sleepy Hollow has been told in many different ways and many different mediums. What do you think this does with the original content and the original characters that hasn’t been done before and what makes this such a different version to any other that could have been imagined?

Katia Winter: Well, it’s very loosely based on the characters from the book, but I think everything else is completely different. I mean, we have Ichabod Crane and Katrina van Tassel and Abraham van Brunt but [Abbie and Jenny] and all the other characters are new. It has such a great potential to do so many different things and I think the writers must have such a great time writing the show, with all the ideas that you hear in the writing room. I like that aspect of it, but at first I was also really scared. It was a little bit of a gamble, I thought. It could either work, because it’s so crazy, or it could fall flat. It has so many different things: it’s funny, it’s tragic, it’s got all these crazy creatures and amazing characters. There are lots of strong female characters. And there’s Tom Mison (laughs).

From Episode 1, which is quite wild, to the last episode, which is completely crazy – how much wilder is the show going to get?

SleepyHollow (Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood)Nicole Beharie: (laughing) Oh wait! Wait!

Lyndie Greenwood: Season 2 is gonna be crazy!

Nicole Beharie: I think the writers are having too much fun. We just have to be present and try to work with each other. And we actually don’t necessarily know what’s happening…..I think they know that the work’s cut out for them. The plans, from what I’ve heard, are really interesting. At the end of the first season, every character is either wrapped up or in some sort of dangerous predicament, so just look forward to them becoming stronger or angrier or more intense or more spiritual or whatever in ways that you hadn’t imagined. Think of the John Noble character. I thought that this guy was our sidekick, and it’s actually kind of tragic cos I thought that Tom, John and I were a great team, and I was like, I’m so glad he’s there because Ichabod really relates to him and it’s great that they have this camaraderie. And then suddenly, we find out [who he actually is] in a way that we never imagined….So after having those kind of turning points, we know that we have to come and give you more. Hopefully we’re able to do that!

Lyndie Greenwood: I think also that the writers do a great job of writing in complex relationships. I mean, through all the insanity, these relationships are very real and that’s kind of what grounds me in a way – my relationship with Abbie. Jenny’s like a real person.

I’m sure you’ve all been asked the question about the “triangle”. It seems to be an unwritten law in TV that girls and boys can’t just be friends. Can they just be friends?

Nicole Beharie: Come on!  (laughing) I hope so. I think, actually, the precedent has been set on cop shows and procedurals that they can just be friends. A lot of the time, there’s a “will they, won’t they”, “what’s going on with this chemistry” thing, but it doesn’t always end up with them rolling around or kissing or anything like that.

We don’t normally have a married man though, do we?

Nicole Beharie: Well, I think that’s part of the reason why it doesn’t happen. I just think it’s a testament to the writing that things are complicated and that people have to depend on one another, so maybe they feel like more should be happening. But I don’t think we’re even playing it that way, Tom and I. It’s funny what people project.

Lyndie Greenwood: [Ichabod and Abbie] have got a very real purpose together. Maybe if they were just hanging out as buddies it would be different. But they’re not. They’ve got a very important mission, so their reason for being together is not just the chemistry, even though it’s a lovely thing that the chemistry’s there.

Is there any particular storyline or plot that you’d love to get your teeth into?

Sleepy Hollow (Tom Mison and Katia Winter)Katia Winter: I said this earlier, actually. I would like to go even further back in time. I have no idea if they will, but we don’t really know how old Katrina is yet. She could be thousands of years old. I would like to go back as far as the Viking era and bring out my Swedish roots. I love going back in time!

Lyndie Greenwood: I’d love to see more of Jenny’s past. She used to go on all these crazy missions that we’ve only touched on. I’d like to see what happened between her and the Weavers. There was this episode where Abbie and Ichabod have to find a lamp and it’s at this compound run by the Weavers, and we find out that Jenny spent some time there.

Nicole Beharie: I guess for me, this first season we’ve been setting up the whole world of the show and I think we’ve discovered how Ichabod is one of the Witnesses, but we haven’t really answered why Abbie is a Witness, so I think that’s gonna be a huge part of this season, figuring out what her past is and how it all fits into American history and also the occult history. Towards the end of this last season, she gets more of a sense of who she is as a Witness and really cares about it, whereas at the beginning, like we were saying before, it was all scepticism and it seemed absurd. By the end, I was gonna give my soul up for our journey, so that’s quite a big change, from that person to this person.

Two of the Horsemen have clearly got a relationship with Ichabod, and although you know very little about the second series, would it be fair to assume that the other two might also have links with Ichabod and his family?

Nicole Beharie: Hmm…or perhaps Abbie’s? Who knows? I think what’s cool is that everything has been defined. There’s this really interesting story with Jeremy [Ichabod’s and Katrina’s] son, and if you watch very closely, all the characters’ stories are connected in some way. I don’t know, they’ll figure something out!

The show draws on a lot of real history and Christian texts. Did you guys know much about the history and the mythology behind it before you started or have you been learning that as you go along?

Nicole Beharie: No, I’m personally learning a great deal as we go. We get references sometimes and we’ll be like “Oh, what is that?” and we’ll need to know what they mean. Ichabod has a line about some historic goblet, and I had to go and do some research on it.

Lyndie Greenwood: It’s actually a great excuse to learn things, to go back and read Revelations, for example.

Nicole Beharie: Somebody actually asked me once about one of the big gifts of the show and I don’t think I focused on that enough. It’s been a good education in American history and the things I thought I knew about that revolutionary period. Also the great thing about the show is that if they want something new, they have a lot to work with. They can just continue to extend it throughout our history. And actually, a lot of the demons come from real, occult symbolism, like Moloch and all those things, they’re actually based on something.

 

Sleepy Hollow, Season Two will air later this year on Fox in the US and on the Universal Channel in the UK.

 

Main photo by Joshua McCullough.

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1 Comment

  1. hey says:

    great interview ! love them !!!

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