Tom Mison of Fox’s new hit show Sleepy Hollow sat down to talk with press about the show, his character, and the ever-present question: Will there ever be a romantic side to Ichabod and Abbie? Check out interview highlights below!
The show has a premise that even its fans agree is somewhat implausible. Did you have any trepidation about signing on because of that rather outrageous concept for the show?
I always like to have faith that an audience will suspend their disbelief if you present it to them in the right way. I find it peculiar when people scoff at one bold idea, and yet they’ll then turn over and watch a man travel through time in a police phone box. I think it’s just how you present the idea, and between Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and Len Wiseman, their careers have been built on asking people to suspend their disbelief because I think once you do that, once you can get an audience to go with you on an idea then you can just go anywhere, and that’s where the fun stuff happens. No real trepidation, more faith in the great American public that they’ll join us, and luckily it seems to have paid off.
Is Ichabod ever going to wear modern clothes?
I was wondering how long it would be before that question comes up. I expected every question to be that. Yes. That will be mentioned very, very soon. You’ll see the question of clothes coming up. I think we quite liked giving him an iconic look, which I think everyone’s managed to achieve rather nicely.
In terms of the character; he’s a long way from home, and 250 years away from home so anything that he can hold on to from his time, I think he certainly will. Any time you think of how much he stinks, just think of it as a big stinking security blanket that he carries around with him.
What’s been the most fun as you’re putting on this character as you were creating this character, and getting into him?
I think it’s trying to work out how moody someone would be when they come out of the ground after 200 years. It’s been nice, as I said to the question before, finding the difference between Crane and his time and place, and Crane after all of this weird stuff has happened. It’s finding the balances, like the balances between that and the balance between Crane trying to hide his confusion at the world, and when it suddenly comes out. There’s so many plates that need to be spun to keep Ichabod on track, and it’s hard work. It’s a really difficult part to play, but I think that’s what makes it so satisfying. There’s lots for me to sink my teeth into.
A lot of the audience is really quite fond of the chemistry between Ichabod and Abbie. Is there any chance that in the second half of the season we might see some romantic moments or flirtation between the two of them?
And there it is. There’s the Ichabod/Abbie question. We’ve had the clothes, and the Ichabod/Abbie. Where from here? I think there is certainly something magic between Ichabod and Abbie. They’re forced together whether they want to be or not. They’re forced into this relationship where they’re very different, and they wind each other up to no end, but that’s when the sparks start flying, and when sparks start flying that’s when there’s room for everyone to “ship” them, I think is the term. They certainly have a connection, and if anything was to happen between them it would certainly be fiery.
Are you a history buff and, if so, how much of a stickler are you for authenticity even in a premises as outrageous as this one is?
Yes. I’ve always been a history buff. It was one of the few subjects at school that really, really caught me. I think you’ll find a lot of actors will be interested in history because it sparks your imagination so much. When you enter a period of history your imagination just goes wild in creating the world, which is really what acting is.
It’s always a treat to have something that lets me explore a different period, and yes I do try to be a stickler as much as I can, but luckily the writers are as well. There are a few language things which luckily they’re very open when I say I think this is 12 years too late this word and they’re very happy to play around with it. I think it’s—even if 90% of the audience isn’t going to spot that certain turn of phrase as a bit out of date it’s still important to get a level of authenticity for us to play around in. I think if it wasn’t completely authentic then it wouldn’t really work very much, it would then just be a modern man with a weird costume instead of a man from another time.
What is it about your character, Ichabod, that you find the most fascinating? What would be something that the average person wouldn’t know about your character?
I think the one thing that—everyone always goes to the fact that he would be lost in the modern world and everything is above him and baffling, but what I find really fascinating is that any room he walks into he’s probably the most intelligent person in that room, but no one will allow him to show that because everyone thinks he’s insane. I think the interesting thing is that he thinks everyone else is the maniac, whereas everyone thinks he is. That’s really fun. He knows that he’s cleverer than everyone else, but his manners won’t allow him to tell people to stop being stupid.
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