Nicole Beharie Talks ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and Abbie’s Changes

Nicole Beharie of Fox’s hit show Sleepy Hollow took the time to chat with press about the show, her character, and the amazing fan response. Check out some of the highlights below!

Sleepy Hollow has become such a fan favorite practically overnight. What do you think it is about the show that has drawn in so many viewers?

I think the show has managed to strike a nerve with so many people. I think the success of the show is about the audience. People are open and ready to take that kind of journey and are looking for the sort of fantastic, but mysterious drama. I think that the show has a lot of different elements to it and demographics that definitely open it up to a much broader audience.

But, I think it’s really all about the audience because it is kind of outlandish. We’re all over the place, and you never know which way we’re going to turn. It’s really the audience’s engagement with us and they’re sort of coming along with the contract that makes the whole thing live.

What have been your biggest challenges as an actress on this show?

Man, it just happened so fast. I think we finished a week and a half ago, like two weeks ago and now it’s out there. As we were shooting, we started in like late July/August and we’ve just been going ever since because we didn’t have much time in between shooting and the air dates. So, it was just keeping up with it and staying energetic and really committing to some of the bigger, crazier moments has been a lot of fun. I think a lot of people are like, “acting’s so hard.” It’s actually a blast. It’s just the sort of quick pace. I’ve done a lot of film work and it’s just a little bit slower, you know?

Abbie has seen and gone through a lot of things since the pilot. How is the Abbie we saw in Monday’s finale different or even the same from the person we met thirteen episodes ago?

The only things I think are the same are that she knows that she had a larger purpose. I think in the finale she knew that she had another purpose, but didn’t know what it was. That’s why she wanted to get out of town.

The rest of it is like her mind is completely blown open. She’s done so many things that she could never imagine, seen things that what’s going on in this world sort of underneath our day to day life. It’s like understanding what you were or what you thought you knew is not actually all that there is. I think it’s a huge theme in the show.

She’s basically given over to that now. She is cautious, but she is no longer cynical about what they’re doing. She’s in it now. I think now it’s just about serving that purpose.

I feel like everything has changed, including the ensemble. I think she started in a cop uniform and then we were in the jeans and now it’s like yoga clothes, and it’s like she’s getting more and more comfortable in her skin and thinking outside the box. She was just very narrow about the resources that she was willing to use to get answers. Now, you see her breaking into homes and break the rules and all sorts of things. It’s changed from being by the book and wanting to go to Quantico and become a profiler to being like we’re witnesses to the Apocalypse and that means anything is at our disposal. We can do whatever we want when we’re fighting for good.

What do you think of all the revisionist kind of history that you feature on the show? That seems to be an entertaining factor for the audience.

I just think it’s nifty. The writers are so imaginative. It just makes for a lot of fun.

A lot of people know these stories, some people don’t. It just gives a little twist to things that we already know, just like we’ve basically done with the Washington Irving story, turning it into something new, or the history of George Washington, or Jefferson, for example. Just getting a different perspective on it and having a little bit of fun I think is pretty juicy. And, there’s a lot of mileage in it. The things that we discover about Washington are definitely worth it. They may not be true, but then again, it’s fiction. Who knows if it isn’t true?

Sleepy Hollow will be returning to Fox in fall 2014!