Last week, Tom Mison — who plays Ichabod Crane on the FOX hit Sleepy Hollow — took time to chat with the press by phone about the series and the upcoming episode, "Sin Eater." Here's what Mison had to say about costumes, "shipping" and his brilliant co-stars!
Up to this point, Crane has been the straight man when it comes to the rules. Mison say's that will change. "When there are revelations that are personal attacks on Crane and his past, that's when the rules start to fly out of the window and he starts misbehaving a little bit more."
"Every chance to show a different side to Ichabod is great. There are different sides to him, and equally the well-behaved and the less-well-behaved — the more unhinged Ichabod."
Mison laughed when he was asked the first of the two questions he was most expecting — whether Ichabod Crane would ever change out of those clothes! Mison pointed out that being 250 years away from home there are some things that Crane wants to keep close by and that viewers should think of his tattered clothing "as a big, stinking security blanket that he carries around with him." When he puts it like that, the clothes can stay!
Even with a less-than-desirable wardrobe, the question of a romance between Ichabod and Abbie was inevitable. Mison admitted that, due to circumstances, they're forced together whether they like it or not and "they wind each other up no end. But that's when the sparks start flying, and when sparks start flying." He realized it's inevitable that people will "ship" them and remarked, "if anything was to happen between them — it would certainly be fiery." Amen!
Sparks fly between Ichabod and Abbie because Mison and Nicole Beharie work so well together as actors, and Mison shared that it was an instantaneous camaraderie. "We like to be generous with each other, mainly — it's nice to throw things at an actor and be excited and surprised by what they throw back, and so yes, it was fairly instant — and we like exploring the scenes together rather than as two individuals."
Taking on a legendary role like Ichabod Crane and steeping it in the supernatural could have gone in many directions, but Mison didn't have any concerns about whether the show would be accepted. "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," he said as he dropped a nice Doctor Who reference.
Mison said the temptation was there to go nuts on the comedic aspect of Crane's adjustment between the past and the present, but instead he and the writers chose to treat all scenes with the same straight attitude. "On finding the balance between the confusion and those funny scenes and the more serious, "Oh my God, the apocalypse is coming" scenes, the way to balance them is to play them with a very similar tone rather than separating them as "this is now a tragic scene, and this is a comic scene."
When asked about what he thought the was the most fascinating thing about Ichabod Crane, Mison made himself one of the most fascinating people, because it was obvious he had put a lot of thought into how Crane once lived and how he sees the new world he is living in. "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." Mison expanded, "He knows that he's cleverer than everyone else, but his manners won't allow him to tell people to stop being stupid." How would an equally intelligent and less-agreeable man from today fare in Crane's world?
Crane's personal world comes crashing this week when John Noble joins Sleepy Hollow on the Nov. 4 episode as somewhat of a savior named Henry Parrish, and Mison was most enthusiastic about working with the fan favorite. "It's really remarkable. Our first scene together, it's just me and him sitting opposite each other at a table. He came in and sat down and we did the scene, and I was quite surprised when someone shouted, "cut," because I forgot that there were cameras and other people about the place. When you're acting with someone like John, you just completely lose yourself in it. He's mesmerizing. He's brilliant."
Be sure to catch the return of Sleepy Hollow on Monday, Nov. 4, at 9/8c on FOX.
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