I visited the cast and crew on the set of Sleepy Hollow to watch this supernatural show raise the dead and a little hell for Season Two. While there, I also had the immense pleasure of interviewing the cast, including Tom Mison who plays the defected Redcoat cursed to exist in our modern world, Ichabod Crane. And Mison had a lot to say about the new season. Small spoilers ahead.
Mison joined me in costume mere moments before his night club scene. Wig on, blousey shirt fluffed, and stolen Freemasonry on hand, Mison talked me through a lot of teasery spoilers for the new season. But mostly, it was a delight to know I wasn't the only who thought Ichabod could be a bit of a dick now and again.
Let's talk a little about the scene that you were shooting today. What are you doing in a night club and how does Ichabod react to this scenario?
We're sent after a creature who is disguised as a beautiful lady who preys on men. It's the first time or the second time that Nick Hawley and Ichabod have to team up.
Bouncing off that… no one really gives [Ichabod] shit on the show. Everyone just kind of lets you show up and say, "Well this is wrong and I'm very charming so I can get away with it," and it's great and everyone loves it. But this new character, Nick Hawley, feels like the first character to give Ichabod a little guff.
Yes and I think it's because we don't trust him enough to tell him the truth about who Crane is. He just sees a guy wearing stupid clothes and just being a dick. It's good to finally have a character that sees that Crane is occasionally just a dick. Because he is! He's arrogant, and he refuses to listen to people. He's driven by pride, and honor, but there's a lot of pride. And clearly just, "What are you doing wearing britches?"
Why does [this new character] make a good adversary and friend for Ichabod?
Because they're both intelligent. And they're both very good in their separate fields. The one thing that Crane can't stand about Hawley is that he's a man with no honor. He's in it for the money and for himself. So that's where Crane's immediate distrust comes from.
Are we going to see Ichabod struggle with jealousy for the first time?
Jealousy might be a little strong… no yeah, he's jealous. Much like when Ichabod doesn't understand something, he's never going to show someone that. He's never going to let that be revealed. There are little moments where he has to control himself. And in fact, this scene today is what are his intentions towards Lieutenant Mills.
So in this season are we going to see Ichabod get more acclimated to the 21st Century? Are we going to see you wearing GAP clothes? Well you're clearly not wearing GAP clothes, so I may have just answered my own question, but?
No, I think it would be a shame. The moment Ichabod is fully a part of the 21st Century, I think you lose something. Which is why it was a very clever decision to have someone in Revolutionary reenactment background from last year who can make these clothes from last season. [Katrina] comes back, spoiler. And he gets new clothes from her. So he can get out of that coat, which, to be honest, is a nightmare. Running around North Carolina in 93% humidity was really...
How does having Katrina around affect Ichabod's relationship with everyone else?
Well, you then have to show everyone else that she was worth it, for a start. He wouldn't stop going on about her last year. Now she's out and it's weird. It's a bit awkward. There's a brilliant scene, last year, where Ichabod and Abbie go into Purgatory. And it's the first time that Ichabod, Abbie and Katrina are in a room together and it's awkward. Before they leave, before Ichabod takes Katrina into the real world, there's a really loving embrace with Abbie. Katia [Katrina] does a brilliant job of one little look. You can just see her bristle, slightly, but not want to admit it. Hashtag Ichabbie. And now we get more scenes with the three of them in a room arguing about what moves to take to defeat Henry. And that's where that gets spicy.
Is it fun playing off of each other? Do you get to have fun with that?
Completely. Nicole and I have built up a really good understanding of each other as actors that we just love bouncing off each other. And then you throw Katia into the mix and my attention is brought elsewhere and that's a very different relationship. I mean, these three people shouldn't be in a room together trying to make plans.
How much is your character going to deal with the fact that he's been unfairly saddled with the child who is trying to bring about the apocalypse when you didn't have a chance to parent him? Is there going to be a lot of "Don't blame me" or "I should have parented"? How is he going to deal with that?
There's a slight guilt about not being there for him, which I think was mentioned in the finale from what I remember. It's more forgiving Katrina, there are lots of moments where Crane defends Katrina, because she—
She abandoned him!
Died before he was born! Give me freaking break!
Do you say that? You should say that!
Yeah, quite right.
The thing that I've had to work out, to find, is how to be paternal toward a child that you didn't even know existed and the moment you do find out he exists, you find out that he's also the Horseman of War. But as soon as Crane finds out that there's a son, that part of him is unlocked, that paternal instinct. In this, when we're fighting the War, there are two approaches Crane can take. You can either fight him as the Horseman of War or you can appeal to him, and, as I'm sure you can imagine, Abbie takes one side and Katrina takes the other side. And Crane has to be the man of logic and work out which one is the best tact.
Are you a very good adversary for your son? Because it seems like he is acclimated to this world. You're still struggling. And your number two gal is stuck in Purgatory.
He can be out in the open. He doesn't need to hide anything. We need to tiptoe around in the shadows. He's always throwing new creatures at us—and creatures that he knows will affect us on a personal level. Also, yeah, he's always two steps ahead.
Your quips in the series, for instance, "Oh, there's a Starbucks! Oh, is there a law?" Theses are things that people didn't really expect but really latched onto as the show progressed, especially with your personality. Are you ever worried worried about pushing it too far?
All the time.
Really? How do you handle that?
Not being so hammy. There is always a part of me that I have to battle against, that sees a brilliant joke and wants to gurn at the camera, give a little wink, do a Groucho Marx, "This is a gag!" And yes, it takes every ounce of strength I have to battle against that, because that would be terrible. It would ruin the show and everyone would hate me.
Is there any scene that you're particularly excited about having people see where you interact with modern technology?
There's a really good Abbie takes Crane to a coffee shop. It's funny that you mention Starbucks. You finally get to see him have a big, stupid frappemaccho whatsit, because he would only be used to the really strong, no milk, shot of grainy coffee. And it's good because it's a moment where he's absolutely against it. He's against the cost of it, the look of it, the name of it, but it's irresistible. I really like those moments where Crane is haughty, he's got a pole stuck up his ass and he melts, because he's charmed.
The show is very funny, but it's also very scary. How do you keep people scared in your peril? You're always in peril, it seems. How do you up the action level?
I think that we're helped by fact that before the writers work out what creatures to have, they work out what effect they want it to have on Ichabod and Abbie. It always comes from, "What do we want to achieve in this episode in their characters?" And then, "What creature will best achieve that?" That's what stops it from being a standard creature-of-the-week show and instead every creature proposes a new challenge to them.
I think the Golem was a great example of that.
Are we going to get a creature like that in this season? Any names you can throw out?
I don't think I can talk about the.... Weeping Lady. But yes, there are absolutely those creatures that cut them to the core on a personal level. That's what keeps them interesting.
The second season of Sleepy Hollow will air on Sept. 22nd!