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"Sleepy Hollow" star Tom Mison chats with Blogcritics about his character and the remainder of season two.

Interview: ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Star Tom Mison Talks New Direction

Sleepy-Hollow-Banner_128Fox’s Sleepy Hollow has thrilled fans for a season and a half with the story of Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), the Headless Horseman, and the two Witnesses prophesied to stop the Apocalypse. The series  captured fans from the opening scene of the pilot episode. And season one was a very special season, with an epic cliffhanger finale that left fans wanting more!

So what happened in season two?  It’s no secret that fans haven’t been happy with the series’ sophomore year thus far, though producers promise a major shift of the direction of the show. And this morning, series star Mison spoke to television journalists via conference call before he returns to the U. K. for some much needed R and R.

Mison noted that the Sleepy Hollow creative team have been chatting with him about dropping the mythology of the series for a more episodic feel.  While he assures fans that what will result will be nothing like dreaded “monster of the week” episodes hated by the fandom, he and the writers feel it will give the show the much-needed focus that has been lacking this season.  “I rather welcome the change. AKeda5[Writers] can keep exploring the character, rather than having to stick to following certain character arcs through so many episodes.” He explained that it makes it more possible for another writer on the team to tell a different story without having to “stick to something from before. I think it’s a welcome change.”

Will a shift away from a mythology-driven series be the answer to Sleepy Hollow‘s woes?  The entire premise of the series is based on the premise that Ichabod and Abbie are the two Witnesses foretold in the Bible.  One of the reasons so many were attracted to the apocalyptic series is due to its X-Files-esque feel. Mison explained he watched an Australian horror film the other day and had an epiphany. Sleepy Hollow, he believes  is most successful when it’s a horror film every week, “a horror film that gets the joke.” He adds, “That’s what I find most exciting to watch, the horror that gets the joke and it’s quite unique on telly.” He noted that the series will try to re-position itself towards that type of overall episodic genre in the coming episodes.

When I spoke to Mison at San Diego Comic-Con last summer, he explained that it’s difficult to find the balance in playing Ichabod between the seriousness of whatever they are facing, and bringing humor to the mix.  This season, Mison feels that the biggest challenge in playing Ichabod has been exposition, having to constantly explain things that happened before, that occurred off-screen, and what will become apparent later on in the series. “That’s been a real challenge, and I think Nicole (Beharie, Abbie Mills) will agree, the reams and reams of exposition we have to plow through, keeping it interesting, keeping it dangerous over 18 episodes.”  He describes it’s the hardest thing he’s had to do in his 12-year acting career.

Although the role has been challenging, it’s clear he feels very passionate about the series and what the cast and crew have created.  Of couCast picrse, American television is much different than theater, something Mison greatly misses doing. He compared the finite nature of working in the theater to working on a television  series like Sleepy Hollow. Mison recalled chatting with an older actress a few years ago, and coming to the realization that television work is around forever. It’s inescapable.  Though that is intimidating, he is very happy to be a part of such a popular show.

“I’m pleased that my first big job in America is one I’m very proud of, with great writers giving us some great stories. I get to work with people like Nicole, Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny Mills) and John Noble (Henry Parrish).  All of the gang, we work together rather nicely.”

Speaking of great stories (or should I say not-so-great)…the Crane family drama that has plagued season two, that has been a thorn in our sides, is finally coming to an end!  Mison assured, “Crane’s were doomed! They were doomed from  the start!” He added that the entire family was doomed from the moment Ichabod burst out of the ground, Katrina was released from Purgatory, and Henry became the Horseman of War.  “For Ichabod and Katrina, is there a way for them to survive the modern world? Probably not.  They’ve tried their best, they’ve been back and forth.”  He added that there will be more revelations  (another major lie perhaps?) to once again affect the relationship in quite a large way, and we will finally see all of it snowball in the last half of the season. Crane-s-Dilema-Banner_128

Henry has been MIA since killing Moloch.  When will he reappear?  Mison noted that Henry’s disappearance has given him time to digest and plan his next move, which will most definitely be explosive.  “He’s not going to muck about anymore.  He’s not going to accept ‘But I’m your mother, I’m your father,’ he’s back and he wants blood.”  I can only imagine what the diabolical prodigy has in store for Mommy and Daddy.

Katia Winter, who plays Katrina Crane, has been the center of continuing social media chatter.  Although her character hasn’t been well-received this year, she is personally a very fun person to be around. Case in point: Mison teased that she is the prankster on set, never missing an opportunity to use her weird Swedish accent to interrupt his Katia3concentration!

The Sleepy Hollow fandom has been very vocal this season, especially after the episode “Deliverance,” concerned that Beharie’s character, as well as Greenwood and Jones (Orlando, Frank Irving) had been sidelined in favor of Crane family drama. Mison laughed when I told him fans call me the “Pollyanna” of the “Sleepyheads.”

I asked him to comment on the discord in the fandom.  He said he is aware of it, as are the producers and writers. “They’ve been listening and they’re aware of what is popular and less popular.”  He added that having 18 episodes this season allows for the creative process to be more organic in nature, and for the creative team to make changes.

Obviously, fans are waiting to see those changes, but I think the writers tried things (like adding Hawley into the mix and making Katrina the third-wheel), and fans didn’t like it. Producers have heard and are responding in a big way as the season comes to an end.  I do know that producers have promised we will see a shift in the next episode, “Kali Yuga” and then a most definite change as we head towards the season finale.

Sleepy-Karoke-Banner_128Monday’s episode (January 26) will feature our gang at the bar and Ichabod trying his hand in Karaoke.  So what did he think when he heard they were doing it?

We have writer Heather V. Reigner to thank for it!  A long time ago, Mison joked about having Ichabod sing Karaoke, though he never believed she’d actually do it!  She called his bluff and wrote it in, which of course led him to cursing the day he’d mentioned it!  Reigner did graciously allow him to choose the song he’ll sing. My opinion? Methinks he doth protest too much.  I think he secretly loves Karaoke, LOL!

The upcoming “Kali Yuga” is a Hawley-centric episode, and we finally meet ‘Mommy-Dearest’, the woman who raised the fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants armaments dealer.  One can only imagine what this creature will turn out to be as one of Kali’s minions.  So, what has it been like working with Matt Barr?  Mison said that within five minutes of meeting Matt, he understood why producers wanted to add him to the show.  Although the verdict about Hawley is still 50/50 among fans, he’s definitely struck a chord with Mison. “He brings a really great atmosphere with him to the set.  I think he’s a terrific actor as well.”

My readers are aware I am most definitely in the “Ichabbie” camp (the smush word we use for Ichabod and Abbie).  Most in the fandom know that the pair is the key to the show’s success thanks to the chemistry between Mison and Beharie.  I think that producers finally realize this as well.  So would Mison personally welcome a change in the “Ichabbie” friendship for something a little deeper?

He sort of danced around the question but said that he and Nicole rely on each other just as much as Ichabod and Abbie do.  What’s great working with Beharie is that both have each other’s backs so-to-speak, when one is under the weather or having a tough time, the other makes sure they raise their game. Interestingly both Mison and SH Ichabbie MotorcycleBeharie feel the scene is more important than highlighting themselves individually, and the strive to get the best out of each scene. They agree on pretty much everything when trying work out a scene.  He said, “It’s a real treat. A real joy.” Then ended saying, “Yes. Yes! That’s all I can say about that.”   Well I don’t know but sounds like we are getting our Ichabod and Abbie going to the next level based on that final cryptic statement!

So what is Mison’s message to fans as season two comes to end? “Brace yourselves!” is all he would divulge. The rest of the season will finish out with stronger episodes that are much more dangerous, and death is coming to Sleepy Hollow! Mison added that there will be no cliffhanger this season. “Instead, there is such a level of finality that is rather shocking that will again, change everything–an exciting way to end the season.”

Don’t miss the thrilling “Kali Yuga” episode, Monday at 9:00 p.m. (ET) on FOX!

Need to catch up on Sleepy Hollow? Watch entire series thus far on HuluPlus, or new episodes via FOX or using the FOX Now app.

Tune in to Sleepy Hollow Addicts to find out more about how fans can ensure Sleepy Hollow is renewed for a third season.

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About Chrissy Piccolo

Chrissy Piccolo the founder of RHeart Network, the Fan’s Voice, the #1 Fan Connection Destination, supporting daytime, prime-time and online scripted digital content. Currently the host of RHeart Radio, the Fan’s Voice, as well as Storytellers On The Net, and Sleepy Hollow Addicts on Blogtalk radio. In addition to writing for Blogcritics, she is also an author on Examiner.com. Web Series Today and currently co-hosts with Barbara Barnett and Jerome Wetzel on ‘Let’s Talk TV’ on Blogtalk. She is also working on adapting her her first novel in The Kirsten Kelly Chronicles series into a webseries. Passionate about keeping scripted content alive, she continues to be an advocate for all forms. When she’s not working managing several websites or writing, one of her hobbies is investigating the paranormal with other enthusiasts and searching out possible cases through historic sites in the Northwest. Chrissy believes in being a positive influence in such a vast medium as the Internet.

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