In a television landscape that is seemingly crowded with genre programming, Fox’s breakout hit Sleepy Hollow carved out its niche pretty quickly. Renewed for a second season just weeks into its freshman run, the reimagining of Washington Irving’s haunting tale as told by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci surprised a lot of people by proving to be well acted, tons of fun and creepy as hell. This week Nerdist attended a Q&A with the cast and crew of the hit series and no topic was off limits from pushing the boundaries of television to making a time traveling Ichabod Crane somewhat realistic to Lt. Abbie Mills and passing the “Bechdel Test” week after week.
When Sleepy Hollow stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie and producers Roberto Orci, Len Wiseman, Mark Goffman and Heather Kadin gathered in the historic Hollywood Forever Cemetery earlier this week for a Q&A, no question was off limits. The group began by discussing the very distinct, cinematic look of the show, which director and producer Len Wiseman explained by saying, “We wanted to bring a cinematic flair to television. You hear these discussions all the time, ‘We want to do a movie on TV,’ and it’s not as easy as it sounds…. I really want it to be, especially with the pilot, the look to be part of the show. That it is something you can experience a world that you cant just step outside your house and see. We want to create something that was just one sidestep from reality.”
Following up regarding season two, fellow producer Heather Kadin added, “I think season two has been a lot easier because we’ve created a world and it allows us to push boundaries even more because we know what we can get away with and every time we think we know what we can get away with we’re like, ‘Ooh, lets try to get away with a little more than we think that our audience is going to tolerate,’ hoping that it really works.”
Actor Tom Mison, who plays the fish-out-of-water Ichabod Crane elaborated, hinting at what’s to come next season: “It’s always from the very beginning felt to me like a show that is always pushing its luck. We managed to achieve something and rather than just saying, ‘Oh, great. This is really nice,’ we then see how far we can go and that’s especially continuing in season two.”
In addition to pushing boundaries, most of the cast and crew agrees that they’re doing something special, even if it’s hard to explain. Wiseman elaborated on what his favorite part of being behind the show was. “For me, it was the amount of non-genre fans that are interested in the show. So many people have come up to me – the best thing that’s happened to me, I was at an event or a party and this woman probably like, 50s, I was introduced as being involved with Sleepy Hollow and she said, ‘I saw that trailer and I just thought, that just looks stupid…’ eventually getting to the point that she watched it because her daughter was insisting to watch it instead of the show that she wanted to watch and she said, ‘ Now I’m just completely hooked and I really do hate this kind of show.’”
Actress Nicole Beharie expressed an appreciation for the complexity of the series saying, “My favorite part of playing Abby; I guess it’s complexity. I get to have a lot of fun.” She continued, saying, “[t]he way that we connect, for example, myself and Lyndie Greenwood, who plays Jenny, has just been, that’s been a massive gift… I think were the only sister pair on television who fight together and fight each other at the same time but are moving toward something. I think that’s groundbreaking to have minority girls working together.” Co-star Mison added, “The rule you have to have to pass the ‘Bechdel Test’ is you have to have two or more female characters named who have a conversation at some point about something other than a man and its remarkable how few TV shows, films, plays, anything, pass the test. We pass it every week.”
The second season of Sleepy Hollow will premiere Monday, September 22 on Fox.