Nicole Beharie Talks SLEEPY HOLLOW, Abbie’s Backstory, Whether or Not She’ll Find Love, Abbie vs. Katrina, Returning to Biblical Storytelling and More

     November 20, 2014

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In Season 2 of the Fox series Sleepy Hollow, the heroic duo of Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is still fending off the forces of evil to save not only their town, but the world.  With Henry Parish (John Noble) manipulating the wheels of a mysterious plan and everybody a bit more worse for wear, Sleepy Hollow has never been so close to destruction.

During this recent interview with press to discuss where things are headed with the show, actress Nicole Beharie talked about learning more of her character’s backstory, shifting back to the biblical storytelling, that she thinks Abbie would take Henry out even without Ichabod’s support, that she would like to see Abbie and Katrina unite, whether Abbie might ever find love, and how she feels about ‘shippers.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

sleepy-hollow-season-2-nicole-beharieQuestion:  What was the toughest part about the recent episode exploring the Mills family, from an emotional standpoint?

NICOLE BEHARIE:  I heard that we were going to do an episode where the sisters were going to get together and fight and kick some ass, and I was like, “Yes!  Girls!”  I was so excited.  And then, I read it and I was like, “Oh, my god, this is going to really cost them.”  The cool thing about the show is that the monsters are personal.  Everyone’s been giving Ichabod a hard time because he’s having trouble with his family, and Abbie’s trying to keep him on track, but it’s still personal.  Who wouldn’t be having those problems?  It’s still compromising.  All the situations really leave everybody in a really uncomfortable and uncertain place.  And with this one, instead of them just getting together and fighting a random monster, it’s so personal because it’s a part of their history and their family that they have to discuss.  And then, of course, there are lots of lives at stake, and they have to make the right decision in the nick of time.

After what happened with Hawley and the succubus, do you think he’ll maybe be a little more receptive to helping without expecting payment?

BEHARIE:  Well, the nature of Hawley’s character is that he’s a black market dealer, so he should expect to be paid for his time.  But I think that slowly the witness pair – Crane and Abbie – are both working on pulling on his heartstrings.  He has warmed up to Crane.  Then, when it comes to Abbie, I think they have a really strange but saucy relationship, where she knows what he wants and he knows what she wants, and they just barter and bargain to both get at least a semblance of what they are looking for.

This season, there have been a lot of folklore type things, like the wendigo.  Are you going to be going back to the demonic things from the bible again?

BEHARIE:  Yes, there is a bit of that coming up in the [mid-season] finale.  We definitely go back to biblical storytelling, especially when it comes back to The Headless Horseman and the apocalyptic aspect of the show, but I’m personally really loving all the different folklore.  The episode that we’re shooting right now is based on Hinduism and Buddhism, so we’re taking it international.  We’re exploring all the different dark entities.  I personally think that’s really fascinating. 

sleepy-hollow-season-2-nicole-beharie-tom-misonIf Abbie had to take Henry out without the support of Ichabod, do you think she would do it?

BEHARIE:  Absolutely!

How do you think she would do it?

BEHARIE:  I don’t know.  That’s for the writers.  For the remainder of the season, you actually see them becoming a lot more proactive, rather than reactive.  They’re trying to get ahead of Henry and Moloch, so I could see them planning and doing all of the espionage by having Katrina in the house, and doing all of the little things that you would do to win a war.  We’re back on track, in a sense, and that’s really exciting to me.

Will we see more of the effects that purgatory had on Abbie?

BEHARIE:  I think that the characters are just so resilient.  They just had to get it together.  The purgatory situation was really quick.  It happened and they popped out of it and had to keep going, and I think that is definitely symptomatic and true of people who are in a battle situation.  There’s a horrible thing going on, but they didn’t even have the time to catch their breath, at all.  They just had to keep going.  So, I don’t necessarily think that we’re going to be exploring what happened in purgatory, but there’s a hell of a lot of fighting coming up that I think is as dynamic.  You’ll get to see the witnesses come together and discuss a little bit about their battle wounds, but not from purgatory.

We’ve seen some verbal sparring between Abbie and Katrina.  Who do you think would win a real smack down between Abbie and Katrina?

BEHARIE:  Why do the women have to fight each other when they’re both on the same side?  I just don’t get it.  Why can’t Katrina just be an awesome witch and do amazing things, and Abbie do really well with what she does, and they unite?  That’s what I want to see.  I don’t necessarily want to see them fighting one another.  I think that they probably have to work out the kinks in their relationship, as a group, but hopefully there won’t have to be a smack down.  If there is a smack down, I’ll let the audience decide.

sleepy-hollow-season-2-image-nicole-beharieDo you think that Abbie will ever find love?

BEHARIE:  It’s funny because, this year on the show, there’s a lot of romantic undercurrent going on, whereas last year there really wasn’t any, but everyone was imagining Crane and Abbie together when that wasn’t there.  Now, there’s a ton, with Hawley and Katrina and Crane, so people are desiring that for Abbie.  She is the one that’s being really focused this year, and maybe she just has to wait for the right guy.

How do you feel about the ‘shippers out there? 

BEHARIE:  I’m actually intrigued by the idea.  Not necessarily of them being a pair or ‘shipped together, but just the sheer interest and passion of the audience and of the fans.  I’m completely taken aback, every single week, with the stuff that is sent in, whether it’s artwork or commentary or the details that I don’t even notice.  I’m just completely, honestly touched that people care enough to have so much to say about the show.  They could just be like, “Yeah, they have great chemistry, whatever.”  But people are fighting on different sides, and one part of me is like, “Why does it have to be political or weird about who’s doing what?”  I just think it’s people caring about each character so much, and that’s definitely a testament to the other actors’ work and the writers.  It’s really entertaining, from this end.  It’s almost like you guys entertaining us, after we attempt to give you your jollies.

Sleepy Hollow airs on Monday nights on Fox.

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