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Nicole Beharie Puts 9 Burning Sleepy Hollow Issues to Rest

By on November 19, 2014

Nicole Beharie as Lieutenant Abbie Mills. Co. CR: David Johnson/FOX

Sleepy Hollow continues to serve up a brash tale of hidden history, supernatural drama and emotional entanglements this season on FOX.

Last week, ScreenSpy sat down with Sleepy Hollow star Nicole Beharie to discuss a number of hot-button topics that currently have fans clamouring for answers – and the opinion of its leading lady.

Under discussion – that #AbbieDeservesBetter Twitter tag, shipping wars, Where to with Hawley, why we probably won’t see Jenny and Abbie chilling out over Netflix any time soon and most importantly … does Tom Mison really ad-lib all his best lines?

Here then are 9 burning issues we can finally put to rest:


1. Is Hawley going to continue to want to be a better man?

Nicole Beharie: Well the nature of Hawley’s character is that he’s an arms dealer. He’s a black-market dealer so he he likes to be paid for his time, but Crane and Abbie are working on pulling on his heartstrings. As he warms up to Crane – as you all saw in Club Twerk – when the succubus took him over and then took him back to the docks, he realized that there are much bigger things at stake, and that the money isn’t actually going to save him.

And then when it comes to Abbie, I think they have this really strange but softening relationship where she knows what he wants and he knows what she wants, and they just barter and bargain, and they both get a semblance of what they are looking for.


2. We’ve had a share of folklore-related stories this year. Are we going to get back into the big demonic biblical plot-lines again soon?

NB: Yes there is a bit of that coming up in the Fall 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 stories. The episode we’re shoot ing right now is based on Hinduism and Buddhism. It’s international in a way. There are a lot of different dark entities from various localities to play with. I personally find that fascinating.


3. Ichabod has been preoccupied (some might even say compromised) by his wife and son this season. If it came to it, how would Abbie take him out?

NB: [laughing] That’s one for the writers! I don’t know! There are some pretty interesting moments coming up over the remainder of the season. You’ll actually see them becoming a lot more proactive. They’re trying to get ahead of Henry and Moloch. You’re going to see them planning and doing all these little espionage acts like having Katrina return to the house, and doing all of the little things you would do to win a war. It takes us back to the first episode of the season where they say ‘this is war.’ We’re back on track in a sense. It’s very exciting to me.


4. Are we going to see Abbie and Jenny in their own place any time soon, maybe watching Netflix and fighting over whose turn it is to do the dishes?

NB: [Laughing] The funny thing is this show kind of lives in two places right now. There’s the past and all of the historical context and then the threat of what’s going on in the present. I like the future that you’ve mentioned. It would be nice for them to sort of chill and have moments together. It sounds fantastic. We actually do have some moments – like in this episode we’re doing currently, there’s a little bit of singing going on, so you’ll see a little of that. But there really isn’t a lot of downtime either, so I don’t know if we’ll see them chilling out in Abbie’s apartment.


5. Will Abbie ever find true love?

NB: As far as the love thing is concerned, it’s funny because this year on this show there are a lot of romantic undercurrents going on, whereas last year there really weren’t, although everyone was imagining Crane and Abbie together. Now there’s a ton with Hawley and Katrina and Crane, so people are desiring that from Abbie too, but she’s the one who’s being really focused this year. Maybe she just has to wait for the right guy. It has to be the right guy. There’s definitely a payoff for that.


6. What’s your opinion on the #AbbieDeservesBetter Twitter tag?

NB: I was offline for a few weeks because I was busy and working on Monday nights but when I came online I suddenly saw all these tweets about ‘Abbie deserves better’ and ‘Jenny deserves better’ and even ‘Katrina deserves better.’ We have amazing fans. They’re so passionate. I think that they want to see the female characters on the show be developed totally in the way some other shows have done, and the way everyone has expected from a show like this. Abbie’s been on the show since day one, as has Jenny and Katrina, so people have so many questions about where it’s going. I just really appreciate the passion and all the questions from both sides. There’s a side that feels like Katrina is not being developed in the way that she could be. Everyone has valid comments and it’s all respected and loved. We just love the fact that everyone’s watching and they care so much to say all these things.


7. Does Tom (Mison) ad-lib a lot?

NB: There’s not a great deal of ad-libbing. I think the writers are really really talented. They come up with it, and Tom has a real dexterity with language. He makes it appear natural. It feels like it’s been adlibbed but those are actually his lines on the page. He takes them off the page and brings them to life.


8. We’ve had a verbal smackdown between Abbie and Katrina already this season. Who would win in an actual smack-down?

NB: Oh no! No, no, no! Why do these 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 like an awesome witch, and do amazing things, and Abbie do really well what she does, and they unite! That’s what I want to see. I don’t want to necessarily see them fighting one another. 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.


9. Do shippers intrigue or exasperate you?

NB: I’m actually intrigued by the idea, not necessarily of them being a pair or shipped together but just the sheer passion and interest of the audience. I’m completely taken aback every week with the stuff they send in, whether it’s artwork or commentary or what have you. How do they see all those details or all the things we take for granted as actors that we think nobody will even care about? And then the audience actually says ‘Hey, we want more of this. There does seem to be something going on with them. There needs to be more!’

I’m just honestly completely touched of late that people care enough to have so much to say about the show. They could say ‘Yeah, great chemistry, whatever,’ but instead there’s fighting and different sides. One part of me is asking why does it have to be political or weird about who’s doing what, but 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.

The whole upheaval is really entertaining from this end. It’s almost like you guys are entertaining us after we give you your jollies!

Follow ScreenSpy’s dedicated Sleepy Hollow Twitter @SleepyHollowSpy for more scoop and interviews.


  1. SleepyHollowFan

    November 19, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Noble is an outstanding actor BUT who cares about Henry, really? Is he being crammed down our throats because they paid the Mint for him? We would rather look at Hawtt Headless and Hawley. Neither Henry or a prominent Katrina were part of what drew fans to Sleepy Hollow in the first place, but Headless Horseman was! Watching what can only be called Henry’s temper tantrums got old very quickly, as well as trying to make Katrina more than someone in ICHABOD’s past; witches are passe anyway, Sleepy Hollow jumped the shark by focusing on the Cranes and not ABBIE and ICHABOD, THE WITNESSES. Get back to the Witnesses, Headless and Irving and even Moloch!

    • Jennifer Griffin

      November 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Just my own 2 cents but I adore John Noble. I loved him on Fringe and I was thrilled to bits to hear he landed a large part on Sleepy Hollow.
      I think he’s an amazing actor in addition to being a bit of a scene stealer!
      Personally, I’d watch John Noble as season’s 2’s Big Bad over one thousand roguish Hawleys and shirtless horsemen.

      • SleepyHollowFan

        November 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm

        I am a fan as well; HOWEVER, Sleepy Hollow is not about Henry and his Mummy/Daddy issues and he is NOT the star, even though he is in or the focus of every scene. Now if Henry was indeed MOLOCH, it would make sense; it would also make sense for Katrina giving birth to another demon!!! Relegate Noble’s character back to supporting–Sleepy Hollow’s premise is WITNESSES Abagail and Ichabod, end of!

        • BriannaMcQuaid

          November 19, 2014 at 10:30 pm

          SleepyHollowFan doesn’t seem to understand the show is about whatever the writers say its about. If they choose to have an episode about Henry then the episode is about Henry regardless of what you say here. You’re not writing the show week to week, so you have no right to come on here and tell people what the show is all about. End of! La La!

          • Sandra

            January 12, 2015 at 6:16 am

            I found this late, so don’t pounce on me for the late reply. I agree. Each viewer has a character/scenario they want to see happen. Some people want to eliminate characters in order to see their vision realized at the expense of the other fans. I personally would love to see the Abbie/Crane partnership continue, but not to the exclusion of the other characters. Katrina needs to be brought in and I think with the last episode she is finally going to be written into the show in a way she deserves. But a lot of shows don’t really know their characters until the third season or so. I know that way back when, when I was a kid, shows were vetted for a few seasons and characters were developed as they went forward. That is part of the reason I can defend the writers and the characters. The kids who are complaining along with the very young critics don’t remember what it’s like to “build” a compelling show and now commercials take up so much time, that scenes are even too condensed for me. But ultimately the show depends on the writers and what they see long-term. It is their vision and their work.

          • Jennifer Griffin

            January 13, 2015 at 7:06 pm

            No pouncing! I really enjoyed your take on things. 🙂 (I also happen to agree with you.)

  2. Abbie&JennyFan

    November 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    What I don’t get is why anyone would use Nicole’s interview comments section to run down another actor on the show????? Doesn’t “sleepy hollow fan” have anything to say about Nicole or this interview? Why are we talking about John Noble (fabulous actor, agree with Jennifer Griffin above).
    Stop the nonsensical whining about the writers failing to write YOUR SHOW – the one you’ve imagined in your mind that doesn’t quite play out on TV exactly as you want it. When you’re in the writing room then come and talk to us. Otherwise, stay silent or say something nice about Nikki. It’s HER interview after all.

    • SleepyHollowFan

      November 19, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Reread the post; at no time did this British award winning screenwriter attack John Noble; my reference was to the focus on THE CHARACTER which, as a viewer of this programme, I am allowed so to do, as I continue to watch Sleepy Hollow whilst the ratings slide. As for Ms. Beharie, always have been a fan–always will be. End of!

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