Exclusive Interview: Nicole Beharie on Sleepy Hollow

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The season finale of Sleepy Hollow aired last week on Fox, and I met Nicole Beharie just before so everything was still a spoiler. She wouldn’t give away anything, so it’s actually safe to read this interview even if you haven’t caught up on Sleepy Hollow. In fact, add it to your Fan TV WatchList now so you can catch up on the first season.

Beharie plays Abbie Mills, a police lieutenant partnered up with Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), who has been transported to modern day Sleepy Hollow. Her captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) assigns her to stay with Crane and deal with all the supernatural occurrences he brought back with him, from the Headless Horseman to spirits of possession. Sleepy Hollow will be back for a second season, so get to know Nicole Beharie in our exclusive Fan Voice interview.

Fan Voice: You already go back to work in March. Will you do a movie in the hiatus?

Nicole Beharie: I might. I have some things lined up. I’m not sure what’s the right thing to do at the moment because of the time. It’s either we go back in March or May.

Fan Voice: Oh, that’s a big difference.

Nicole Beharie: It is a big difference so scheduling is tricky.

Fan Voice: Are you getting offered lead roles now?

Nicole Beharie: Here and there, bits and pieces, but definitely more interesting stuff.

Fan Voice: What have you enjoyed about playing Abbie this year on Sleepy Hollow?

Nicole Beharie: I love how she’s been able to change. I’ve been able to play with a lot of different colors. I thought Abbie could be very one note. It could be a very one note character but she just continues blossoming. There are moments where I find humor and there are moments where I have profound vulnerability and anger in places that maybe they shouldn’t be or you wouldn’t see it on the page and it’s happening. And then the intimacy that she has with Crane has been huge. I think people have even picked up on that online.

Fan Voice: I called it first. I thought they would have a romance eventually.

Nicole Beharie: I don’t know if they’re going to have a romance but there’s an intimacy there. There’s definitely a partnership.

Fan Voice: Do you and Tom have to work on the dialogue to make sure it’s not too much that he’s from the past misunderstanding things?

Nicole Beharie: Not really. The writers are so amazing, they do a really nice job balancing all that out so we just kind of have to say it.

Fan Voice: What’s been the most fun action you got to do on the first season of Sleepy Hollow?

Nicole Beharie: In the finale, there was some killer action.

Fan Voice: When you get a Sleepy Hollow script, what’s your process?

Nicole Beharie: I read it like a billion times, as many times as I can. I think that’s the first thing, and then just try to understand the story as best I can.

Fan Voice: What surprised you about Abbie this year?

Nicole Beharie: I guess it’s along the lines of what they write. The thing that surprised me the most is also in the finale. The finale’s good.

Fan Voice: What are you hoping to do in season two?

Nicole Beharie: There are some skills I think Abbie may or may not learn. Things that happen in the finale may open up possibilities for her and I’m looking forward to exploring some of her new talents.

Fan Voice: What do you like to watch on TV?

Nicole Beharie: Oh, man, I actually enjoy American Horror Story: Coven on FX, and Chopped. There’s a show called No Reservation, Anthony Bourdain. House of Lies.

Fan Voice: I know there’s very little you can give away about Sleepy Hollow.

Nicole Beharie: So little. I’m so sorry. I feel so cagey and strange.

Fan Voice: Is it fun to be on a show like that?

Nicole Beharie: It’s fantastic. It’s a lot of fun because honestly, the only reason that we’re not giving it away is because we don’t want to steal the experience from the audience.

Fan Voice: Do they give you a media prep course for how to handle this?

Nicole Beharie: No, that’s why I’m being awkward. That’s why I’m like uh, what do I say? And then I’m always trying to make sure that I have a different interview with everybody so I’m not just saying the same things over and over again. We’ve been in it for so long and we love it so much that I think it sort of comes out and we want to protect it for the audience.

Fan Voice: Besides maybe a movie, how are you going to spend your break?

Nicole Beharie: Getting a new home and I have some lovely people in my life that I haven’t spent enough time with, one in particular.

Fan Voice: Where is your new home?

Nicole Beharie: In New York.

Fan Voice: How often do you go home when you’re shooting Sleepy Hollow in North Carolina?

Nicole Beharie: There isn’t much time. I think this year while I was shooting, I went to New York three times. You make wherever you put down your hat your home. That’s sort of the gig. We’re like carnies, pick up the show and take it to the next city.

Fan Voice: How did you make North Carolina your home?

Nicole Beharie: I rented a cottage, a little house, a mini cottage with a garden. I messed around in the garden and I hung out with guys like Orlando and Tom. We just made it as home-ish as I could. I also had friends come visit me all the time.