Interview with Nicole Beharie of "Sleepy Hollow" on FOX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Nicole Beharie

Interview with Nicole Beharie of "Sleepy Hollow" on FOX 11/13/14

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: Sleepy Hollow Conference Call with Nicole Beharie
November 13, 2014/10:00 a.m. PST

Nicole Beharie
Kristen Osborne


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Sleepy Hollow Conference Call with Nicole Beharie. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode, and throughout today’s call, we will have a question and answer session. (Operator instructions.)

I would now like to turn the conference over to the hostess and facilitator, Ms. Kristen Osborne. Please go ahead.

Kristen: Hello, thank you, everyone. I’m the publicist for Sleepy Hollow. We’re very appreciative for everyone being here today, and we’re very much looking forward to taking your calls. So, please, as Stephen said, hit the *1 and we can get this show on the road.

Moderator: Question will come from the line of Jamie Ruby of Please go ahead.

Jamie: Hello, thank you so much for talking to us today.

Nicole: Oh, it’s a pleasure, thank you. Thank you all for showing up.

Jamie: Sure. Really loving the show. Can you first talk a bit about Holly and what happened more just for the succubus, or is that going to continue on, and do you think maybe it’ll make him a little more receptive to helping without expecting payment?

Nicole: Well, the nature of Holly’s character is he’s an arms dealer, he’s like a black market dealer, so he should expect to be paid for his time and everything. But, I think that slowly the witness pair, Crane and Abbie, are both working on pulling on his heartstrings. He sort of has warmed up to Crane, I think you all saw in Club Twerk, when the succubus actually 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.

Then when it comes to Abbie, I think they have just a really strange but kind of saucy relationship where she knows what he wants and he knows what she wants, and they just kind of barter and bargain to both get at least a semblance of what they are looking for.

Jamie: All right, and then as a quick follow up, I noticed how this season there seems to be a lot of things that are more folklore type of things, like the wendigo and all that. Are they going to be coming back into more of the demonic things from the bible type of stuff again?

Nicole: Yes. There is a bit of that, I think, coming up in the 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, and we’re actually even taking it—the episode that we’re shooting right now, which is based on Hinduism and Buddhism, so we’re taking it international in a way. Just exploring all the different dark entities that all sorts of states or localities play with. I personally think that’s really fascinating as I’ve been doing it.

Jamie: Well, I’ve still been loving it either way, so thank you very much.

Nicole: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question will be from the line Meredith Jacobs of BuddyTV. Please go ahead.

Meredith: Hello. Thank you for taking this call.

Nicole: Hi, Meredith.

Meredith: So, what can you tease about Abbie and Ichabod’s investigation in Tarrytown in Monday’s episode? It looks to be quite personal to Abbie and Jenny.

Nicole: Oh my goodness, please forgive me, I can’t hear you very clearly.

Meredith: Can you talk about Monday’s episode? The investigation in Tarrytown looks like it’s going to be personal for Abbie and Jenny.

Nicole: Oh, yes. Monday’s episode is sort of a big episode for the Mills sisters, and for Abbie as a witness. They basically have to go back into their past, into places that they don’t necessarily want to revisit, and discover and really unhash and talk to even Crane. Especially with Abbie, she doesn’t necessarily want to talk a great deal about her past and the fact that her mother was in a psych ward, and that she was in foster homes. She really is enjoying, even though it’s difficult being a witness and having a purpose and getting away from then, the power of being a witness is really liberating for Abbie. And having to go back to the childhood that was really troubling, and explore that, was for me a very difficult journey, and I’m sure for the character.

But, they end up finding out that—I can’t give the whole thing away, but they end up finding out that there’s a reason why they were basically dragged through the mud as children in order to get them to this point where Abbie’s a witness and Jenny is like this amazing kick-a** know-it-all, all things occult, sort of PhD level specialist. So you sort of see that, and the revelation that their mother was more than just a psychiatric patient is one of the big payoffs in the story. But there is a lot of darkness in their family’s history that explore—I won’t give away exactly what happens, but it’s a little bit of a ride, and kind of a tough one to watch.

Meredith: And then, with the investigation at Tarrytown, does that bring Irving back into the fold more than he has been?

Nicole: I certainly hope so. Absolutely, yes. Irving will definitely be in Episode 209 and throughout. He’s definitely going to be there a little bit more, but he was locked up. The trouble is Henry Parrish is very sweet guy, so once he was locked up, because of [indiscernible], when Henry Parrish got him to sign that contract, we had to sort of—the witnesses had to step back a little bit and figure out where he stood, but in 209, you actually see quite a bit of Irving in a way that you’ve never seen him before, and it’s really gorgeous. He does some really gorgeous work in the episode.

Meredith: Okay, thank you.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Christine Piccolo of Blogcritic. Please go ahead.

Christine: Hello, Nikki, love the show. I’m definitely, I think, the number one fan out there.

Nicole: That’s awesome. Thank you.

Christine: Sure. What was the toughest part about Monday’s episode for you, from an emotional standpoint, and why? Because it’s going to be very highly emotional, definitely.

Nicole: You know what is weird? I was thinking, like—I heard that we were going to do an episode where the sisters were going to get together and fight, and kick some a** like, “Yes! Girls!” Like the two girls episode, I was so excited, and then I read it and I was like, “Oh my god. This is going to, like, really kind of 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, like who wouldn’t be having those problems, you know? 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, and you’re never going to win with Ann, or whatever, we’re not really sure, and it’s so personal because it’s a part of their history that they have to discuss, and their families. And then, of course, there are lots of lives at stake, and they have to make the right decision in the nick of time.

Christine: Right. Well now, what if Abbie had to take Henry out without the support of Ichabod, do you think she would do it?

Nicole: Absolutely.

Christine: Okay. Yeah, I mean, you know, you’re right when you say, Abbie has been so on task, and Ichabod’s focus has been so, I guess, unfocused, because he’s dealing with Katrina, and he’s dealing with his son. So, I think that’d be interesting to see—how would you take him out if you had to take him out?

Nicole: I don’t know, that’s for the writers. I don’t know, there are some pretty interesting—for the remainder of the season, you actually see them becoming a lot more, rather than reactive, they’re proactive. So they’re sort of trying to get ahead of Henry and Moloch, so I could see them planning and doing all the little espionage by having Katrina in the house, and doing all the little things that you would do to win a war. They definitely become—it takes us back to the first episode of the season, where they say, “This is war,” like, we’re back on track in a sense, and that’s really exciting to me.

Christine: Well I’m anxious to see the rest of the season. Thank you so much.

Nicole: Thank you, thank you.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Shawna Jacobs of Crown Sista Magazine [ph]. Please go ahead.

Shawna: Hello, Nicole. First of all, I love the show, but I want to dispute the last caller who said she was your biggest fan because I’m pretty sure I am.

Nicole: Oh, okay, no fighting on the call.

Shawna: [Indiscernible] forty really good questions that are all from the fandom. Is there any possibility that some time during Season 2, either Mom Mills, or someone else from Abbie’s past is going to maybe enlighten us on how Abbie became a witness or how she was chosen to be a witness?

Nicole: Yes. I think if you tune into Monday’s episode coming up, you’ll definitely get the beginnings of that conversation. Lori Mills does show up in the episode, and you find out that there is sort of a legacy that their family has that I would never want to give away over the phone right now. I think it’s going to be much more satisfying for you to watch. But yes, there’s definitely some of that going on, and hopefully a little bit more even explained later on in the season.

Shawna: Okay, thank you. Also, fans really love you and Jenny, and we know from last season that you sort of have custody of her, and you guys are living together; is there any possibility that maybe we’re going to see you guys in your own space and your own home maybe, I don’t know, watching Netflix and fighting over who’s night it is to do the dishes?

Nicole: The funny thing is, this show sort of lives in two places right now. It’s like the past and the present and always running back to the past with all the historical context and then the threat of what’s going on in the present. But I like the sort of future that you think of—and they can like, sort of, chill and bake and have moments together. Yes, that sounds fantastic. There are definitely some moments for our present in this episode that we’re doing, like currently, there’s a little bit of singing that’s going on [indiscernible].

Shawna: I’m very excited about that.

Nicole: Yes. Where we’re able to go out as a team, and you’ll just see a little bit more of that, but there really isn’t a lot of downtime either, you know? So, I don’t know if we’ll be chilling out in Abbie’s apartment. One of the reasons that they’re always in Crane’s cabin is because it’s Corbin’s old place, and it’s actually sort of a post for all of them, like an outpost for all of them.

So, yes, as far as her actual apartment, I don’t know, but we’re definitely, after this episode on Monday, going to see a lot more the sisters really being close and working together. And that’s one of the huge things that happens in this episode is that you see them butting heads, but not in the same way as last season, they definitely get past a great deal of their issues with this huge revelation.

Shawna: Okay, and finally, this is the big one from the fandom, we’re all aware that you know of the Twitter hash tag, #AbbieMillsDeservesBetter, were you shocked at the outpouring of fans who really want to see your character maybe explored a bit more? And also, I’m sure you’re aware of the many tropes that surround African American women on TV, you know everything from ‘the strong black woman’ to ‘the sassy black woman’ to the ‘sapphire nanny’? We were all kind of wondering if you and the writers ever sit down and try to see to it that Abbie never falls into those stereotypes.

One huge thing with the fandom is, everyone wants to see Abbie find love. You know, Katrina and Crane were reunited, even Jenny got in a little lip lock with Harley, so everyone really—they just want to know will Abbie find love? Will she [indiscernible] strong black woman, “I don’t need a man, I can do it all on my own.”

Nicole: So which question [indiscernible]. The one about finding love or the stereotypes?

Shawna: Yes, I think just both of them because they kind of go together.

Nicole: Well, I’m highly aware of that just because I’m an actress and I’m African American, so I’m aware of that kind of thing, those stereotypes. I’d actually been sort of offline for a few weeks, sort of just been busy and not really wanting to be online tweeting and every Monday night we were at work, so I hadn’t been doing that, and then suddenly, Sunday, I was like, “Oh, let me check out—” you know, my friends are like, “You need to see this thing.”

And I saw that there were all these posts that Abbie deserves better or Jenny deserves better, and even Katrina deserves better. I think it’s just—we have amazing fans, they’re so passionate, and I think that they really want to see the female characters on the show be developed totally in the way that some other shows have done, in the way that everyone has expected from a show like this. And Abbie’s been on the show since day one, as has Jenny and Katrina, so there are people that have so many questions about where it’s going, and I just really appreciate the passion, all the questions from both sides.

There’s a side that feels like Katrina’s not being developed in a way that she could be and all that kind of stuff, and everyone has valid comments and it’s all respect and love, and we just love the fact that everyone’s watching and they care so much to say all these things. As far as going into the writers’ room and discussing stereotypes and all that kind of stuff, not necessarily. That hasn’t happened, but I think that we’re pretty aware of it, and when little things pop up, we just kind of give a little side eye, and say, “I don’t really know about that. That might not work out so well.”

And everyone is cool and really understands it. I think that as far as the love thing is concerned, 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 sort of imagining Crane and Abbie together when there wasn’t, and now there’s a ton with Harley and Katrina and Crane, so people are sort of desiring that from Abbie but she is the one that’s being really focused this year, and maybe she just has to wait for the right guy.

Shawna: Okay, thank you.

Nicole: Maybe it just has to be the right guy.

Shawna: Okay, thank you so much, Ms. Nicole.

Nicole: I think there’s definitely a payoff for that. Yes, thank you for your questions.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Monique Jackson of Please go ahead.

Monique: Hello, Nicole, thank you for taking the time for answering so many questions.

Nicole: Awesome, thank you. Thank you for calling in, Monique.

Monique: Well actually the fandom had a lot of questions on my Twitter, but basically we wanted to know will we get to see more of the back story of your character and Jenny’s relationship?

Nicole: Well, in this episode on Monday, we are going to get to see a great deal about at least where they’re coming from. We’re going to see that Abbie’s mother—we’ll go into the Tarrytown Psychiatric Hospital, where they last saw their mother, and find out a lot about what happened with them when they were children and why, so that’s a big part of the episode. And also, there’s an element of setting up, as children, these things happened in order to get them where they are now. But that isn’t to say that there isn’t like a really dark element to their history that perhaps they don’t want to dig into.

Monique: Oh, okay.

Nicole: I’m trying to give you an answer without actually—

Monique: Yes, no spoilers, exactly. I have one quick follow-up question, will we get to see more of the effects that purgatory had on Abbie?

Nicole: I think that the characters are just so resilient. They just had to sort of get it together. The purgatory situation was really quick, right? It just sort of happened and they popped out of it and had to keep going, and I think that that is definitely symptomatic and true of people who are in a battle situation. It’s like, there’s a horrible thing going on but they didn’t even have the time to sort of 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 he** of a lot of fighting coming up that I think is as dynamic, and you’ll get to see the witnesses come together and discuss a little bit about their battle wounds, but not from purgatory, no.

Monique: Okay. Well thank you so much. I love the show. I’m looking forward to Monday’s episode.

Nicole: Oh my goodness, thank you. Thank you so much for your questions.

Monique: All right, thank you.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Donna Evleth of Please go ahead.

Donna: Hello, Nikki, this is Donna from How are you?

Nicole: Hello, I’m lovely. Thank you for calling.

Donna: Just a quick question, the chemistry with you and Tom on the set, I mean you’re kind of his straight man to—as he’s discovering all the technology and [indiscernible], does he adlib a lot, and there’s got to be times that you just want to burst out laughing.

Nicole: There’s not a great deal of adlibbing. I think the writers are really, really talented. They come up with it, and Tom has a dexterity with language, so it feels very natural, it feels like it’s being adlibbed, but those are actually the lines on the page. They’re just kind of—he just takes them off the pages and brings them to life.

As far as cracking up, there are a few moments where we die laughing, but it’s normally not even the text, it’s just little goofy things that we’ll do off set. Like, we have these little warm-ups that we’ll do together, or actually in the upcoming episode there’s a thing that we’ve been doing off set as friends that we’re actually [indiscernible] on camera. We’re doing like a karaoke thing—I won’t give it all away, but yes, we have those little funny moments there, but as far as the work is concerned, it’s actually scripted and we tend to stay on course. I know, it’s kind of a boring answer, but it’s true.

Moderator: [Indiscernible]

Nicole: I think I lost her. She didn’t like my answer. Just like, “Goodnight.”

Moderator: All right, due to time constraints, our last question will be from the line of Nicole Beharie with LA Times. Please go ahead.

Terri: Hello, it’s Terri [ph] from The LA Times. You’re Nicole:, I’m Terri.

Nicole: Hello?

Terri: Hello, Nicole, how are you?

Nicole: I’m lovely.

Terri: Good, thank you for taking time to speak to us. We saw a little bit of a verbal smack down between Abbie and Katrina this past episode, so I was wondering who you think would win a real smack down between Abbie and Katrina.

Nicole: Oh, no, no, no. I just don’t even—why do the women have to fight each other when they’re both on the same side? I just don’t get it. Why does one have to—why can’t they, 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 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.

Terri: There are a lot of shippers out there, quite obviously, and I’m wondering if that whole concept intrigues you, or exasperates you. On the one hand, where you could see that people could feel that way and it might happen, or on the other hand, you think, why do these—just because they’re two beautiful people, why do they have to get together?

Nicole: Thank you for the beautiful people comment, that’s very nice. You should see me, I’m in my jammies right now, so you probably wouldn’t—but 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, 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 things that I don’t even notice, like, who noticed—how did they see all those details? Or things that we take for granted as actors that nobody will even care about, and then your audience actually says, “Hey, we want more of this.” Or, “It does seem like there’s something going on with them, there needs to be more—”

I’m just completely, honestly, touched, of late, that people care enough to have so much to say about the show, you know? Because they could just be like, “Yeah, they have great chemistry, whatever.” But people are sort of 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?” 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 and the whole upheaval, it’s really entertaining from this end. It’s almost like you guys entertaining us after we attempt to give you your jollies.

Terri: We do what we can. Love the show. It’s absolutely awesome. Thank you so much.

Nicole: Thank you. Really, thank you.

Moderator: And I’d like to turn the conference back over to Kristen and Nicole for any closing comments.

Kristen: I’d like to say, thank you to everyone for joining us today and, Nicole, is there anything you’d like to say to the reporters on the line?

Nicole: Yes. Thank you guys so much. Please tune in on Monday and give us a little blast and just stay tuned. We have a lot of great stuff coming up, and your questions were all really amazing. Thank you for your time.

Kristen: Thank you.

Nicole: Goodbye.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference call for today. Once again, we’d like to thank you for your participation in today’s Sleepy Hollow Conference Call, and thank you for using AT&T. Have a wonderful day. You may now disconnect.

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