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Tom Mison of 'Sleepy Hollow' on clothes, chemistry & Ichabod Crane


November 03, 2013|By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol | RedEye

Ichabod Crane has battled an evil Headless Horseman and been baffled by an electric coffee maker in Fox's freshman fantasy hit "Sleepy Hollow."

Yet one of the big topics on social media is the 18th century clothing he continues to wear weeks after waking in present-day Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., from a 250-year slumber induced by his witch wife.

"At least he gave them a wash in the sink," joked Tom Mison, who plays Washington Irving's classic character with a twist. "He's considerate."

During a conference call last week, the British actor told me his character's "iconic" wardrobe would be addressed soon, but that fans can consider it Crane's "big stinking security blanket."

"He's a long way from home--250 years away from home--so anything that he can hold on to from his time, I think he certainly will," Mison said.

Crane can be forgiven his lack of fashion awareness. He has more pressing things on his mind, like trying to figure out modern conveniences such as OnStar systems, not to mention investigating a supernatural conspiracy that stretches back to the Revolutionary War.

Crane and his police partner, Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), seek the help of the mysterious Henry Parrish in "The Sin Eater," airing at 8 p.m. Monday on Fox.

Parrish, played by former "Fringe" actor John Noble, "will become a very important character in the series," Mison said. "He's a savior."

Until "Sleepy Hollow," Mison's biggest appearance on U.S. television was a role in the HBO miniseries "Parade's End." Mison said he's grateful for the role, adding that many British casting directors probably would not have considered him for it.

He's also happy to be working with Beharie, with whom he has become friends.

"For the rest of my career I'll look back on this job and hold it in really high regard largely thanks to Nicole," he said, "and my coat and boots, obviously."

Mison answered more questions from writers about his chemistry with Beharie, working with Noble and what's coming for Ichabod Crane.

Will we see Ichabod bend the rules or act out?
Yes. I think without giving too much away, when things start to get very personal, when there are revelations that are personal attacks on Crane and his past, that's when the rules start to fly out of the window, and he starts misbehaving a little bit more. Yes. I'm trying not to spoil it. I'm sorry.

Is that fun to play when he kind of gets to act out a bit?
Oh, it's nice. Every chance to show a different side to Ichabod is great. As a very obvious example—the difference between Ichabod we see in the 18th Century and the modern-day Ichabod. There are different sides to him, and equally the well behaved and the less well behaved, the more unhinged Ichabod. There's plenty of that to come, and I'm trying desperately not to throw spoilers at you or I'll be in a lot of trouble.

You can tease a little...
The personal and his past, revelations about his past--I think that's as close as I can get, I'm afraid.

I have the most pressing question of the day, maybe. Is Ichabod ever going to wear modern clothes?
It was question No. 2. I was wondering how long it would be before that question comes up. I expected every question to be that. Yes. That will be mentioned very, very soon. You'll see the question of clothes coming up. I think we quite liked having Ichabod in—give him an iconic look, which I think everyone's managed to achieve rather nicely.

What's been the most fun as you were creating this character? Was it the cadence of the language or the clothes or growing your hair long?
I think it's trying to work out how moody someone would be when they come out of the ground after 200 years. It's been nice, as I said to the question before, finding the difference between Crane in his time and place, and Crane after all of this weird stuff has happened. It's finding the balances, like the balances between that and the balance between Crane trying to hide his confusion at the world, and when it suddenly comes out.

There [are] so many plates that need to be spun to keep Ichabod on track, and it's hard work. It's a really difficult part to play, but I think that's what makes it so satisfying. There's a lot for me to sink my teeth into.

The show has a premise that even its fans agree is somewhat implausible. Did you have any trepidation about signing on because of that rather outrageous concept for the show?
I always like to have faith that an audience will suspend their disbelief if you present it to them in the right way. I find it peculiar when people scoff at one bold idea, and yet they'll then turn over and watch a man travel through time in a police phone box.

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