A Visit to the Set of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow [Gallery]

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

English stage actor Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane) says the Sleepy Hollow plot defies summary: “I remember talking to my mum during the pilot and explaining what we were doing that day and explaining the whole thing. And she went, ‘Oh, eh, alright—are you sure you don’t want to do some more Shakespeare?’ And I said, ‘No, no … trust this one.’”

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Cop Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie) is stalked by Sandman (Marti Matulis) on location in Wilmington, N.C

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

More bug spray, please. Because the character Sandman (Marti Matulis) has no mouth, the actor has to communicate with the crew through the written word.

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Set on 50 acres of ground abutting a wood, the EUE Screen Gems Studios lot is sprawling. Demonic presences hitching rides in minivans are a common sight here.

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Not only does filming in Wilmington save on production costs, it also offers a diversity of landscapes. Here, Nicole Beharie (Abbie Mills) and Mison prepare to shoot a scene at the Geronimotors used car lot.

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Beharie and Mison already have established an easy, sometimes goofy, rapport. Both actors slip in and out of character like they’re peeling off a bathrobe. None of that Method stuff for these two.

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Director John Showalter (in cap) and director of photography Kramer Morgenthau discuss a shot. Morgenthau pulled double duty in the pilot, manning the cameras while portraying the steely-eyed George Washington. As Mison tells it: “They were sitting in a production meeting discussing who to cast as Washington. And someone looked over at Kramer and got out a dollar bill and held it next to him and that was it. It was nice watching him on that day behind the monitor, moving lights about dressed as General Washington.”

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Mison’s mornings begin in the makeup chair. Executive producer Ken Olin on the Sleepy Hollow star: “He’s a nice English boy. You know, he dresses nicely and he’s kind of preppy. Then he puts on the Ichabod Crane wardrobe and he looks like a rock star. … He’s virile and swashbuckling, but because there’s still a little Tom in him, at the end of the day there’s something very sweet and accessible about Crane.”

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Film actress Beharie (42, Shame, The Express) grounds the series in a contemporary reality. “Nicole is a very contemporary actress,” Olin says. “She’s very real, she’s behavioral, she’s got her own idiosyncrasies … and there’s just this weird chemistry between her and Tom. Somehow they match up really well.”

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Mison chats with an AP before he and Beharie shoot a scene in the Archive. Crane is a departure from his previous onscreen roles. “Before this I was only playing the slightly pathetic, weedy guys,” he says. “And before that I was the obnoxious posh guy. I’m very grateful that they’ve given me the chance to play a tougher guy, a cantankerous, arrogant prick … who’s also a hero, as well. And then god, who knows what next … [laughs] A drag act!” 

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Orlando Jones plays Capt. Frank Irving, Abbie’s superior and a man of ambiguous interests. “I can’t wait to find out whether Orlando’s a rationalist or a bad guy,” Mison says. As writer Jose Molina notes, one can never be entirely sure where a character’s alliances lie. “You’re going to meet people as the season progresses, and you’re going to think they’re one thing and they’ll turn out to be the opposite,” Molina says. “I can’t tell you too much more without being spoileriffic.”

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Behind The Scenes: Sleepy Hollow

Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny Mills), waiting out a lighting change on her very first day on the Sleepy Hollow set. “I got here Saturday night,” says the Toronto native. “I had a wardrobe fitting Sunday, met some of the hair and makeup people, and here I am today. And yeah, this is my first day and we’re like in this crazy psych ward and it’s … it’s pretty rad. I like it.”

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