Exclusive Interview: Nicole Beharie on ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and 42

Nicole Beharie 2

Now that you’ve seen the first episode of  “Sleepy Hollow,” you’re probably interested in Nicole Beharie. She plays a new character in the modern day scary tale, officer Abbie Mills, who takes on Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) when he’s transported from the past to the present.

It’s been a big year for Beharie, as she played Jackie Robinson’s wife in the film hit 42 earlier this year. When I saw the movie and the pilot, I wanted to know more about her so when Beharie came to the Television Critics Association party for Fox, we sat down by ourselves away from the crowd and got to know each other. 

CraveOnline: Do you think Abbie and Ichabod could have a romance at some point?

Nicole Beharie: What are you talking about? What are you saying? I think that the potential of anything happening on this show is possible. Right now, I don’t know that that’s going to happen, but I do know that they’re really fighting towards ending the apocalypse so they sort of have bigger fish to fry. And he is a married man, but who knows?

It’s funny, that’s where my mind went and everyone reminds me he’s still married.

And Katia [Winter] is a gorgeous woman. His wife is gorgeous.

And to him it hasn’t been 200 years. He just woke up. I’m thinking she’s long gone, go with this cool cop.

It was a second ago, yeah. And you know, it’s a new world. I don’t think that Abbie is tremendously attracted to a man who doesn’t know anything about the world. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Tom laughed when I asked about Ichabod going to Starbucks.

[Laughs] I think what’s really interesting is the onset of we’re in the 21st century and we have this information superhighway. We have the internet, we have Twitter, all these things that he could not even imagine, he could not fathom. He comes from a time of like horse and buggies and lighting a lantern with actual fire, so I think what’s really interesting is watching him navigate that terrain. I don’t know that Abbie would necessarily be into that.

Not yet, but he just got here.

You are so ahead of us it’s not even funny. 

It’s just because when “Fringe” started Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman said Peter and Olivia weren’t love interests and of course that’s where it went. Anything is possible.

That’s the thing, anything’s possible. However, there are a lot of characters. The pilot is just the beginning. There are a lot of interesting characters that are going to be introduced and that will have really complicated relationships with the apocalypse and the way that we do things, so I feel like anything could happen. I’m not really certain. Honestly, I’m really not certain. However, Tom Mison is a sexy MF. He’s cute, right? He’s a cute guy.

Do you think you’ll get to have scenes with Katia Winter?

You know what’s funny? At the very end of the day, Katia and I had an interview for the first time, and I actually said to the press people and to Bob and Alex, I was like the women of "Sleepy Hollow" have to get together a little bit more often. Because the guys, you’ve got Orlando Jones, the biggest, boisterous character. You’ve got Tom who’s got his English wit. Katia and I were able to just mellow out and tell a really interesting perspective. We have parallels that I don’t think we even noticed until we were together.

I don’t know. I think there’s a possibility of us fighting for him maybe, but she’s a witch. She has a lot of powers so who knows? She’s gorgeous, but I have gun.

Had you always wanted to play a kick-ass action heroine?

Fred, I honestly never imagined I would actually get to do this. No, like seriously. I never imagined as a black, African-American 20-something, I would be able to do this. You just don’t see it. It’s just not a reality. When they called me in, I read it and I was like, “Okay, cool, this is great.” I never saw myself as someone who would be able to tote a gun and be also in a fantasy piece, but I welcome it with open arms because I grew up on comic books and action films. Those are the things I kind of thrive on, other than the random French Film. I love that. 

Which random French Film did you like?

A Prophet, Last Tango in Paris. I love that kind of stuff, but on the flip side I love X-Men and comic books. Anything that Harrison Ford was in back in the ‘80s. I love those things, but I’ve never seen myself as a representative. So hats f***ing off, hats off to Bob and Alex and Fox for saying, “We’re going to cast this girl as the gun toting apocalyptic crusader and witness.” It’s amazing. 

That’s interesting. It is very forward thinking.