Orlando Jones’ Captain Irving was ushered wholeheartedly into the supernatural fold of Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” last week, when he had his first dangerous encounter with the Headless Horseman.
Attempting to retrieve the demon rider’s pasty, withered head at the lab, the Captain turned into the Horseman’s target, only narrowly escaping death. This week, though, it’ll be the Horseman in the firing line as Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Mison) and Orlando’s Captain Irving work to interrogate Headless, thanks to the clever idea of using UV light to create their captive’s worst enemy —sunlight.
It’s these kinds of creative plot twists that had the actor buzzing about the show, when he spoke to AccessHollywood.com.
“I’m enjoying it from the viewer’s seat, probably as much as I am doing it,” Orlando told Access. “It’s just a blast and I think it’s really fun to watch and I kind of love the fact that it doesn’t really resemble anything I’ve seen before in feature or television in the sense that it kind of is its own world, its own thing.”
Ahead of Monday’s new episode (airing at 9/8c on Fox), Orlando discussed Captain Irving’s perspective on things, how the trio will make due interrogating a man without a mouth (or head) and whether he’d like his character to get one of those rather unique voicemails from Ichabod on his “smart… phone.”
AccessHollywood.com: Last week’s episode was pretty huge for your character. He crossed paths with — and was attacked by — the Headless Horseman. How excited were you when you finally got that script in?
Orlando Jones: I think a lot, just because at a certain point… it’s one of those things where, how long can you talk about it (laughs). I actually liked the lead up to it because… I didn’t want to jump into being a believer. And to me, that would just rob all the fun from it, because I still sort of believe that if somebody walked up to you and told you there was a Headless Horseman, you’d be like, ‘Look, whatever you’re smoking is cool, but we don’t need to have this discussion right now.’ … I think what’s most exciting is where it’s going, which is the unfortunate part, because that’s stuff I can’t tell you. It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Access: This week looks to be a big episode. The UV light – who knew it wasn’t just for ‘Dateline’ hotel investigations — it’s for Horseman interrogations. What can you tell us about what’s about to take place?
Orlando: (Laughs) Bravo. … The funny thing to me is that it’s so soon that we bring in lights and turn a place into day when it’s actually night. … I actually was sort of impressed with the idea that you could use sunlight — because obviously the Horseman never rolled during the day — to say, ‘OK, how do you recreate sunlight? This is how you do it,’ and trapping him that way would be a cool way to do it. It sort of smells a little of the vampire world, except when they hit sunlight they disintegrate. So I kind of felt that was cool. It’s gonna be an interesting interrogation because he doesn’t have a head. … How do you interrogate somebody who — even if he wants to respond (laughs) — he can’t.
Access: From the trailer, it’s John Cho’s character Andy (who is back from the undead) speaking for the Headless Horseman. … Can his character ever be killed?
Orlando: It’s tough to say. I think it’s a question of his use to Moloch and I think we have yet to know if Moloch can be killed. Frankly, I find Moloch far more mortifying than the Horseman ever could be. He’s just way scarier and clearly more powerful. So I think using Andy to sort of have the conversations is gonna be interesting. I kind of like the fact that everybody’s conflicted on some level. He’s got his conflicts going on; there’s somebody who’s basically a zombie at this point, and we have all of our conflicts happening with regards to how we’re gonna handle the circumstances. It’s sure to be an interesting interrogation… and I’m sure that we will probably discover things about the Horseman.
Access: The humor on this show is really subtle, but really funny. Do you have any favorite lines from any of the characters?
Orlando: I guess the ones I like the most are probably [from] Ichabod, because he gets to actually do them comedically because of the nature of his character. Frank is not funny and is not saying [things] as a joke, because he just doesn’t see it that way because the stakes of it, I think, for both Frank and Abbie are a little heavier in many ways. Jenny says things that I think are really funny, often, where she’s just like, ‘Seriously?!?’ It’s really Jenny and Ichabod who I think are by far the funniest in terms of what they say.
Access: Are you hoping Ichabod leaves Captain Irving a voicemail message on his smart… phone at some point?
Orlando: I can’t imagine what that message would entail. I really like our relationship. … We’re both the same rank — he’s a captain and I’m a captain and we have a very sort of military-esque relationship and we have a healthy respect for each other, but by the same token… I have previously dealt with him like, ‘You are under her control and as long as you don’t do something to make me crazy, I’m gonna go with it,’ (laughs). So I hope to never to get that message from [Ichabod] because I kind of feel like if I do, he’s gonna be calling me to tell me something because Abbie can’t.
Access: It seems like Frank and Ichabod are stuck in the same clothes in each episode. Are you hoping for a costume change out of the suit?
Orlando: In this [Monday’s] episode, I’m actually not in the suit for once! … I kind of feel a little bit like the way I feel about Ichabod in the sense that it would be really weird to me if Ichabod took off the gear, simply because it would almost be like he was entirely divorcing himself from his past, which is so much a part of his present objectives. … It’d almost be like he’d decided [he was] done with his life and done with the world. … I sort of feel a little bit like that about Irving in the sense that I’m the only character who’s not from Sleepy Hollow. I’m from Manhattan, so I always sort of feel like both of us are sort of stuck in the same thing… like I’m still a Manhattan guy, assigned to try and bring about some answers to what’s happening here. There is nothing personal happening for me there. It’s all professional. … As long as you’re in Sleepy, he’s pretty much living in that office and that requires all the accoutrements that goes with being the person in authority. So, yeah, it would be nice to get out of that madness for once, and I am this week, so I’m very happy.
Access: Finally, let me ask you if you’re hoping for any time travel or visits to purgatory or your own shower scene like Tom had (in the second episode)?
Orlando: (Laughs!) That’s fantastic. Wow. … Purgatory, I don’t know because there’s nothing happening there other than Katrina being trapped there and for me, what’s fun about the show is there’s a war in full bloom and I’d much rather have him be where the action is. … I think all of us, Abbie included, sort of want to be where it’s going down and right now, present day, is where it’s actually happening.
“Sleepy Hollow” airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.
-- Jolie Lash