Other than get us into the Javits through a special entrance with no lines, our fancy press passes ALSO meant we got invited to special press sessions. A week or so before the Con, we got the crown jewel of emails…an invite to the press session for our new favorite show, Sleepy Hollow. Naturally, we RSVP’d immediately, hoping that we would score a spot. Days went by with no word as to whether or not we had gotten in. We resigned ourselves to the fact that unless Tom Mison decided to wander the show floor, we would miss him, as the Sleepy Hollow panel was at the same time as the Doctor Who Big Finish panel (which preceded the X-Files panel, which as you all know was our main goal of the whole Con). And then Saturday night, magic happened. I was getting a post-Con drink with Sage when I checked my email. I promptly started screaming and hitting Sage when I discovered a message from the Fox PR rep.
We. Were. In.
As Sage said in her post about Day 4, The Comic Con scheduling Gods smiled down upon us on Sunday. The press session fit perfectly in the window of time between the Gareth-David Lloyd panel and the Big Finish panel. After charging up our phones in the press lounge (seriously…what WOULD we have done without that lounge?), we checked in at the press table and were promptly escorted back to the interview room (how much more LEGIT can we get, y’all?). We snagged seats at our assigned table (super close to where the talent would sit, naturally) and started chatting with our fellow journalists. After much flailing with one of the girls sitting next to us, I grabbed a business card and said “You’d probably like our blog!”. She took it and looked at it and THEN SAID “Oh! I’ve actually read this blog before!”
You know that moment in When Harry Met Sally where Marie quoted an article that Jess wrote BACK to him? Well now Sage and I know exactly how he felt in that moment.
The format for the press session was a photo and video interview session first, followed by Roundtables with the talent. Feeling oh so professional, we lined up with everyone else as the talent started filing in…
Guys. The photos don’t EVEN do Tom Mison justice. He’s absolutely beautiful and charming and has NO idea that he is on the verge of being super famous. As he was posing for pics, Sage and I noticed his very chic two toned green and brown boots. Since we have zero filter, we said that we liked them and he heard us. “Oh, thanks,” Tom said. “My dad said they were rather snazzy!” “AND they match your scarf,” I said. “So the whole outfit is working.” He grinned at us and then kept posing as we desperately tried not to faint from his dreaminess.
Nicole Beharie and Orlando Jones arrived shortly after Tom and Katia for their photos. We complimented both of their outfits as well, even getting an “Oh, STOP!” from Orlando when we told him how dapper he looked. What can we say? We love fashion here at Head Over Feels, and we always feel it is important for someone, be it a celebrity or a regular joe, to know that we think they look good. Pay the compliments forward, people.
Once the photos and video interviews were done, we settled in at our tables for roundtable interviews with the talent. Luckily, we got Tom (who was oh so Britishly cradling a cup of tea) and Katia first. Sage and I also learned our lesson about being bold with questions after our experience at the “Asylum of the Daleks” Doctor Who roundtable last year, so we weren’t afraid to speak up. Tom proved to be just as wry as Ichabod, frequently interlacing his interplay with the table with quips like “These WILD assumptions” when asked about the Ichabod/Abbie ship or telling one journalist she had a “silver tounge” when she talked about the differences between Irving’s portrayal of Ichabod versus his own. He also adorably pointed his fingers at Katia behind her back when he was asked about what characters may not be all that they seem. Like I said before, he’s completely charming and is now seriously threatening to break into my Top 5.
We know you’re only interested in what WE had to say to them right? So I’ve transcribed my audio recording (which wasn’t the GREATEST of quality due to how cavernous the room was) for you all…because to be honest…our questions were pretty awesome.
Kim: I think so much of why I’ve connected with the show is the humor in it and I don’t know if you’re aware that there’s a hashtag on Twitter where we call it “Sassy Hollow”…
Tom Mison: Oh my God! (GIGGLES DELIGHTEDLY) Sassy Hollow!
Kim: Because Ichabod is so sassy! Did that come about in the writing or in your discovery of your performance and the chemistry with Nicole?
Katia Winter: When I read the pilot I didn’t think it was meant to be funny!
Kim: Yes! It blew me away with the quips and the fish out of water moments!
Katia: I think it’s TOM who has made it funny.
Tom: (dryly) It’s my natural affinity with Roger Moore. (Laughter) But yeah, the writers are acutely aware that they can’t write something as audacious as this without supporting it with the humor.
Kim: It’s like it’s winking at itself.
Tom: Exactly! It also allows us to be very serious about all that’s going on with the netherworld and the apocalypse…the characters are very focused and serious about THAT but the show as a whole gets the joke and can give you a little wink at the end.
Kim: The Yolanda scene was one of the funniest things on television last week, so props for that.
Tom: Thank you very much!
Sage: It’s definitely a difficult show to put in any sort of genre or a box, so I’m wondering when you were working on it and telling your family and friends about it…how did YOU describe Sleepy Hollow?
Tom: I remember talking to my mum when we were filming the pilot and she asked what we were doing that day and I told her about a man with no head chasing me around with an axe and I was explaining the show and the ideas for the season as a whole and she was just baffled! She said “I don’t know…maybe do you want to come back and maybe do some more Shakespeare?” It’s weird, and actually I would agree…for such a long time, before anyone saw it, any attempts to describe it I would have to finish with “…but it’s REALLY good!” because I hadn’t worked out HOW to describe it. Even only 3 months ago when we were in San Diego…just look back at the tapes of us TRYING to get people to watch it…but it’s REALLY good.
EDIT: A lovely reader sent us a video she found of our session with Tom and Katia! Check it out!
Sadly, we couldn’t hog all of Tom and Katia’s time, so they were whisked away after 11 minutes and were replaced by Executive Producers Len Wiseman (who also directed the pilot) and Alex Kurtzman.
Sage: I think it’s interesting that your panel is the same day as the X-Files panel, which I feel like was a show that paved the way for shows like yours, especially on your network. So I’m wondering if you guys are fans of that show or any other genre shows that broke ground in terms of primetime network shows.
Len Wiseman: We’re huge fans of that show for sure. It did break ground, it was such a great TONE too, I think that it really took itself serious enough but you had fun with those characters. I actually LOVE that show.
Alex Kurtzman: That show was the “big bang” in many ways with these kinds of shows. It also had one of the greatest, if not THE greatest writing staffs ever assembled, all of who have gone on to do great shows in their own right (Side note: did Alex read our blog saying the SAME THING?). You know, I think what The X-Files did so brilliantly was that it created an over-arching mythology that really allowed you to go long-term with the show, and gave you two heroes that were rooted, at least emotionally, on the opposite sides of the fence, but always pointed toward the same thing. That dynamic was so captivating. It was lightning in a bottle, to get those two actors in THOSE parts at THAT moment, it was an extraordinary thing. If we could be compared to The X-Files…we live in their shadow and are humbled by it and could only aspire to be as long-term as they were.
Kim: Knowing that you already have a second season, is that going to affect your storytelling for the rest of this season, or are you just like “YEAH! SEASON TWO!”
Len: No, it doesn’t. It actually makes us just sort of relax? Not relax…but we know now that when we take the first season where we want to, we will be able to pay off everything, rather than stress over “is it going to happen or not?” so it really just allows us to see things through and know that we can.
Kim: Do you have a fear of airing these 13 episodes and then going away until next fall…do you have apprehension about what may happen with the fanbase being away for so long?
Len: I think we should put out a Sleepy Hollow summer course.
Alex: Obviously we want people to stay tethered to the show. But I really believe that the way to do that is to do a show with quality. The cable model now is starting to extend into the network world in such a wonderful way and what it does is it FORCES you to “kitchen sink” every episode, every episode could be the finale. When you do 22 episode seasons there are always at least one or two “transitional” episodes and we can’t afford any of those. I think that if you leave audiences at the end of a season going “OH MY GOD I HAVE TO COME BACK” it’s going to be because they were satisfied by it as well. So our hope is that we’ll accomplish that goal and people will WANT to come back for Season 2.
Our time with Orlando Jones and Nicole Beharie was the shortest of the session, so Sage and I weren’t able to ask a question personally. Orlando, who is obviously known for his work in comedy, had some great things to say about why he sought out work on a drama:
Orlando Jones: Look…part of the reason I stopped doing comedies, frankly, is because they became BROAD comedies (Side Note: HELLO NEW NBC THURSDAY NIGHT LINE-UP) and I was always more interested in character driven reality based comedy stuff. I was always a big fan of Tom Hanks and watching him transition from Bosom Buddies to Big to what you see him do now. Even Forrest Gump, which is not a comedy but is a wonderfully funny movie. I really like when it’s really grounded. I think (my character) Irving says some things that are really funny, but he’s not a funny PERSON. So I like that…you don’t have to push it. We no longer have to pretend the audience is stupid. You guys are acutely aware of everything and really understand what it is. You really allow us to do different things and that’s exciting to me.
*cue me giving him a standing ovation in my brain*
Orlando also talked about how he’s embraced interacting with the fandom because he is a geek too (a Trekkie specifically). So let’s love him, everyone. Nicole also talked about how intelligent she thought the SleepyHeads were and how she loves reading their theories and how those theories can make her see things in a different light. Orlando then stressed that Sleepy Hollow now belongs to all of us. “We own this together,” he said. “Your voice is as important as our voice and not shutting that voice out is something I really wanted to do.”
So essentially the entire cast is perfect and loves us just as much as we love them.
Then the MEAN (okay, fine, she was just doing her job) publicist came and snagged Orlando and Nicole for more group pictures.
And while Nicole and Orlando had one more roundtable to do, the rest of us were done. Sage and I slowly gathered up our things, as we kept our eye on the prize…Tom Mison himself. We weren’t sure if he was having to hurry off to get ready for the panel and we DID want to somewhat remain professional within the confines of the press room, so we let him walk out just in front of us. As we were leaving though, Alex Kurtzman was standing by the door, so I started chatting with him and congratulating him on the show as we moseyed down the hall…just behind Tom. We then said goodbye to Alex…and with Tom JUST in front of us and clearly in no hurry, I summoned up all my gumption and the HOF philosophy of “screw it, we’re doing this”, because it was now or never. I reached out…PUT MY HAND ON HIS BACK…and said “Tom?” He stopped and turned around. “Would you mind taking a picture with us for our blog?” He smiles that perfect smile and said “Of course!”. He then stopped show CREATOR Philip Isocove to take the picture for us and teased him when he couldn’t figure out my camera at first (“Oh, come on, Phil! It’s just a CAMERA!”). We got our picture and our snuggle from him (He is SO TALL and LOVELY) and went on our way to the Main Hall for the Big Finish panel…completely besotted from our experience with not only Tom, but the whole Sleepy Hollow Team. Flawless human beings, all of them.
Mison Mission: Accomplished.