John Noble is a huge fan of history, so it’s no surprise that he’s hopped on board Sleepy Hollow. The former Fringe actor puts early American history at the top of his reading list, and Fox’s Monday night hit is steeped in it.
Throw in Washington Irving’s 1860s tale of a headless horseman and he was hooked.
“This is during the Revolutionary War, and I find the whole period fascinating,” Noble told reporters during a recent conference call. “I’ve read widely on it. That was enough to make me interested anyway, but then when you link it in with this extraordinary legend that was written in the 1800s by Irving, that is so rich and potent, it’s a perfect combination.”
(Despite being set in upper New York state, Sleepy Hollow is filmed in Wilmington, N.C., a spot that served as one of many real-life hotbeds of the Revolutionary War.)
After a two-week broadcast hiatus, Sleepy Hollow returns Monday with “The Sin Eater,” which introduces Noble’s character, Henry Parrish, a man called upon to help save Ichabod Crane’s (Tom Mison) life. Noble explains that Henry is the sin eater in the storyline, an entity who can remove evil from a person. That’s key in his relationship with Ichabod, who is tied to the eternally-evil Headless Horseman, who gallops back into our lives on Monday.
Noble reveals Henry isn’t a one-time gig; he’s set to appear in three more storylines this year as well as being signed to “quite a lot” of Season 2 episodes.
Noble’s Sleepy Hollow gig reunites him with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who both served as producers on Fringe for five seasons, and was a long time coming. The Aussie actor recalled how the pair had pulled him aside at the Fringe series finale wrap party and asked him to guest star in what would become Sleepy Hollow‘s pilot episode. That didn’t happen, but they got their man in the end.
When asked how Henry compared to his last U.S. television role — Fringe‘s brilliant, but troubled, Walter Bishop — Noble uttered a baritone chuckle.
“Henry doesn’t have that extreme range that Walter had,” he explained. “But what I do see are the secrets and the psychological twists that I find appealing. He’s a mystery man, and I think as time goes on those revelations will be quite a shock.
“But he’s not a crazy like Walter was!”
Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Global and Fox.
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