Sleepy Hollow's Orlando Jones on Capt. Irving's Secret: 'It's Not What You're Expecting'
Sleepy Hollow‘s Orlando Jones knows what you’re thinking.
The man is online all. the. time. He scans Tumblr, tosses out fan fiction prompts, live-tweets episodes and gets all up in it with the increasingly enthusiastic viewers of his supernatural series. With all of those hours logged on the Web, he’s seen a lot of theories about what his character, the seemingly straitlaced Capt. Frank Irving, might be hiding.
“I can honestly say everybody is off, very off,” he says during a pause in filming, as he sits off to the side of the show’s North Carolina soundstage while crew members ready the archives set for another take. Creative fans’ “emphasis is in the wrong place,” he says. “Like, you don’t know what coven anybody’s a part of, really. You just know what coven they say they’re a part of.”
He cites John Cho’s rapidly decomposing Andy Brooks as an example. “Obviously, he’s dead. He’s a zombie. But even though that’s where he stands, he still has feelings for Abbie, and so even though in theory he is a subject of Moloch, he’s not exactly behaving that way.” Jones sits back, considering it all, Irving’s holstered gun bumping against the chair. “I think that’s what’s interesting about the show.”
Though small town police lieutenant Abbie and time-displaced Revolutionary War soldier Ichabod are at the center of the Fox hit, we’re slowly learning that various members of their support crew – like Irving — have secrets of their own.
Jones promises we will learn “a lot” more about Abbie and Ichabod’s boss – possible reveals: Why has he cut the duo so much slack? Is there any significance to his character sharing a surname with Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving? – before the end of the season, “but it’s not what you’re expecting,” he says. “Not at all.”
FAMILY SECRETS | Hollow‘s last new episode introduced the audience to Irving’s ex-wife Cynthia and wheelchair-bound daughter Macey, as well as to the mystery of what trauma the family faced in the recent past. Might that have something to do with Rev. Boland, the Catholic priest who’ll soon show up as one of Irving’s longtime advisors?
Jones, gregarious by nature, busts out a louder than usual, as-if-I-would-tell-you laugh. The pastor is “very devoted, and he’s helping me through what is going to be an extraordinarily difficult time in Irving’s life,” he says after thinking for a minute. Then, he adds cryptically, “It’s always weird when you go have a discussion with your reverend that doesn’t end with ‘Amen.’”
LOOKING OUT FOR NUMERO UNO | Executive producer Ken Olin tells TVLine he sees Irving’s end-of-Season-1 path as one of “self-preservation.”
“Not only are Irving’s relationships with Crane and Abby really put in jeopardy, but his entire career is put in jeopardy based on trying to protect people that he cares about,” Olin says, teasing that “choices are going to be made that involve potentially huge sacrifices.”
Whether or not Jenny Mills is one of those Irving will try to protect remains unclear. Though Jones and co-star Lyndie Greenwood have shared just a few scenes, many fans seem to like the idea of Abbie’s buttoned-up boss and her lawbreaker of a sister fighting evil together.
RELATED | Ask Ausiello: Sleepy Hollow Spoilers
“I, personally, am a fan of the Jenny-Irving team-up,” Greenwood chimes in, though she’s not sure whether their partnership should cross into romance. “Irving is a badass. He’s a tough guy. She doesn’t have to mince words with him, and their weird, awkward chemistry is kind of cool. I’d like to see more of them.” (Jones’ take: “I’m a captain of ‘shipping. I like all ‘ships.”)
ONE OF YOU | If Jones fits in so easily with the show’s online fanbase, it’s probably because he’s just as pumped about what’s to come – even though, unlike them, he’s known from the outset what will happen.
The series’ creators “gave us a clear blueprint of what everything was, how the methodology worked and what was happening… and then they surprise us every episode,” he says, shaking his head.
Coming Monday: Your Sleepy Hollow burning questions answered! (And yes, we’ll address Ichabod’s state of undress)Follow @kimroots