Sleepy Hollow Casts Defiance Star Jaime Murray as a Divine Demon

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Cast Jaime Murray Vetala

Defiance‘s Jaime Murray sure must like spending time in the make-up chair.

The actress has been recruited to play a corpse-inhabiting evil spirit in the upcoming back half of Sleepy Hollow‘s second season, TVLine has learned exclusively.

Murray will portray a vetala, or ghostly being from Hindu lore. She’ll appear in Episode 14, which is titled “Kali Yuga.”

In addition to her work as the alien Stahma on Syfy’s Defiance, Murray’s career includes roles on Warehouse 13Ringer, and Dexter.

In other Sleepy casting news, Sharif Atkins (White Collar, ER) has been cast as Calvin Riggs, the upright (and good-looking) photojournalist Michael Ausiello told you about a few weeks ago.

Series show runner Mark Goffman tweeted the news earlier this week:

We hear the only family hometown boy Calvin has left is his younger brother, Daniel.

Thoughts on these castings, Sleepyheads? Sound off in the comments!


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. M. says:

    Yay for Jaime.

    I think I finally have to start watching season 2.

  2. Drew says:

    I’m curious to see how an 18 episode season plays out for this show. I’m a little concerned that it might be too much. Last year had a good number. This year’s midseason finale was pretty strong and might have been a solid season finale. I hope the rest of the season doesn’t tread water.

  3. Gia says:

    Ok. Too many guest stars now. And Hindu?

  4. Molly says:

    I’ve been wanting a Defiance/Sleepy Hollow crossover for awhile now. Perhaps this is the start of one. :D

  5. Rebecca says:

    So, they couldn’t get Indira Varma?

  6. Josh says:

    Not a big fan of Sharif Atkins, always find him a bit blah tbh. Plus, I was hoping Abbie would be hooking up with the Kindred, who you know is going to come back looking like a human.

  7. I have loved Jaime Murray since Hustle. And I would have been excited to see her on Sleepy Hollow, but I feel like casting a white actress to play a supernatural creature of Hindu origins is a missed opportunity. Surely there was a role she could have been invited to play that didn’t require whitewashed casting.

  8. cat says:

    I think the Sleepy Writers are trying WAY too hard to delve into every mythology there is, but they are doing it at a kindergarten level. The writing is just so poor. Hire an X-Files writer!

  9. herman1959 says:

    I really have mixed feelings on this one. I like Sharif, but I feel like they are throwing too many “eligible” men at Abbie and it’s distracting.

  10. Maryam says:

    Racist as always smh… of course a white woman will be casted for a role from HINDU LORE.

  11. sophia says:

    looool you gotta be kidding me a WHITE actress to play a hindu role??? come on man this is ridiculous

  12. sam says:

    How low has this show fallen?! Are you telling me they didn’t see anything wrong with casting a lily white British actress in a Hindu role? SH has gone down the racist drain.

    • Jonah Scher says:

      The vetala is a spirit from Hindu mythology capable of possessing a dead body. It can possess “any” dead body–black, white, Hindu, whatever. We’re not talking about Brad Pitt playing Bob Marley here, where an actor is playing the role of a real individual whom he does not resemble, and, some would contend, stealing the role from those whom birth has made more obvious for the role, but who are excluded as a result of systemic marginalization. How is “vetala” commonly translated? Although “goblin” was the popular translation a while back, more recent translators have realized that the vetala has far more in common with the vampire, and it is now sometimes referred to as such. The vampire legend originated in Eastern Europe. How boring (not to mention racist) would it be if only Eastern European actors portrayed them? The zombie mythology is of Haitian origin, and before that, African.Conscripting only or mostly black actors to play zombies or for that matter being true to their Voudon roots, would, besides being rife with unfortunate implications, put a serious damper on a large number of zombie franchises. So in that sense the vetala is simply another undead creature appropriated for the movies, as so many have before–the Vampire, the zombie, the Ghul, the mummy. the jiangshi, the Draugr, even the bean sidhe–each undead (the last arguably), each appropriated from an underrepresented cultural tradition, each mercifully played by actors of a variety of races.

      Of course, we have other examples of cross-cultural acting which rarely attract attention. Morgan Freeman IS God, despite God coming from the cultural beliefs of a light-brown skinned Middle-Eastern culture to which neither Morgan Freeman nor virtually anyone else who has played God in recent years belongs. Not to mention all of those non-Semitic angels….
      And Chris Hemsworth is not Norwegian, and neither, I believe, is the person who plays Loki.

      I’ve seen Chinese people wearing wigs to look American in videos, despite the presumed presence of actual Americans in a country of over a billion souls.

      I have seen black men, and even women, playing roles from Shakespeare, and I do not mean Othello.

      “But,” you respond, “this does not matter, because we are trying to speak out against the marginalization of minority actors.”
      Fair’s fair, that’s a problem.
      But rather than fighting it by holding actors portraying the vetala to a peculiar standard against which no other undead is measured, fight it by trying to see minority actors land major roles in large productions, rather than one-shot monster-of-the-week pieces defined by their race. For example, I would not mind seeing a supernatural drama where three-eighths of the main cast was black, and a quarter, a whole quarter, black women. That would outnumber the percentage of blacks in the actual population, never mind Hollywood.

      Oh, wait….

      • billie says:

        Vampires come in all ethnicities, but the original vampire, Dracula is ALWAYS Caucasian as he should be, as he was in the book.
        By the same standard, (and I speak as someone who likes Jaime Murray’s work very much), the original vetala, should be Indian. If you want to cast a zombie, call it a zombie. When you call it a vetala, it’s a specific indication that the character is Indian. Casting a Caucasian actress as a Vetala is like casting an Indian leprechaun, it’s inaccurate.
        Also, I’ve never watched the show myself, but given the recent complaints I’ve heard from Sleepy hollow fans about the non white characters being marginalised or killed off, it seems like an unnecessary provocation.

        • S says:

          Okay, you’re missing the point, which is that the creature is a disembodied force that possesses people, therefore it doesn’t really matter which race the actor is, since they are representing the BODY it is possessing not the CREATURE itself.
          Second, if you don’t watch the show then you have no right to make complaints about it. There are 3 main cast members who are all black, and they are ALL still in the show as central characters, and 2 of them are women, so no-one can complain about lack of diversity or lack of gender equality. In fact, people should just quit complaining and watch the damn show.

      • Nebia92 says:

        I completely agree with Jonah!

        While I can understand the sentiment of the “missed opportunity to add more diversity” or “cast someone more fitting for a Hindu role” to a certain degree, I also read that the name of Jaime Murray’s character is going to be “Carmilla”. So one could imagine the Sleepy Hollow writers aiming for kind of a mashup between the Hindu-spirit creature and an hommage to Le Fanu’s Carmilla who was indeed a rather traditional European vampire figure in appearance and behavior. Carmilla could even turn out to be an old acquaintance of Crane’s. Or maybe they are trying to do something completely different here. Who knows… the possibilities are nearly endless. I for one, am just happy to see Jaime Murray going all tall, dark and mysterious again. Plus: Apart from her “lily white skin”, as someone here put it, I find that Mrs. Murray’s features give her a rather exotic and interesting look.

        I just wish people would wait for the episode to air and watch what Carmilla/the vetala has in store for us before crying wolf. :)

      • Keshu Rao says:

        Wow such conviction, so aggressively defending the majority.
        By the way, zombie is a disease thing…can happen anywhere & spread because it’s contagious, like a vampire bite…not exclusive to a particular part of world or a culture.
        Monopoly is boring, variety is spice of life. Talent is nothing without opportunity.

  13. sam says:

    Is this “possible love interest” for Abbie another tease? The show keeps doing this, teasing possible love interests for Abbie, that never come to fruition, because the show is not really interested in her character. It’s all about the stupidly boring Cranes and their love life. Black characters’ love life have no place in this racist show.

  14. Yay for Sharif Atkins. I love White Collar and look forward to seeing him again.

  15. Marilyn McDole says:

    Really liked Jaime on Warehouse 13! Should be a great add.

  16. Marley says:

    that’s racist as hell.

  17. Jay says:

    Sleepy hollow need to do research before using wrong info vetala are evil in hindu lore and is not of goddesses Kali but the demon kali and how does hindu lore end up in Christain mythology