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Headless Horseman Spooks ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Fans at PaleyFest

The Headless Horseman isn’t just on an on-screen terror for the cast of “Sleepy Hollow.”

The decapitated villain made an impromptu appearance on stage at PaleyFest Wednesday which not only shocked a packed Dolby Theatre, but also terrified the panel’s moderator, Sandra Gonzalez of Entertainment Weekly. Although he managed to take the room by surprise, he didn’t fare so well as he departed the stage. Instead of making a dramatic exit, the Headless Horseman lost the blade to his axe, resulting in a guffaw from the crowd.

Those weren’t the only laughs from the “Sleepy Hollow” panel. The cast and crew were all jokes as the executive producers joked about everything, from John Cho’s abrupt departure from the series to a potential relationship between lead characters Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison).

“I can imagine that people are watching and they’re like, ‘hook up already! Abbie, what are you doing? You’re wasting time.'” Beharie joked as Mison slowly shriveled into his chair out of awkwardness.

Executive producer Heather Kadin didn’t even think fans would want them together. “We didn’t expect fans were going to be so married to the idea of Ichabod and Abbie being a couple,” Kadin said. “We loved that it was this relationship built on at first distrust and then eventually trust. It was really a friendship,” she added.

After showing the dramatic final scene from the season’s finale where fans learned that Henry Parish (John Noble) was Ichabod and Katrina’s son and the second horseman, Gonzalez asked the cast and exec producers what’s next for season two. The producers admitted that it will be a season of war, redemption and internal conflict.

“It’s still their son,” said executive producer Len Wiseman. “It’s not going to be an easy one. At the end of it, can you kill your own son?”

But fans will have to wait until next season to find out. To hold them over, the cast and producers told goofy stories about the auditioning process. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman admitted that originally Ichabod Crane was going to be American. When the producers didn’t find anyone up to snuff, Kurtzman joked, “It became clear we don’t manufacture men in the United States.”

Orlando Jones, an American who plays Capt. Frank Irving, swiftly responded, “You’re ridiculous!”

The room still seemed pretty pleased with the producers’ selection for Ichabod.


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