The only thing better than watching Sleepy Hollow every week was getting to talk with the brilliant minds behind the show. It was great speaking with Orlando Jones and Len Wiseman and Sakina Jaffrey and Mark Goffman about one of my favorite shows currently on television. Today, I’m proud to present the final interview of this series, subsequently bringing to a close my first ever Comic Con interview trilogy: Lyndie Greenwood and Raven Metzner.
While Lyndie Greenwood hasn’t been in the business for long, she’s already building up an impressive resume. Her first recurring role was Sonya in The CW’s Nikita, and even though that show had a dedicated fanbase, it’s Jenny Mills that’s giving Greenwood some significant notoriety. Her role is being expanded on in the second season and already she has a growing number of fans. As for Raven Metzner, 2014 has been a big year for him. He had some writing and producing experience already under his belt but this year saw him work extensively on Sleepy Hollow and TNT’s Falling Skies. The former is easily more popular.
Both Greenwood and Metzner are clearly very excited to be part of this popular Fox show. Throughout their interviews, they discussed what it’s like to retell history, the creative process behind writing the show, and how Jenny has grown through its brief lifetime.
Your character Jenny has seen a lot on the show. How has it been becoming this fully dimensional character who has seen so much drama, happiness, everything?
Lyndie Greenwood: Good! (Laughs) It’s been very good. She was sort of one-dimensional at the start, and building her personality and her past over the course of the first season, and the bit that we’ve seen so far in the second season. It’s been really rewarding and challenging, but satisfying.
It seems within this season that you and Ichabod are starting to get a little closer, as in you and Abbie. Does that relationship grow a little more? Does she trust him a little bit more?
LG: Yeah! Jenny and Ichabod now have a pretty nice relationship. It’s taken awhile but they’ve been through a lot. She trusts him a lot more and she likes him a lot. But there definitely has been some concern with her trust of Ichabod and what he really means to do with Abbie. There’s the whole, “Should we really go after Katrina again? Abbie what are you doing here?” But I think Jenny does respect Ichabod’s dedication to the cause.
Raven Metzner: Also from his point of view, besides from Katrina, Abbie and Jenny basically are his only family in this modern time. His relationship with Jenny is really important to him and one that he really will try to build. He’s so close with Abbie but they are his only connection to the modern world.
Can you talk a little bit about Jenny’s unusual skill set and what we might see her do this year?
LG: She is a well-rounded woman that way. She has a lot of experience. I do martial arts, I studied Kung fu. I actually haven’t practiced in the last couple years but I’m thinking of starting again. Jenny is combat trained and I like to think she speaks many languages. She’s just had to survive in many different ways and I think she’s got one of those brains that’s like a sponge.
One of the coolest parts of the show is how it lampoons well-known historical figures like George Washington and Ben Franklin. What is the planning process behind introducing a famous historical figure and completely revamping their image? Who can we expect to come this season?
RM: It’s interesting, we actually call it “Twistory.” It was something that started in Season 1 and it’s something are going to continue doing in Season 2. We love to take actual historical events and show the things that actually happened that no one knows about. You’re going to see a bunch more of them in coming episodes. The Ben Franklin thing I think you’re going to down with. There’s more Franklin coming. There’s a relationship between Franklin and Crane that is a lot of fun, and we’re so lucky to have Tim Busfield. He’s phenomenal. His take on it is great.
When you meet Ichabod’s wife (Katrina), and he’s helping you out, she gives you a strange look. Is she a little Jealous of Abbie?
LG: Yeah! There’s probably a lot going through Katrina’s head about that. She hasn’t seen her husband in a long time.
RM: Theirs has been a marriage that’s been very troubled. It’s something we’re going to definitely explore in the coming season. The dynamics between their relationship and also how their relationship, now that she’s out of Purgatory, changes and shifts the relationship between Crane and Abbie, and Jenny as well.
What’s it like being on a show where the stakes are so high? It’s not just that you can die, but you could also end up for eternal damnation. Is that amazing to write and to act?
RM: It’s an interesting challenge because you need those stakes to be that way all the time. The show is ratcheted up. It has that great pace where you’re always at the edge of your seat. It’s fun but also it’s a challenge.
What is your creative process in writing and how do you like how it is interpreted?
RM: We have a writer’s room, so we all set up there together and then we go off to write our individual episodes. Having the room there to support you is really fantastic. Getting to work with some of the writers, Mark Goffman has put together a really great [team]. We have some returning writers from Season 1 but also a couple new faces. It’s just a fantastic writer’s room. Everyone is such big fans of the show and we all love what we write.
It’s funny. We all went out to get drinks after work one day and we ran into someone from another writer’s room. They saw us all hanging out and they’re like, “You’re all the writers of Sleepy Hollow? But you’re all friendly! Having a good time!” The truth is, honestly, if we weren’t talking about the show, we would all be hanging out. I think it’s the same for the cast.
LG: It is! Katia [Winter who plays Katrina] and I live together. We always have people over at our house, other cast members. It’s great!
When you actually see the final product, is it to your liking?
RM: That’s the great thing about television. I used to write features and I actually got out of features into television. I’m not just a writer, I’m a co-executive producer. I’m leaving tonight to go shoot my next episode, I’ll be there everyday on the set.
LG: It’s so great to have writers on the set.
RM: Our actors are phenomenal, they’re the stewards of our characters. If she says to me, “Listen this isn’t something Jenny would say” or “Can Jenny say this?” of course I want to hear it. So at the end I’m watching something that I was part of all the way through. I’m in the editing room as well.
It also feels like what you’re writing is real. Some science fiction shows seem too over the top, but this feels like it actually could happen.
RM: We actually do a lot of research for this show. In our office we have stacks and stacks of books. For the “Twistory” stuff as well we base it all on real history.
Your character last season was a POV character in the sense of all this weird stuff is going on and we see a lot of it through your eyes. Is your character still that innocent in terms of not being able to handle this, or has she gotten used to this?
LG: I don’t know that Jenny ever didn’t understand it. She’s been telling the truth the whole time.
RM: It’s got to be a huge relief actually. Finally after all those years of her sister not believing that what she saw in the woods that day really happened. That now everyone knows and now it’s about getting over the fact that no one would listen to her. She’s been that one voice saying all along, “This is real. This is real.”
LG: Yeah, it’s nice having people on your side for once!
Can you tell us a little bit of the planning process in the writer’s room? How you’re doing the man out of time thing?
RM: We do have a giant list of “man out of time” moments we’d like to see that we actually add to all the time. We also do, on our own episodes, always coming up with great moments, because it’s just so much fun. Tom Mison, who is just wonderful, he also does every once and a while shoot me an email or a text talking about what he thinks would be hilarious for Ichabod. There’s always a slant. It’s never making fun of Ichabod like he doesn’t understand it. It’s great to hear his take on our modern world. Tom loves that, so he’ll call up and say, “What would Ichabod think of parking meters?” or whatever it is. Then we talk about whether we’re going to do it or not.
Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television and every Saturday afternoon you can read his retro video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.