'Sleepy Hollow's' Tom Mison: 'Ichabod Crane is the hardest part I've played'

tom-mison-sleepy-hollow-fox-newscom-325.jpg"Ichabod is the hardest part I've played," Tom Mison, star of the freshman fantasy-drama "Sleepy Hollow," airing Mondays on FOX, tells Zap2it. "There's so much that we need to balance with him. To slightly veer in any one direction a little too much, and it will collapse."

"Sleepy Hollow" can be described as a combination of author Washington Irving (in particular, his stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle"), the film "National Treasure" and the biblical book of Revelation.

Mison's Ichabod Crane was a spy for Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, when he beheaded the Hessian Horseman and apparently perished. But, he survived and slumbered underground for over two centuries, only to emerge in present-day Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Stalked by the now-Headless Horseman and facing a variety of deadly supernatural forces, Ichabod has partnered with local police Lt. Abby Mills ( Nicole Beharie) to keep the end of the world at bay and save his wife, Katrina ( Katia Winter), a witch trapped in purgatory.

Yet somehow, Ichabod has managed to keep his feet under him despite the often bewildering realities of modern life.

In one memorable scene, he told his sad love story to heartbroken Yolanda, the disembodied voice on a vehicle's OnStar emergency/navigation system.

"It's so nice," says Mison, "that even when he's at his most cantankerous and grumpy and proud, there's still an innocence to him. Talking to somebody in the car, nobody needs that, but he's not going to be dismissive about it. He's going to have a really nice chat with her.

"I really love Yolanda, the lady featured. I'd love it if he could call and get advice, particularly emotional advice."

As for wearing the same 18th-century clothes well into the run of the show, especially his shirt, Mison says, "It's been washed. It's clean. The blood has been washed off."

Birth date: July 23, 1982, in Surrey, England

Pal cred: Roomed with actor Rupert Friend after they graduated from the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. The duo then co-wrote and starred in the 2008 short film, "The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers" with Keira Knightley.

TV cred: "A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets," "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," "Agatha Christie: Poirot," "Lost in Austen," "Inspector Lewis," "New Tricks," "Parade's End"

Movie cred: "L'entente cordiale," "Venus," "One Day," "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"

Favorite books:
" 'Slaughterhouse-Five,' by Kurt Vonnegut; 'Timoleon Vieta Come Home: A Sentimental Journey,' by Dan Rhodes; or 'The Secret History,' by Donna Tartt. I like my books to be surprising and imaginative and much prefer a few choice words to pages of wandering description."

Favorite music: "Almost anything ... except that type of R&B that aims at being sexy; 'smooth grooves,' it used to be called in the '90s. Dreadful stuff. 'Mmmm, girl' should be a banned lyric."

Favorite movies: " 'Network,' 'The Big Lebowski,' 'Doctor Zhivago,' 'Sexy Beast,' 'The Life of Brian,' 'Amelie,' 'The Secret in Their Eyes,' 'Glengarry Glen Ross,' 'Withnail and I,' 'Oldboy,' 'The Graduate' - where do I begin? And how can it end?"
Photo/Video credit: Newscom