TOM MISON IN NEW YORK, OCTOBER 2014. STYLING: MICHELLE CAMERON. COAT, SHIRT, AND PANTS: GIORGIO ARMANI. GROOMING PRODUCTS: BUMBLE AND BUMBLE, INCLUDING TONIC LOTION, STYLING LOTION, STYLING CREME, BB. TEXTURE, AND ALL-STYLE BLOW DRY. GROOMING: ENRICO MARIOTTI FOR BUMBLE AND BUMBLE/ART DEPT.
In Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Ichabod Crane is described thusly: “His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew.” Luckily, British actor Tom Mison, who portrays Crane on the hit Fox series Sleepy Hollow, cuts a far more dashing figure. But it’s actually the rich mythology the show’s writers have added to the original Irving plot that is the more drastic—and brilliant—change. Borrowing a page from Rip Van Winkle, they have Crane awake from the dead in modern-day Sleepy Hollow only to find himself immersed in an epic knock-down, drag-out battle between good and evil, pitting demons from the Book of Revelation against America’s righteous founding fathers.
It’s an angle that Mison, a film and theater actor new to the “creative variety” of a serialized fantasy drama, finds exciting. “It’s called the greatest story ever told for a reason. Taking pieces from the Bible means we have a wealth of stories to choose from,” he says from the house he’s renting in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the second season of the series is being shot. “We also have some Native American mythology in there and other legends. With the flashbacks, we’re running out of founding fathers, so we’ve gone to other stories. Our producer, Roberto Orci, jokes that we’re trying to offend as many people as we can.”
Even over the phone, Mison’s wry sense of humor comes through. He’s bemused that, at age 32, his career is all Crane all the time. “I won’t lie; that’s a tough prospect,” he admits. “I didn’t become an actor to do a nine-to-five job. I’m lucky, though, because this is a role with so many different sides. One day I could be Inspector Clouseau, the next I could be Bond, all within the same character.” He also is taking advantage of the move from bustling London to pleasant small-town America, even if “it’s quite a culture shock,” as he puts it. “Everyone’s delightful. You sit out on your porch and people walk past and wave hello.” And does Tom Mison sit on his porch in a rocking chair? “Oh, piss off—I have three,” he laughs. “I’ve gone all-out with my Southern charm.”