Interview Rewind: Orlando Jones (“Sleepy Hollow,” Season 1)

Say it ain’t so! But it is. Orlando Jones is leaving Sleepy Hollow. I’m sure there are many fans who are like, “But we fought so hard for Irving to get the respect he deserves!” And, at the very least, Team Witness came back to full effect in the final episode. We have that to relish.

However, Jones is still going to be in the K/O Paper Products family, since he and Jay Williams, the former president for global marketing and brand strategy for the production company, have teamed up to create digital entertainment company Legion of Creatives. The first product from Legion of Creatives is High School 51, starring Jones and executive produced by Williams and Orci. Jones is also producing with Noam Dromi, president of Drive-By. I’m writing all of this to give hope to the Sleepy Hollow fans; there’s still a chance Jones could come back for a guest starring role. The biggest question right now is just how will Jones be written out. We’ll see about that when it comes.

For now, though, let’s look back to 2014, when Jones was still entertaining us as Irving and giving us nothing as far as episode spoilers. I tried to get something out of him in my email interview with him, but, as he wrote to me in so many words, I did a valiant job, but no luck. Read my interview with him and reflect on what Sleepy Hollow was like back in the day. Let’s hope the show gets back to its fun in the upcoming season.


There are times when my journalism self and my fandom self merge into one hyper fandom-obsessed being. This happens to be one of those times.

If you’re new to this site, then you might need to know that I’m obsessed with FOX’s new show, Sleepy Hollow, which has already been granted a second season early in its infancy. I was granted the permission to be able to interview “Capt. Irving” himself, Orlando Jones, via email about his time on Sleepy Hollow, his Tumblr experiences, and I even try to get some info about some cryptic tweets and theories. Was I successful? Read on and find out. (You can probably guess, though.) Sleepy Hollow will be back Jan. 13, and Jan. 20 will be its epic 2-hour season finale.

(Note: This interview was conducted during the last few weeks of December, so unfortunately, there aren’t any questions about the new synopses from  “Vessel,” “Indispensable Man,” or “Bad Blood.”)

How it feels to be a part of this show?

It feels fantastic. I’m a huge fan of the show and it’s great to be a part of a series that fans not only like, but that I like too.

How you get into the mindset of Irving?

When the show began, Irving embodied the familiar trope of the non-believer. Recent events in the show (i.e. Neo-Irving) have clearly forced him to re-evaluate the circumstances of what’s happening and how to deal with it in a world that doesn’t yet know the total extent of what’s at scope. I don’t get into any particular mindset per se, but it helps to see the world from his point of view and incorporate that into how I chose to portray him. Perhaps most interestingly, fans who are more accustomed to seeing me in previous comedic roles get to see a different side of me, even though I’ve been doing drama far longer than I ever did comedy.

What it’s been like to work with Amandla Stenberg and Jill-Marie Jones?

I was very excited when I learned they were going to be added to the cast and I’d have the opportunity to work with them. I thought Amandla was amazing in The Hunger Games. Jill Marie and I worked together previously [in Girlfriends] and we’re having fun working together again.

You’ve said in an interview that the fans are way off the mark with their theorizing about Irving. What is one thing that they’re off the mark about?

Nice try! What I can tell you is that there is nothing “expected” about this show. It’s whole premise is unexpected and every episode surprises the audience in new ways. That’s one thing that is so great about Sleepy Hollow is that it really surprises people. Fans think they know what’s going on one minute and the next minute, they are trying to wrap their minds around what has just happened. It’s awesome.

Irving had the evil spirits taunt him in “The Golem,” and it seems like the demons liked freaking him out. Will we see more freakouts from Irving? And how is he rationalizing the fact that he could die?

All I can tell you is keep watching.

You’ve tweeted twice about Jeremy being a “demon baby,” first during “Sanctuary” and most recently with “The Golem.” Are you trying to tell us something?

The first rule of Sleepy Hollow is you do not talk about Sleepy Hollow. The second rule of Sleepy Hollow is you do not talk about Sleepy Hollow. The third rule of Sleepy Hollow is that nothing is what you expect so keep watching. There are some other rules, but I forget what they are.

What was the impetus for getting in the fandom trenches with fans on Tumblr, Twitter, etc?

The impetus–I like to get exicted about stuff that’s cool to me. Like I mentioned, I’m a fan of my own show and I love engaging with other fans. It’s been awesome to have been welcomed by the Sleepyheads (Sleepy Hollow fandom) as well as other fandoms like Supernatural. I have a ton of fun doing it.

What do you love and hate about Tumblr?

Hate: nothing. Love: the ability to interact with fans. They teach me new things every day. Plus between the incredible fan art, the fanfic and people’s comments, I’m constantly in awe or I’m cracking up laughing.

Will there be any Craving moments in Season 2?

Hopefully you’ll tune in to find out :)

Phot credit: David Johnson/FOX
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