TORONTO – Orlando Jones loves “Sleepy Hollow” fan fiction.
Although devotees sometimes stray into the risque with their writings inspired by the hit supernatural series, the actor who plays Capt. Frank Irving says he enjoys reading them.
“I’m of the opinion that we are in a fantasy world. I’m playing a character that’s fake and it’s really exciting to see the different facets and nuances of other stories that other people want to tell,” the star said in a recent interview.
“So I think all of the fan fiction is legitimate and really cool because they approach a character in a way that I may have never thought of. Or they come up with a storyline that I’m like, ‘Really? That’s crazy.’ … So I think fan fiction is kind of fun because I get to meet cool artists along the way.”
The show, which returns for a second season Monday on Global, has inspired a massive, devoted online community. Although not every “Sleepy Hollow” lover writes so-called “fanfic,” Jones does hear from viewers often through his Twitter account.
“For me, what I like about (the show) is that it’s a mix of genres. It’s historical. It’s biblical. It’s got a mythology. It’s kind of funny. There’s a lot of action, and then it’ll scare you to death all at the same time,” he said. “That mix of things to me kind of never allows me to get bored.
“That’s what I like about it, but I wonder what other people like about it. In fact, hit me up on Twitter and tell me,” he added with a grin.
Jones, 46, is best known for being one of the original cast members of the sketch comedy series “MADtv.” But the Alabama-born funnyman said in a lively interview during Shaw Media’s spring upfronts that he has never seen himself as only a comedic performer.
“I’ve always looked at it as if I’m a storyteller,” he said. “Sometimes a story has humour and sometimes it’s scary and has pathos and the like. But I started off doing ‘Othello.’ So it’s been an interesting journey in my career to be able to do comedy and drama and what have you and hopefully I’ve been able to consistently bring an interesting character.
“But (comedy and drama) are kind of the same thing. The timing’s just a little different.”
The action-packed fantasy series is inspired by the 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, which also spawned a movie starring Johnny Depp in 1999. However, the show is set in the present and opens with Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) being resurrected centuries after his death in 1781.
Jones’s character, Capt. Irving, is the chief of the Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., police department. At the end of last season, he turned in his badge and took responsibility for a series of murders that his daughter committed while she was possessed — a decision that Jones said will have deep repercussions.
“Obviously going to jail changes a lot of elements for him, having formerly been a police officer,” he said. “And I think having been away from his family and knowing that his daughter is still in jeopardy on some level creates a lot of different things to have going on for that character in this season.”
He added that this season will be “more interesting,” because the first season had to spend several episodes simply building the wild fantasy world before the writers could really dig into the narrative.
“(In this season) we kind of just dove into the story. It’s really fun now in Season 2, particularly because we’re doing 18 episodes as opposed to 13, to really explore more of those storylines.”
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