SLEEPY HOLLOW Season 1 Finale Post-Mortem: John Noble on the Henry Twist: ‘I Don’t Think Anyone Expected That’ | Give Me My Remote

SLEEPY HOLLOW Season 1 Finale Post-Mortem: John Noble on the Henry Twist: ‘I Don’t Think Anyone Expected That’

January 20, 2014 by  

[Major spoiler alert: This post contains massive, massive, massive spoilers for the SLEEPY HOLLOW season finale. If you have not seen the final two hours of the season, please go watch that first, and then come back to read this interview.]

Surprise! Henry Parrish may have seemed reluctant to join up with the “ultimate collection of underdogs,” but it turns out, he was working a long-con: Henry was actually Jeremy, Ichabod and Katrina’s presumed-dead son. And he was not happy. At all.

I spoke with John Noble (Henry/Jeremy) about that huge twist…

When you talked with reporters after your first episode, you mentioned he was “a mystery man,” and that “those revelations will be quite a shock to the other characters and the audience.” Did you know from the start he was Jeremy?
John Noble: Yes, I did. I was briefed right from the beginning. The interesting challenge for the writers and me was to play a man that had that agenda, that had to play an enormous con on people. I hope when you go back and look at the episodes, you’re like, “Oh my God, of course! Look at his face, of course, it was always obvious.” I hope that still works. That’s what we aimed to do without giving things away [when people watched] the first time. But I knew the whole time.

The interesting thing is this: the crew didn’t know! When they read it, they were like, “I can’t believe it! WHAT? This is extraordinary.” So we managed to pull the wool over their eyes.

Did the rest of the cast know? Or were you the only one with the secret?
JN: I’m not sure how they were briefed. I certainly was, but I actually don’t know how far ahead they got briefed. But you’d think as lead players you really would [have let them know] since it was planned all the way through from the very inception of the character that these things would happen.

It’s very unusual when you’re doing something and you create this bond and suddenly the older character turns out to be the son of the younger character, and not only that, but the older character is terrorist, and he really is — an extraordinary terrorist the way he infiltrates and destroys their world. Or at least appears to destroy their world. He’s also a warlock, but we kind of get an idea that [he’s abnormal] with the “Sin Eater” episode, even. But I think what appears to be the pure evil of the man in the last, really, five minutes of the finale. I don’t think anyone expected that.

Oh, I think that will come as a shock. Even if some fans saw Henry turning bad coming, I don’t think people took that next leap and went to the fact that he was Jeremy.
JN: Don’t you think that’s — and particularly in retrospect — such good storytelling? The writers have plotted this all the way through, and when you go back, you’ll see the hints are there: in his dialogue or perhaps in a look or reaction. It’s all there. We see what we want to see. I think they’ve done a really clever job with it to be honest with you.

When they started showing those flashbacks, there was absolutely a sense for me of “How did I not see this coming?”
JN: That’s what I mean with good storytelling! Good television, good storytelling.

How was it for you to actually film those final scenes? Jeremy had such anger towards his parents…
JN: I don’t know, Marisa. For me, as you know, I go into a zone, and when I’m working, I disappear into the zone when I’m actually doing it. So that’s what happened [for his anger].

It was such fun to [film the scenes on location]. A lot of it was shot outside in a forest, and we were competing with airplanes [as we tried to film]. The other actors were so great with getting tied up in trees for hours and hours and hours, and they never stopped giving it all. Overall, it was a really fun experience.

[But] I hope that somehow, despite the events of the finale, from what I’ve said to the writers about it, we need to somehow find a way of reestablishing that bond [between Henry, Abbie, and Ichabod]. That’s a challenge for the writers.

I always try and reconcile what the character’s justification is, and when I did that, this guy, if you want to look at it from his point of view, would have a very good reason to be very angry at somebody. The fact that he was then poisoned by Moloch, who told him he would let him out, he is a very, very bitter and twisted man and not very rational. That’s why I think — and I hope — there’s a resolution for him. I think it’s possible.And we at this stage haven’t discussed season 2 with the writers aside from, “Oh my gosh, there’s a season 2 starting [production] soon.”

They’re getting back in the room shortly, and they’re going to have a wonderful time mapping out the season.

But you should be around for a good bit in season 2, yes?
JN: As far as my contract goes, and as far as what I’ve been told, yes. But if the storyteller thinks things should happen, then [things could change]. But as far as I know, yes!

Such a great finale, right? And have you read what SLEEPY HOLLOW executive producer Mark Goffman had to say about what went down and what’s to come?

Related:

SLEEPY HOLLOW Season 1 Finale Post-Mortem: Mark Goffman on the Henry Twist and What Comes Next
SLEEPY HOLLOW: John Noble Previews the ‘Astonishingly Good’ Season Finale
SLEEPY HOLLOW: Nicole Beharie and Orlando Jones Tease the Season Finale

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