Fox’s Sleepy Hollow did the unthinkable this season and killed off one of the show’s two major characters, Abbie Mills, when series star Nicole Beharie decided she wanted out of the show. The series has recently been renewed for Season 4, and now Sleepy Hollow’s remaining star, Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane) is speaking out about how Beharie’s exit has impacted him and the show.
Abbie Mills represented more than just another character in the show. It wasn’t an easy decision for them to make. I know that. The writers, they like writing Abbie Mills. And I like acting with Nicole…[It] was a decision that had to be made. But I don’t know the machinations of the politics behind it... My relationship with Nicole has not changed because of her death on the show.

Tom Mison spoke with The Realistic Optimist during MCM London Comic Con recently, and revealed that not only was Abbie an obviously huge part of the show, but that killing the character was a hard decision. And, it’s pretty easy to see why that would have been difficult, even if star Nicole Beharie was uninterested in being a part of the show in the future.

Sleepy Hollow is a supernatural drama that focused on Lieutenant Abbie Mills and late 1700s transplant Ichabod Crane as they served as Witnesses to all the strange goings on in Sleepy Hollow, New York and worked to stop various evil entities from wreaking permanent havoc on the small town. Abbie and Ichabod share an intense bond and a great friendship that develops over the course of the first three seasons of the show. They truly have each other’s back in some of the direst and most intimidating situations on a weekly basis, and, even when they don’t exactly come out on top, they manage to push evil back by working seamlessly together.

When Sleepy Hollow was renewed for Season 4, many people were surprised, and not just because of the middling ratings the show had received lately. The combination of Ichabod and Abbie was such a big deal to the show that fans had wanted a romantic relationship with the characters from pretty much the first episode of the series. They clearly had what was obviously a life-long connection that fueled much of the joy the show brought to the audience. This is likely why the decision to kill Abbie was such a hard one, seeing as how important to the basis of the show she was. But, with Nicole Beharie not wanting to keep her role on the show, that same importance of the character was why she had to be killed off. There was simply no way that after three years of fighting the good, tough fight against evil with Ichabod, that Abbie would simply step away from her dear friend and the challenges they constantly faced.

Tom Mison also made it clear that there was no animosity between the two actors when he noted that he liked acting with Nicole Beharie, and that he doesn’t resent her for deciding to quit the show. And, that’s good to hear, because even though we won’t get to see Ichabod and Abbie on Sleepy Hollow anymore, it would suck to know that their on-screen connection didn’t have any basis in real life. You can catch Season 4 of Sleepy Hollow when it returns at mid-season in 2017.

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