Sleepy Hollow Set Scoop: Matt Barr on Hawley's Backstory, Being A Target of New Villain

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Is there more than meets the eye with Nick Hawley?

We know the latest addition to Sleepy Hollow Season 2 is a somewhat cocky bounty hunter who gets a charge out of the chase - but he also gets a charge out of the Mills women since he has a past with Jenny and may have eyes for Abbie.

But will a succubus coming to town take advantage of Hawley and his somewhat lonely heart?

You'll have to watch Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 8 to find out how it all plays out. However,  during a recent visit to the North Carolina set of the Fox series, I sat down with actor Matt Barr to break down Hawley, his feelings for Abbie and what happens when the succubus (guest star Caroline Ford) sets her sights on him...

Ichabod and Hawley Work Together - Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 8

TV Fanatic: Tell me about Hawley and how you think he fits into this world of Sleepy Hollow.

Matt Barr: Hawley’s a bounty hunter/relic treasure hunter and kind of deals in the black market, likes to make a quick buck. But at the root of it he’s really about the juice and the thrill of the adventure. He teams up with Abbie and Ichabod as they need some assistance in terms of these supernatural armaments.

TVF: I like that the supernatural stuff does not seem that new to him.

MB: It’s not new in terms of the book smartness of it all. He’s studied it and he’s read it but he’s never experienced it firsthand.  Hawley’s the kind of guy I think that’s always been searching for that great thrill. The great drug that he’s never tried before. Any one that studies the supernatural would inevitably love to meet the supernatural. I think as they sort of draw him into their adventure he willingly goes along and I think enjoys the ride.

TVF: And he and Jenny have a chemistry together…

MB: Hawley has a past with Jenny and that’s his sort of few degrees of separation from everyone. He and Jenny have this chemistry, they’ve had a little romance on and off. Hawley’s a nomad so he comes and goes. We’ll call it what it is. But Abbie’s very different than Jenny. Jenny and Hawley are sort of from the same salt and Abbie is a great challenge. I think Hawley is always driven by those thrills and those challenges, so he’s definitely attracted by that chemistry.

TVF: Might there be some sisterly jealousy going on?

MB: I think that starts to evolve, yeah. There’s a little bit of that. From where Hawley stands it’s a win-win.

TVF: This show has all this bigger than life stuff but it’s also very grounded in the characters and their relationships. Is that a good thing for you as an actor to play the layers in that?

MB: Sure. Because it’s all rooted there. As the audience you have to care about these people. It’s an obscene and fantastical world that we’re dealing with. These are real people and the root of it is you believe in their righteous goals, whatever they may be.

Hawley Chats With Abbie - Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 8

TVF: Tell me about this succubus that is a big part of this episode.

MB: Lilith is the sexy version. The succubus is the ugly version.

TVF: What can you say about her and how Hawley interacts with her?

MB: Well, the succubus wants people with hidden desires. So, I think the reason she targets Hawley is that there’s this subtext of a desire for, potentially, Abbie. So, the succubus targets Hawley. He survives an attack and he teams up once again with the Scooby gang, Abbie and Ichabod, and they together go after the succubus. Today, this is a scene in a bar. When the succubus in human form, Lilith, first meets Hawley.

TVF: Based on their first interaction, Hawley seems to like what he sees.

MB: I mean, if Hawley has a weakness it’s definitely for beautiful women.

TVF: Will we learn more about Hawley’s backstory? Outside of his connection to the Mills sisters, we don’t know much.

MB: We know nothing of Hawley’s backstory yet. It’s still kind of a mystery, which I think is kind of interesting because as we get to know more we wonder why he is the way he is and why he does what he does. I think what we do sense from him is that he’s looking for these bonds. I think he sort of appreciates the bond, as much as he’d hate to admit it, a little bit with Abbie and Ichabod and Jenny. He’s a loner. Ever loner at the end of the day maybe wants to have a beer with somebody else.

TVF: How does it feel for you joining the cast? Were you a fan of the first season?

MB: I never watched the first season until I got hired. Then I watched it and I thought ‘this show is fun as hell!’ It’s really fun. Tom [Mison] cannot be more perfectly cast. He is incredible. It’s the same with Nicole [Beharie]. She’s so talented and beautifully sassy. They were really warm to me. As the new guy it’s tough but being a freshman is fun too because I can mess up and I have an excuse.

TVF: Have you interacted much with John Noble’s character yet?

MB: On the show, no. Personally, yeah. He’s almost frightening. I so respect him I was nervous to meet him. He’s a sweetheart and a gentleman.

TVF: What’s been your favorite part of being on the show?

MB: My favorite by far is the ongoing dynamic between Crane and Hawley. You’ve got this sort of uptight, British aristocrat and this American cowboy. It makes for a great dynamic. It’s funny, they butt heads, they both think they’re the smartest guy in the room. With their powers combined they probably can win at the end of the day.

TVF: So they’re almost like reluctant allies in a way.

MB: Exactly. Sometimes you hate those that can serve you most. 

Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox. 

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Episode 8 Quotes

Abbie: This is supernatural. I'm putting my money on Henry being behind it.
Ichabod: A wager I would not bet against.

Katrina: Ichabod you said that the secrets I've kept from you are bygones, but I know trust can be hard to rebuild once it's broken.
Ichabod: In truth, it pained me to think you were not who I knew.
Katrina: Who I was never changed. The things that I kept from you were things that I had done.
Ichabod: As a witch, as a spy.
Katrina: Roles I undertook during the war.
Ichabod: Nevertheless they are part of who you are and secrecy is a hard habit to break.