WILMINGTON, NC. There was a point a few years back when I seemed to talk with John Noble every few weeks about the universe-bending twists and turns of FOX's "Fringe."
We talked on the drama's Vancouver set. We talked at FOX summer press days on multiple occasions. We talked via satellite. We talked at Comic-Con. Because of the constantly evolving nature of "Fringe" and Walter Bishop and Walternate and various permutations on each character, Noble never repeated himself in our conversations and always impressed with a passion for the subject matter that extended to his hosting duties on Science's "Dark Matters: Twisted But True."
Noble probably wasn't worried about the year or two that he spent not being interviewed by HitFix. He did some Australian TV. He guested on CBS' "The Good Wife" a couple times. And he began work on another FOX drama "Sleepy Hollow," in which he got to play yet another character who turned out to have two or three very different layers.
Introduced as Sin Eater Henry Parrish, we were later told that Henry was actually Jeremy Crane, son of Ichabod and Katrina. And as if that dead-cheating secret wasn't enough, we also discovered that Henry/Jeremy was actually War, the Second of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It sounds confusing, but in context it all makes sense in that way that nearly everything in "Sleepy Hollow" sounds confusing, but all kinda makes sense in context. And don't worry, it's a challenge for John Noble to understand as well.
Last month, I sat down with my former scene partner in a makeshift press holding area above a "Sleepy Hollow" location in Wilmington, North Carolina. After years of the "Fringe" grind, Noble seemed enthusiastic and energized with his responsibilities on "Sleepy Hollow." Just two days from his 66th birthday, Noble was all smiles, talking his relative surplus of downtime, which gives him the chance for music and painting, among other pursuits.
It's also giving him time for research. Just as "Fringe" let Noble delve into a passion for physics, "Sleepy Hollow" is letting him research magic and witchcraft and he sounds every bit as invested in this character as he was in the role he spent five years playing previously. In this interview, he talks about his approach to the Henry/Jeremy/War trinity and the challenges of playing a character so frequently shrouded in mystery and conflicted motivations.
"Sleepy Hollow" will air its second episode on Monday (September 29) night.
Click through for the full John Noble Q&A.