Nicole Beharie Reveals Her Training Strategy for Physical Role on ‘Sleepy Hollow’
One of the hottest new shows this television season is the Fox drama Sleepy Hollow. For one of its stars, Nicole Beharie, it takes a lot of work to play the physical role of Lt. Abbie Mills who battles supernatural demons each week.
In order to get in shape for the role, the 28-year-old actress tackled a strict exercise regimen.
She told the New York Post, “I started boxing training right before I got here, just because I felt like Abbie would be pretty tough and know how to defend herself.”
Now that she’s on-set and working long hours, that schedule has changed a bit.
“I haven’t been able to continue [training] because our schedule is pretty hectic, but I have videos in my trailer,” said Beharie.
Since she’s a petite five-feet, one-inch tall, the Fox star never thought she would ever play such a domineering role on a genre show.
“There’s a kind of look that happens when you’re doing action, horror and sci-fi. I would have to be a really leggy, lean, buxom blond to be doing that, you know?” she laughed. “I was, like, wow — I never really imagined that for myself, so I’m stoked!”
With such a strong character to play, Beharie also knows that she has to keep her adrenaline running all day during the long shoots.
She said, “I’m probably the on-set push-up and exercise queen. I have to do something to maintain the ‘oh my God we’re running from monsters’ energy, even when it’s, like, 4:00 in the morning.”
Her energy is so infectious that she often gets the cast and crew to join her.
“I’ll be jumping rope or doing push-ups — and I’ll call all the guys in and be, like, ‘Okay, guys — do 25, no stopping, let’s do this!,’” she revealed. “It’s kind of like my competitive nature. I’ve never done a role where that was okay. Could you imagine? I’m, like, playing Rachel Robinson — and doing push-ups and high-kicks!”
Catch Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow on Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox.