The premiere of Season 3 of Sleepy Hollow began with Ichabod detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for entering the country with restricted materials. Surprisingly, he assimilated into the prison population rather well, conversing and waxing philosophic at one point with his cell mate Jesus, played by Timothy Perez (@AtlantaToughguy). Tim quickly became a fan favorite, with many fans even calling for his return to lend a little extra muscle to Team Witness. He was kind enough to share the photo above and agree to answer a few questions about his experience shooting Sleepy Hollow.
How did you come to be cast as Jesus in Sleepy Hollow?
The role was put out through casting, which my agent has access to. She saw that I fit the “breakdown” and submitted me. I then taped my audition in my home studio, which I do when taped auditions are accepted. A week later we received the call that I had booked the role as Jesus.
Tell us about the shoot – I think you shot in a real jail? Was it still in operation? Were there any special rules you had to follow because of that?
Yes it was in a real, active jail! However, they had closed off one or two wings and areas of the jail property for us. We had to be escorted by deputies for obvious reasons. But Tom and I had extra eyes on us because we were wearing the SAME outfits as the real inmates.
How was it to work with Tom?
Tom was a great dude to work with! He is very personable, cordial, and accommodating. He’s easy to work with and easy going, which makes set time nice.
Were you on set with Nicole or were her scenes shot separately?
We were on set at the same time for the “peace out” sign. Other than that, sometimes I was in the background and most times we were back in our holding area while waiting for our scenes.
What was it like working with Peter Weller, who directed the episode
Wow! Peter is high-intensity, which is a great thing! He was full of energy and purpose. Yet at the same time he gave great direction and treated us professionally. Since my “stage name” is Timothy Perez, which is on my IMDB, Peter would call me Timothy instead of Tim, which is what I normally go by. This happens often on set, which is cool because it IS my name. But it sounded weird to have the director (Peter) holler a re-direct to me from behind the monitors. He might say, “Timothy, move to your left a little”, or something like that. I went to shake his hand when we were wrapped and he gave me a hug instead! Thoroughly enjoyed working with him!
Was the peace sign exchange in the script or something that you guys came up with on set?
The “peace out” sign was scripted. In the script, it was written that Crane gives Jesus the sign. Jesus nods and then returns the sign, with Abbie noticing. But during rehearsal the writer switched it and had us do it the way it was shown.
Were any parts of your scenes cut
Thankfully no! I obviously wish I had more screen time. But I am extremely happy and fortunate to have had the scenes I did!
How long have you been acting?
Roughly six years. But I’ve really started to grab traction the past couple of years.
How did your first job come about?
Well, interesting story. One day a friend of mine showed me an ad in the local paper where they were looking for extras to be prisoners in “The Wronged Man," a Lifetime movie. I put in for it and got accepted. After that I developed a good working relationship with the extras casting company, Extras Casting Atlanta, and started working regularly as a bad/toughguy, for the most part. They would call me up and say that they needed a toughguy for something. Then I kind of morphed into “The Atlanta Toughguy”!
The next huge step for me was getting my agent Jana VanDyke. We met at a music video shoot. She liked the way I was entertaining her son, who was also in the video. We started chatting and she asked me if I had an agent. After I advised that I didn’t, she handed me her card and said, “You do now!”. The rest is history!
What have been some of your favorite roles?
Wow! So many to list. I think the part that makes it interesting is going from type of role to another. I played a prisoner on one show, to a Pastor on another, and everything in between. The change is the challenge and what keeps it interesting and fresh!
I know you have something big cooking – can you tell us anything about it?
All I can say is OMG! They still won’t let me announce. BUT, I will say this. You will NOT recognize me because I will literally be a “character”…! Ha In this TV show I’ll be a recurring guest star.
Any other appearances coming up that we can look out for?
Everything I’ve done this year has aired except for the Netflix movie “The Do Over”. I have a scene with Adam Sandler which will come out in 2016. And of course, the project where I’ll be a “character” will air next year as well.
Watch Sleepy Hollow on Thursdays at 9/8c on FOX. In the UK, look for the Season 3 premiere this Thursday, October 22nd at 9pm on the Universal Channel.