John Noble Talks About Parish’s Future On Sleepy Hollow
Henry Parish is undeniably the most complicated character on Sleepy Hollow and probably on television as a whole. Hardly any character has to many identifications as he does. He is the sin-eater, the Horseman of War and also Jeremy Crane, the son of Ichabod Crane (witness of the apocalypse) and Katrina Crane (a witch). John Noble, who plays the character of Henry Parish, talks about his character and more with Entertainment Weekly.
John Noble discusses about the muti-character dimension, “They’re all part of the same character. But in a sense, he got his first wish, which was to take revenge on his parents. And that was the [season one] finale, and that was a really powerful ending. So we had to reboot. And in this season, he’s the servant of Moloch, because it was Moloch that rescued him. Now he’s going through the motions of [carrying out] Moloch’s plans to manifest on Earth. So he sits back lie a puppet master, and he operates by pulling the strings around the town, creating havoc very quietly. There’s all a master plan to this, by the way. He sits back and he watches it all collapse. So it’s very interesting—it’s a master manipulator role in the first half of season two. And it has a really extraordinary ending, which I can’t talk about at the end of the first half of the season. So that could then lead us to another reboot, into another iteration of the character, I imagine. I don’t know yet.”
We are all excited to figure out what will ultimately become of Henry Parish and Noble talks about this second horseman’s destiny and says, “I think it’s slightly unusual for people to see me as an outright villain. With the other characters [I’ve played], there’s always been an element of something else—and I tried to get that in here. But I can’t force it. So it’s just little moments. If you’re watching closely, you’ll see moments of humanity, which he resists. It was very different in season 1; he played the master actor in that one.” Noble added, “I think everyone can be redeemed. I think there has to be hope of that. Look, watching a character that is just going down the drain isn’t very interesting. There’s no surprise; there’s no possibility. And so I’ve always believed and always played that he can be redeemed. That his humanity can win the day. And so I have that in my subtext. I think there will be some form of redemption—at least some very serious attempt at redemption, then.”
Playing a villain is not so easy but Noble seems to do with quite some ease. He also has the talent of transforming from good to bad and back and forth every so often. Noble says, “Everyone loves playing villains. But it’s also interesting to try to find whatever humanity’s ticking away underneath the surface.” He speaks about the chemistry he shares with Mison and Beharie and states, “I’ve done a couple scenes with them, but virtually nothing. And that kind of works for the story, because Henry has backed away from their presence. He’s not there to help them anymore. So I’ve done some wonderful scenes with Katia and Neil [Jackson, who plays Abraham]. And that in itself has been a joy, to work with those guys. But I guess the time will come where Tom and I will have to have some big scenes.”