I spoke with the incredibly talented Nicholas Gonzalez about Sleepy Hollow, Water & Power, and so much more. Nicholas plays Luke Morales, Abbie’s ex, in Sleepy Hollow. It’s always a pleasure to speak with Nick. He’s hilarious and refreshingly honest. I’m a huge fan of his work, so I was thrilled when I found out that he would be starring in Sleepy Hollow. It doesn’t get much better than that. John Noble and James Frain are also joining the cast. Don’t miss a single episode of Sleepy Hollow on Monday nights at 9/8c on FOX.
Lena: One of the qualities that I like about you is your honesty.
Nicholas Gonzalez: It’s been a long time in the making. [Laughing.]
Lena: I’ll never forget the first time that we spoke and I mentioned watching one of your films and how you apologized for it. [Laughing.] You earned my complete respect from that moment on. It’s not that you were bad in it but…
Nicholas Gonzalez: I can’t act like it was any good. That’s for sure. [Laughing.]
Lena: You are involved in several projects right now. I watched the pilot episode of Resurrection and I loved it.
Nicholas Gonzalez: It’s a really cool show and it’s unfortunate that I’m not working on it anymore. I really hope the best for them.
Lena: Are you positive that they are not bringing you back?
Nicholas Gonzalez: I guess there is always a chance, but I really don’t know. I don’t know how they are going to explain me not being around. I don’t know what they are going to cut around in the pilot ultimately before it airs.
Lena: You play a cop frequently. How long do you think you could last at a real precinct without being found out?
Nicholas Gonzalez: If I were to actually try to pass myself off as a cop. Funny enough, a lot of these cops actually watch TV and I get more cops going, “Now I know you from…” I don’t know how long it would last because a lot of these guys have already worked on sets or have been technical advisors, so I probably know a bunch of them from that alone. [Laughing.] They are pretty savvy. They know their TV shows. I’ve had so much exposure with the LAPD for different projects. I was told by a technical advisor on SWAT that he wouldn’t be surprised if I told him that I went to the academy. He said that they probably would have accepted me. I’ll take it. I love doing that kind of stuff.
Lena: You also get to do a lot of on-screen running.
Nicholas Gonzalez: I love it. I did a lot of on-screen running in Resurrection.
Lena: How long did it take you to perfect that?
Nicholas Gonzalez: I’ve been a runner my whole life. For me it’s not hard. I just run like I run.
Lena: Some people just don’t look right being filmed running. It just doesn’t translate. I’m assuming you have to try not to make stupid faces. [And the arms, watch the oddly swinging arms.] [Laughing.]
Nicholas Gonzalez: Then they are bad runners in life. Exactly. [Laughing.]
Lena: I love the look and the feel of Sleepy Hollow. It’s probably because the Fringe team is behind it.
Nicholas Gonzalez: Me too. I was told a lot about Fringe but I haven’t seen it. I heard that it’s really great. It’s been added to my queue. I’m still catching up on Battlestar Galactica. I just started watching that and it’s really well done.
Lena: Sleepy Hollow films in North Carolina. They have a pretty nice film community going on there.
Nicholas Gonzalez: Yes. That’s also where we filmed Witches of East End.
Lena: Can you talk about being on the set of Sleepy Hollow and working with the cast, especially what you have to do to keep a straight face around Orlando Jones?
Nicholas Gonzalez: Orlando is actually really fun to work with. He’s hilarious. We have such a good time. He has a really sharp wit. He’s always a pleasure to be around. Orlando is that kind of guy that brings you in. He likes holding court and getting everyone’s attention. He’s got a way that brings you in. He brings you in on everything and he’s a real delight. He’s just a really fun guy. There is so much work to be done that everybody is under so much stress with all the work they have, mostly Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison who are in everything and shooting multiple episodes at a time. It’s just so hard so in between we will all sit together and just kind of goof around and talk. They are just so smart and interesting artists. We really have a good time just getting to know each other. Nicole and the guy that plays my partner, Michael Roark, have us just doing push-ups between scenes to wake up. We will all get down and do 25-30 push-ups. She’s a really strong girl.
Lena: Luke is beginning to get more involved in the storyline but are we ever going to get more of a backstory on him and his relationship with Abbie?
Nicholas Gonzalez: Definitely. The episode that I just shot, we start to see a little bit more. As far as a backstory, it will probably trickle out to a point where we start focusing on the relationship again and on what happened. We’ll try to move on whether it be as friends or what. That’s to be determined. I’m still waiting to find out but we start tackling that again in this last episode. The interesting thing also with these episodes is that the one that aired recently was the first one that I ever did. After how it all turned out they got really excited about the character and then they wrote me in and cut out a couple of other things, in the second and third episodes, and cut my character in. That’s why you see those little snippets of my character just starting out. They wanted to sow those seeds a little earlier so it doesn’t just seem that he is coming in out of nowhere.
Lena: That makes sense. It’s good that they did that.
Nicholas Gonzalez: For me it was great. It was very flattering to have them pull me back to add me to earlier episodes.
Lena: The one thing that must happen in the show is that Luke needs to take Crane clothes shopping. [International Male has to have an outlet store somewhere.]
Nicholas Gonzalez: Everyone keeps saying that.
Lena: That dude’s clothes have to smell like a giant gerbil by now. [In case you don’t know, gerbils tend to smell like dirty feet.]
Nicholas Gonzalez: Who knows. They might be clean, but at the same time I don’t think his attire is ever going to change. I think he’s at least going to keep the boots and the jacket from what Tom has told me.
Lena: I also love how they incorporate comedy into the show like when Crane was talking to the navigation system. What’s your take on the show and the mythology of the show?
Nicholas Gonzalez: I think the humor and the mythology are two of the things that I didn’t expect from the show that really grabbed me. I don’t know if I would have watched had I not been involved in it but I’m glad I did because I really enjoy the show. A lot of it is also that mythology/revision of history and the way they worked it all in that’s just so interesting. It’s very Da Vinci Code, and I say that in the very best possible way. [Laughing.] The idea behind it is very smart.
Lena: Have you filmed any scenes with John Noble yet?
Nicholas Gonzalez: No, but I was talking to Lyndie Greenwood the other day and she was saying that she thinks he’s her favorite new person. She loved John. I keep on hearing such great things about him and everyone is excited, so I’m really looking forward to hopefully working with him.
Lena: He’s amazing. I hope you get to film some scenes with him.
Lena: One of your fans wanted me to ask you about your audition process. What was it like?
Nicholas Gonzalez: It was pretty typical. It was something I just felt kind of connected to and I like the character. I thought it was right up my alley. I liked the writing. It’s just smart and interesting. You can sit there and watch a scene – Abbie had a couple of them about her life – and it’s so well written and even then there is a lot of exposition and plot points but when you have actors like these, they way they handle it, you don’t feel it. You’re zeroed in on what they are doing. Nicole Beharie is so interesting to watch and a lot of that is with the writing and her handling of it. It’s not easy. That was fun for me to go through that process and for all the genre that it is, it’s still very natural. Whether it be the humor or the drama, it all just feels very natural. That just says a lot I think.
Lena: They are definitely doing a fantastic job with the series. Every episode is getting stronger and stronger. At least that’s how I feel.
Nicholas Gonzalez: Exactly.
Lena: Do you have a favorite episode that you’ve filmed so far?
Nicholas Gonzalez: I had a lot of fun filming the seventh episode. It was just so much fun because I got to work more with Nicole. Her and I got to deal a little bit with the relationship and some other surprise characters make reappearances. That one, for me, was really fun. I’ve been having a good time the whole way through, to be honest.
Lena: That’s great to hear. I hope they bring John Cho’s character back.
Nicholas Gonzalez: He’s a super cool guy.
Lena: I remember watching the pilot and being upset that they killed him, but they brought him back.
Nicholas Gonzalez: That’s the thing with this show; nobody is ever really gone. Like Clancy Brown, one of my favorite actors, I think he is doing such great work. You see him get killed in the beginning and you’re like, what? Him and I just did a movie about two years ago that is in the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and he was just amazing in it. It’s a small experimental kind of film called Water & Power. He’s incredible in it.
Lena: I was going to ask you about Water & Power because I can’t find a lot of information about it. Do you play a cop again?
Nicholas Gonzalez: Actually, I do.
Lena: [Laughing.] You are killing me. Someone is not being typecast at all. Do you have a favorite cop role that you’ve played so far?
Nicholas Gonzalez: I’m still kind of partial with my role in Law & Order: SVU. That was a really good time at a really good time in my life too. That was just a really cool job running around in New York with a gun strapped to your hip.
Lena: That was my favorite one too. I really wanted you to come back and take over for Chris Meloni. You were my first pick.
Nicholas Gonzalez: All of the producers came to me about joining the cast as a regular but they decided that they didn’t want to add anybody [at the time] but they ended up adding a Latino guy. I was just a year behind.
Lena: What can you say about Water & Power?
Nicholas Gonzalez: It’s a film that you are probably not going to see in your theaters; it’s not a conventional film. It’s powerful and was all shot in twelve nights in L.A. The writer and director, Richard Montoya, was the one that was so incredible. The actual play is gorgeous. It’s a beautiful play and it’s so hard to describe. I’ve had such an up and down relationship with the film in the sense that it’s hard for me to watch myself anyway, and then it’s hard for me to watch myself that exposed. The film went through so much growth and our director is a man of the theater and in the theater you workshop stuff. You show it around a lot and he was showing this film around and it wasn’t even done yet. That was kind of a tough thing for me initially to kind of feel it through – a totally different process that he had – but low and behold after lots of editing, lots of different choices on how it would go; it worked. It works in its own way. It’s kind of an homage to the city in some ways, and seeing L.A. in a different way than it’s been shown before. I can only imagine how well it would have done with more money and everything else. It’s a very different and unusual piece of art.
Lena: Do you think they are going to have it available On Demand?
Nicholas Gonzalez: I don’t know if it’s that kind of film. It’s hard to describe, to be honest.
Lena: What else do you have coming out?
Nicholas Gonzalez: I’m working on a big video game. I can’t say too much about it, but they’ve had a lot of hits. It’s really fun and I play a cop. [Laughing.] It will probably come out in late 2014. We are hard at work on it with some really fun actors. It’s really cool and a great experience for me. I’ve never done motion capture. I’m really excited to hear how this turns out. I’m having a blast doing it.
Lena: That’s fantastic. I’m so happy that you are in Sleepy Hollow. I hope they don’t kill you off.
Nicholas Gonzalez: I know. Cross your fingers that I keep my head and my job.