Michael Teh is here to see a Revolutionary War-era man about a car — far from the strangest thing that's happened on Fox's new supernatural adventure hit "Sleepy Hollow."
Teh (pronounced Tay) plays Seamus Duncan, "a used car salesman with a twist" who offers to sell Ichabod Crane a DeLorean on Monday's episode, "For the Triumph of Evil."
Wait, as in "Back to the Future"? Short of carjacking Doc Brown, there aren't many ways to get hold of a "tricked-out" version, as Teh coyly describes it — but he insists he's not necessarily playing a villain.
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"I don’t want to reveal if he’s good or bad, but I would have to say there’s a different side to him than his vocation," he says.
Hey, Ichabod already traveled 250 years into the future to fight the Headless Horseman. Maybe he left the stove on and needs a way to get back?
Originally from Australia, Teh, 44, traded a career in dot-coms and management consulting for Hollywood. The avid J.R.R. Tolkien fan (he's "read every word" written by the "Lord of the Rings" author) is excited for the resurgence of the fantasy genre.
"My favorite kind of novels growing up involved an element of fantasy, and 'Sleepy Hollow' is definitely fantastical," Teh said. "It’s great how it marries things from the past with the modern day. Everybody from the costume designers up has fun floating between worlds."
Teh says the show's sense of humor, which comes largely from its lead's fish-out-of-water circumstance and alliance with a modern day cop, Lt. Abbie Mills (played by the delightfully put-upon Nicole Beharie), made for a fun experience on set.
"I think the writers obviously intended to make it that way," he says. "And I think Tom Misen (who plays Ichabod Crane) is just really good at delivering. I think he even finds humor in places it wasn’t written in!"
Amid the laughs, Ichabod and Abbie have a serious task: stopping the apocalypse. Does Teh think they've got what it takes to make a successful team? "I’ll take them both. But given what they’re facing, I’d look for an army as well. From what I’ve seen of what they’re up against, they’re going to need an army!"
Considering "Sleepy Hollow" debuted to more than 10 million viewers, making it Fox's highest-rated fall drama premiere in six years, it's safe to say Ichabod and Abbie are going to be busy keeping the apocalypse at bay for a while.
"Sleepy Hollow" airs at 9 p.m. Mondays on Fox. For more about Teh, check out MichaelTeh.com.