NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Nikki Reed says playing an action-heroine version of 18th-century historical figure Betsy Ross on Season 3 of Fox's Sleepy Hollow was simply too irresistible a job to pass up.
Loosely inspired by Washington Irving's classic tale, the small-screen drama is set in contemporary New York and follows Ichabod Crane, a Colonial Army soldier and spy who was brought back to life more than two centuries after he was killed by the Headless Horseman. He now works with police detective-turned-FBI agent Abbie Mills to save the world from demons and other supernatural forces. Tom Mison plays Crane, while Nicole Beharie portrays Mills.
This season, Reed's Ross, a woman from Crane's past, arrives in Sleepy Hollow and joins his evil-battling team.
"Why would I ever say, 'No?' Oh, my God! I get to work with Tom Mison all day, and I get to learn how to sword-fight," Reed recently told United Press International at New York Comic Con.
"The thing I love the most about this show -- in all seriousness for two seconds and then we don't have to be serious any more -- there is something to be said for the fact that they've somehow managed to create something beyond mindless entertainment," the 27-year-old actress explained.
"It's cool. It's cool to be a part of something that actually educates and incorporates true, historical facts. The accuracy is just... I mean, the writers really care about this. Their research, their ability to kind of combine the supernatural world with the present with this huge chunk of history is... It's something that I love being a part of. I love the message behind that. And also, clearly, we did not stick with the Betsy Ross, who is, like, sitting in a rocking chair, sewing an American flag, sad to say. But, she's a lot of fun to play, and I try to play characters that I hope I can contribute something to, but, also, that I can take something from. So I go to sleep at night, feeling like I've taken a little bit of Betsy home with me, and I think that is kind of a great thing. Betsy sort of feels like the ultimate woman sometimes. I mean, maybe not necessarily in what's aired so far... But for that time period, to be that kind of woman and to have that kind of confidence and that fearlessness and that kind of ability to be independent in that way, I think that's really cool."
Reed went on to say she would love for Ross, who is seen in flashback as a fierce and resourceful operative working for Gen. George Washington, to be regarded as more than "just a woman with a sword in corsets."
"I think it's really important to give young women the opportunity to, in some way, find a role model there," she emphasized, adding that she and the show's writers seem to be on the same page regarding the empowering reinvention of this character. "I think that, together, we've all somehow done that."
Co-starring Lyndie Greenwood, Shannyn Sossamon and Zach Appelman, Sleepy Hollow airs Thursday nights.
Reed is best known for her work in the Twilight film franchise, as well as the dramas Thirteen. Lords of Dogtown and Empire State. She is married to actor Ian Somerholder from The Vampire Diaries.