That’s My Entertainment recently had the opportunity to talk with some of the stars behind A&E’s, BATES MOTEL. Currently in it’s 4th season, Monday night’s episode marks the first episode in which the show’s star, Freddie Highmore, has taken on the additional role as writer. It isn’t the first time one of the cast members has stepped beyond the role of actor. Vera Farmiga, who stars a Norman’s mother Norma, is credited as Producer & Executive Producer on over a dozen of the episodes and co-star Nestor Carbonell (Sheriff Romero) has even directed an episode. We asked Creator, Writer, & Executive Producer, Kerry Ehrin as well as Norman Bates himself – Freddie Highmore some questions about the show and whats coming up.
Q:Freddie. I love your portrayal this season but am even more excited to see the episode that you wrote. Is this something that you want to get into more ?
A: Yes, I’d love to. I guess it was — I mean first of all, I’m obviously incredibly grateful to (Carlton) and Kerry for allowing the writers room and giving me an opportunity to write an episode and be a part of Bates Motel beyond merely acting. And I guess it was borne out of this desire to want to be involved in the wider process and it just seemed a little odd to me to put so much into this character for the four, five months that we shoot in Vancouver and then let it completely go and just sort of go away and ignore it for a few months. And then come back and be like, oh let’s just see what’s been happening.
(Unintelligible) continue to be involved in the wider process of creating the character. And so that’s I guess where the desire was borne out of and now very much so I am sort of loving — I love the writing experience on Bates Motel and being part of that team and am writing more things.
Q: Freddie, so I think this season separating Norman from Norma has really moved the story forward and I’d like you just to speak a little bit about how you think being separated from Norma has allowed Norman to evolve and to change.
A: I think part of the interesting thing about having separated Norma and Norman is that we’ve allowed the mother side to Norman to develop greater. And I think part of that is borne out of the fact that they are physically apart, and so through that sense of missing for her and yearning for her, he at times has visions of her, or more commonly starts to slip into that guise of being her. And I think that’s what was fascinating for me to play this season, those moments of transitions in scenes with Dr. Edwards, for example, where we see Norman slip into the guise of mother and take on this other side. And I feel like that is released because of their physical separation. So that’s been really, really fun to play.
Q:So like your character then, you sort of agree that he may have been better off just staying at home rather than going into Pine View?
A: Well, I feel like they have to be together. They really — there’s a scene at the end of eight when Norman says this to Norma and the whole Romero thing comes to the fore in number eight. And they do have to be together. They need to be with each other in order to function. And in a way from Norma’s point of view, I feel she slightly deludes herself by living in this dream, this very happy reality that she created with Romero. But when Norman comes home, as he eventually will, and we know from the story that he’s going to have to come back, it sort of becomes revealed as this more of a fantasy and of a dream of another life, but it’s not a life that she can ever actually leave.
And so I think Norman, in number eight, in a scene towards the end, really latches onto that idea of knowing how inseparable they really are. And as much as they want to deny it, or as much as they wish that it may not — might not be true, it always will be. No one will be able to get in between the two of them. No one will be able to break that cord.
Q: Kerry As the reimagined story of Psycho is taking its own directions, what are some of the biggest challenges with trying to keep it on track with at least some of the events in the original movie?
A:I don’t really see those as challenges. Those are more opportunities and they’re fun. When you can really organically pull in little important bits or an iconic image, a little bit of dialogue, a reference, those are fun. Those are fun to get to use and we use them sparingly. We always — Carlton, (cues) and I always from the beginning wanted it to feel like a world of its own but we wanted certain iconic presences like the house, the Psycho house. And when we get to use those things, it’s actually really, really fun. So I wouldn’t say it’s challenging. I’d say it’s sort of delicious.
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!