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.