first sprang into the hearts of most movie watchers as Peter in 2004’s “Finding Neverland”. Now 22 and in his final year of studying Languages at Cambridge, Highmore has taken up residence in quite a different role, that of iconic silver screen serial killer Norman Bates.
Though Highmore was under strict orders not to reveal the juicy details of the upcoming second season of “Bates Motel”, he did note that Norman is in line to receive a new love interest before joining roundtable attendees in a deep dive into his infamous character and, of course, Norman’s relationship with his mother.
“I think we kind of feel for Norman at times and so you’re sympathizing with some you know is going to become an infamous serial killer,” Highmore began. “And kind of that challenges us to think if I had had that upbringing, if I had been brought up not necessarily in the world of ‘Psycho’ or ‘Bates Motel’ but generally a different upbringing, if you had parents who treated you in a certain way, would you be slightly different? Is it necessarily Norman’s fault?”
And certainly that last question begs another question: Is it necessarily Norma’s fault?
“She’s certainly influential, but in a more psychological way that influences his mind, as opposed to a necessary presence. She’s still very much there, and I’d say almost the spark that causes him to maybe kill Miss Watson,” he said.
“But I’ve always seen it as a balance between nature and nurture. It partly is a problem that he might have, a kind of inherent problem since birth that causes him to go psycho, you know he must go down that path. But it’s also that upbringing and the dodgy town and the relationship with his mother.”
And speaking of Norma, just what does Freddie Highmore think of the relationship between Norma, played by Vera Farmiga, and Norman?
“Vera and I slightly disagree on this, so um, I think that’s the great thing about the show is it’s suggestive instead of conclusive. So some people will think that their relationship crosses the line of where a normal mother and son should be in the way they interact, but others will be like, oh, that’s nice, she’s just doing the best for her son,” he explained.
“She [Vera] doesn’t see it in a dodgy way at all, I think it is slightly, it certainly suggests that, but it’s certainly important not to do too much too soon. The temptation of course with ‘Bates Motel’ [is], oh Norman, he’s going to dress up in Norma’s clothes in the first episode and then they can sleep together and that will be great cause that’s what the show’s about,” Highmore added, laughing.
“It’s a lot more delicious to kind of let that play out over time and leave it up to the audience to work out. Leave room for interpretation.”
Once you get past the question of Norma, Norman and how close is too close, the next unavoidable topic becomes the influence of Hitchcock’s legendary film, “Psycho”. And in the case of Freddie Highmore that means, to what extent did he look to Anthony Perkins as a source of inspiration?
“It was a source of inspiration. It’s hard to kind of pinpoint certain moments [in my performance], but it was never an attempt to mimic him. I certainly looked at him and watched him a few times and kind of considered the way that he played Norman. But having done that we felt free to do anything and take it in new directions,” Highmore said. “You kind of do that work before hand and think ‘oh, these are things that we might try and replicate,’ and then you almost forget them when you’re on set and just let things take over and hopefully they still remain.”
Anyone who’s seen Hitchcock’s film, and let’s face it, almost anyone who hasn’t, knows what Norman is destined to become. Though Highmore joked that the writers could pull a fast one on every one and alter the course drastically by killing him off, he did ultimately note the greatest benefit of playing Norman.
“The other thing about being Norman is as long as the show goes on, I should be there until the end, whereas everyone else at times will be looking over their shoulder thinking ‘are they going to do me in? Even Vera doesn’t look so good at the end of ‘Psycho’ in her chair does she? Her time will come,” he said, laughing.
Producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin will be adding a special addition to season two of Bates Motel.
Bates Motel: After Hours is a half-hour show that is taped in front of a live studio audience, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The additional show will air at 11 p.m. the same night as Bates Motel.
Along with the executive producers, the additional show will also include stars Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore and Max Thieriot.
Vera Farmiga plays Norma Louise Bates, the mother of Norman Bates, on the show. Characters from the show are based on the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Psycho. The show is a prequel of the popular film.
Regarding her character Norma, Farmiga told the Associated Press, “At the beginning of season two, she thinks she’s got her neuroses under control.”
Freddie Highmore plays Norman in the series. Michael Vartan (Alias) plays Farmiga’s love interest.
Farmiga was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Up in the Air. She also performed in Safe House, The Conjuring and Goats.
Bates Motel returns March 3 at 9 p.m. on A&E. Bates Motel: After Hours will air the same night at 11 p.m.
I have added HD screencaptures of the sneak peek A&E released for season 2 of Bates Motel to the gallery.
Television Productions > 2013: Bates Motel > Season 2 > Sneak Peek
Freddie Highmore Web would like to wish Freddie a safe and happy 22nd birthday today!
It’s been a while since we last saw Freddie Highmore’s Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates following the dramatic season finale of Bates Motel’s first season that saw the poor Miss Watson apparently murdered. But what will happen in season two?
Well the A&E press release for the show’s second season has been released and it hints that the season will “dig deeper into the twisted world of the Bates family.” To be honest I don’t think we could expect anything less but what exactly will be happening during the season?
As it happens the press release goes on to give us a slight idea of what to expect saying “Picking up from last season, Norman is fixating on Miss Watson’s death while Norma’s mysterious past starts to haunt the family with the introduction of her brother. Meanwhile, Norman’s brother Dylan, (Max Theriot), gets more entrenched in the familial drug war that fuels White Pine Bay and finds himself right in the middle of the danger as Bradley (Nicola Peltz), who remains on the hunt to uncover her father’s killer is driven to precarious extremes. Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) is caught up on all fronts as everything in town escalates and Emma (Olivia Cooke), complicates her relationship with Norman.
And it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of this come to fruition in the first episode. The leaked first episode synopsis reads “Norman fixates on Miss Watson’s death; Norma worries about the future of the motel when plans for the bypass move ahead of schedule; Bradley is driven to extremes as the searches for her father’s killer.”
But what else do we know about the first episode? Well, according to TV Line there are going to be a lot of questions answered, but even more questions asked, with the important question on everyone’s lips being who killed Miss Watson and more specifically was it Norman Bates? According to TV Line the matter of Miss Watson’s murder will be in the forefront of episode one but will be addressed quickly, “Bates Motel’ season 2 premiere will answer the identity of Miss Watson’s killer-whether or not it’s Norman Bates -will be unravelled.”
We’ll also be seeing new character Nick played by actor Michael O’Neill who will be guest starring as Nick throughout the series as Miss Watson’s vengeful father who is out for the blood of the person responsible for his daughter’s murder. He won’t be the only one out for revenge as Bradley is continuing her search for the person who set her father on fire, maybe the two paths will cross?
On top of the existing murders TV Line also reveals that Miss Watson’s murder won’t be the only one in the first episode affecting the characters “by the end of the hour, a new homicide will take centre stage” which will throw the small town of White Pine Bay out of loop. Well, it wouldn’t be ‘Bates Motel’ without people dropping like flies would it!
I’ve added three additional high quality stills from the premiere episode of Bates Motel to our gallery.
Television Productions > 2013: Bates Motel > Season 2 > Episode Stills > 2.01