Season one ended on a cliffhanger,
leaving the audience to wonder if Norman was responsible for the
violent murder of a pretty young high school teacher (Keegan Connor
Tracy). As season two starts on March 2, we find that nothing is as
simple as it may seem, and it will take time to solve this crime of
passion. In the meantime, Norma and Norman are finally starting to
make a success of their new motel, a success which may be ruined by
the potential construction of a new highway bypass.
A couple of weeks before the
season two premiere of Bates Motel, we were one of several
websites who were able to speak with Farmiga and co-creator Ehrin
about the series.
This is based on a classic movie.
How much do the impressions that you originally got from
Psycho affect the way that you
make the show now? Or is it its own entity? Do you still go back to
Do you want to go Vera?
No, no. I think it's a question for you girl.
Okay, okay. Yes, from the very beginning [co-creator] Carlton [Cuse]
and I wanted to honor the movie, but not be beholden into it. I
think at this point the world of Bates Motel has definitely
become its own organic world. While we're still conscious of the
film, and obviously there's certain tent poles let's say (laughs)
that the film suggests, it has become its own beast at this point.
Vera, do you know like a lot of
the story line ahead of time? Or do you prefer to be surprised when
it comes out?
I'm still figuring what it is that
is part of my process. I've never had the luxury of a second season.
I've done three series before. They never had the opportunity to go
beyond 13 episodes in the first season. I know first season I did
feel a little disabled. Not that I couldn't act. I remember Carlton
asking me, "Do you want some more clues?" I wanted to take it an
episode at a time and not get ahead of myself. In the experience of
season one I felt: Oh, man, okay. In hindsight, especially having
sort of a big bomb land in the last episode, for me it was
impossible to dig as deep initially with the root of this new
character. I felt like Norma Bates was this like huge voluptuous
shrub that I just had to trust in this shallow root system.
Sometimes I felt like I was like showing up to fix this toilet and
my toolbox has been like packed by the wife. (laughs) Do you
know what I mean?
That's why I just reveled in the opportunity of a second season.
Television is a much slower process to discovering that background
history. The personality, the psychology, the character's goals.
There were so many unknowns. Also, the cast is so much closer.
There's an intimacy. There's a level of sportsmanship now. We can
throw harder jabs at each other. It's a deeper level of trust and
love that has been established between us and Kerry and Carlton. In
between the actors. And so I... oh God, what was the initial
It's interesting developing a character over TV time. Yes, I mean
certainly. But that's my own fault, because at the same time I
wanted to pace myself with the information that was coming at me.
Second season I did ask for more clues. I wanted to have the
trajectory of second season. I wanted to have more answers at the
start, which I was provided with. So I think you're in for a better
second season. (They both laugh)
Vera, what kind of mothering tips
have you learned from Norma?
First of all, I'll preface this answer by: if you hear me slurring,
I've had a wisdom tooth pulled. I am not drunk at like 10:30 am in
the morning. (Ehrin laughs hard.) It's not like a maternal
coping mechanism. (laughs) I actually am in pain and a little
bit of confusion. But anyway, you know what? (long pause, then
sighs) Man, I admire her tenacious love for her child. She goes
to extreme lengths to give her child the life that she imagines for
him. That is really valiant to me. I admire her generous heart. She
has really disarming honesty. These are amazing qualities that she
possesses. Yes, there is the flip side of Norma Bates, that her
hardware is working, [but] her software is a bit faulty.
She does like wrap Norman in bubble wrap, all the time. (They both
laugh.) I look at that. I think what I do learn from her is... I
mean this is a story after all about family dysfunction. What I have
to work so hard to get an audience to identify with her - and to
defend her and to admire her even - is that for me the name of the
game is to present to you a woman who lives every day in the
trenches of maternity. Also in the trenches of her own stubbornness
and denial. So those negative qualities influence me to be a better
parent. (laughs again) I guess the two demons, which is
denial and stubbornness for Norma, I suppose keep me in check.
Kerry, what compassion do you feel
I think Norma is the mother of all
mothers. To me it's like she's in an extreme situation. But, every
mother I've ever known, they just have this passion for making
everything okay for their kid. For stuffing the shit that doesn't
work out under the rug and stomping on it. (laughs) Just
constantly moving forward and making life as pretty and beautiful
and fun for their kids as they can. It's like we can't help it. It's
what mothers do. It's something so beautiful. That's what Norma
means to me. That's why I think she's beautiful. She's screwed up
and dysfunctional. Her own limitations that have been layered on her
by her early life that was none of her own doing. Within that, she's
absolutely just valiantly doing the best that she fucking can.
(laughs again) You have to love that. That's to me being a
Vera, what is attracting you to
these scarier parts? Roles like in
Orphan, The Conjuring or
Bates Motel. And your sister Taissa is in American Horror
Oh my God, it's like my own
beautiful internal logic about why Taissa and I choose to
participate. Or I think actually the projects choose us. (laughs)
But why like there's this magnetism oft times with dark subject
matters, I don't know. It's like quantum physics related. I'd like
to think we're called upon like some simple thermal sources.
(laughs again) And, actually, to be honest with you, I find
dark stories uplifting. It's during the darkest moments of our lives
that we see the light, right? There's a lot of darkness in Bates
Motel. But again, there's a lot of joy. The thing for me is I
always look at things and I choose to look at it through the lens of
positivity. Our story, yes it's a story about dysfunction. It's
dark. But it's a story about commitment and love and family and
resilience and loyalty.
I look at Taissa in American Horror Story and I just think... I
mean for her, I'm biased. I'm practically her mother. She's just
like this bright supernova that shines even brighter in the dark. If
you look at like the now close to 50 films that I've done, it's only
like five of them that are actually like certified horror stories.
Everything else is... I don't know.
Like I just did At Middleton, which is where she and I play
screwball mother and daughter in a romantic comedy. I think maybe
the most successful projects in my career have been psychological
thrillers and horrors and sort of twisted, dark and offbeat. Maybe
it's because our childhoods were so straight and narrow and full of
light and love and goodness. (laughs) Maybe that's why we
veer toward them more. But the object is you send light into the
darkness. Of our character charts. That's how I always look at it. I
am attracted to the sordid and the wacky, the unorthodox. But I love
infusing it with lightness.
Vera, I know your character is
completely wrapped up in Norman. But is there any possibility of a
love interest for you in the new season?
Yes, obviously she's proved from
first season that she's totally over anxious. She's too involved.
This is a woman who's been abused by her father, abused by her
brother, discarded by men, unneeded by her older son. She clings to
the one man that has been her protector, her confidant, her
consolation, the light in her life. It is Norman. And she's totally
too involved. She's unable to cut the cord.
But the thing is, the issues of women survivors of childhood sexual
abuse, it's really complex. It impedes ability to trust, especially
if, like Norma, demons are within. These poisonous feelings that she
has are embedded so deep in her psyche. She's never uprooted them.
She just has this vault, this burial chamber where she squashes all
that sadness and stress and torment.
She's totally preoccupied with Norman. Imagine it for yourself. It's
such a dark moment, the doom, when you discover or when you suspect
that there's something not quite right neurologically with your
child. It's not a job for the fainthearted. Every ounce of energy
really is her struggle with raising Norman, this atypical child.
Doing it as a single parent. She's got her own painful history also
to contend with. She's got this rampart that she's built.
(chuckles) It's like the walls of Constantinople. It's a
lifetime of defensive walls that she has.
Will we learn more about her
Yes. Yes, because I think she's
built this brick by brick. The ramparts [are] not so fortified
anymore. Somebody comes a knocking. The reason for moving out to
White Pine Bay is to put as much real estate as possible between her
and her past and these people that have been a part of this. This
starts going on. All of this has developed really complicated
psychological issues, like depression, that she squashes. Low
self-esteem and fear and guilt. All that trauma which she hasn't
dealt with. Like the way she drives. All these stressors. She's got
pretty significant stressors that affect her parenting capacities.
And also affect every other relationship that she can take on.
I feel like she's driving the bus from the backseat. (They laugh)
I don't know how to explain it. The way she can function in society
so far without not having dealt properly with it is driving this
bus, or life, from that backseat. So she certainly going to try,
man. I think also on the flip side of it is a coping mechanism. She
has an incredible sense of denial. Or she herself may look at it as
creative visualization. She shoves everything inside this vault. She
just takes on this fresh and fabulous outlook on life.
For her the hotel success, achieving success, she equates to happiness.
Which is the one thing she's always struggled with achieving. She
just throws herself into the hotel's success. That involves going
out into the community and meeting people. She also is trying to
repair last season's... you know, the word is out in the street.
There's already a negative association with her and what's happened
at that hotel. So her mission at the start of season two is to
change that. That involves being more involved in the community. She
develops friendships outside of her relationship with Norman. Kerry
do you want to take over this? Because you [are writing it]...
Sure, yes. Just as Vera is saying,
Norma has a longing for normalcy. Normalcy to most people means: do
you have a mate? (laughs) Whether or not she actually knows
how to relate to that person, or connect with them, or what to do
with them, she has a deep longing for it. Even though she doesn't
exactly know what it is. So yes, she believes she has room for love
in her life. Because she's not aware of... or I guess she's not
acknowledging... her tie to Norman. She has hopes that she will meet
someone. That she will fall in love. That she will have a wonderful
life. And there is a very interesting person that shows up this
Is this a new character that we
haven't seen before?
Yes it is. This season is a lot of
fun. Last season was about all of these things that got in the way
of Norma and Norman achieving what they came to White Pine Bay for.
Achieving this dream. This season is very much about putting them in
a position where they might actually get it. (laughs) They
might actually get what they want. The things that start to screw it
up are more inside them. I can't want to tell you too much because I
don't want to give away too much. But it very much is a journey of
following them deconstruct things that are good, in a really
Kerry, you and Nikki Toscano
recently had a terrorist drama picked up by CBS. How are you going
to the able to split your time between the two shows?
Yeah. How? (laughs)
Well, to be totally honest...
I can answer this right now. Nikki is a fantastic writer. She
has an incredibly strong vision for this show. She's going to be
front and center on it. She's great.
Vera when you first took on the
role, were you worried how it would work setting it in the modern
day? And why is it you think it does work so well?
You know, yes. I'd be lying if I
didn't [say I] had some reservations about it when I initially was
presented with the offer. I thought there is so many things that can
go wrong. Where we are being tethered, we're borrowing these
characterizations or these plots points from arguably the most
successful horror film, ever. (laughs) That's why that is a
tall order. At the same time, I think what assured me was I saw
Freddie's audition tape. Any skepticism, any trepidation, any fear I
had, any nervousness really vanished when I saw his audition tape.
It wowed me. I saw it, and then it became to me simply a story. At
the heart of the story is this relationship between mother and son.
I just thought with his performance it had a new life. I feel like none
of that mattered. Also, honestly for me it's not like I was playing
some iconic role. More for Freddie, and I don't even think he felt
this. He'd have to answer this. But I didn't feel any sort of
pressure. Everything that we knew about Norma Bates was through the
fractured psyche of Anthony Perkins' Norman. So for me there was
just the idea of that exploration between very intimate and also the
uniqueness of that. First of all the role itself on the written page
was so original. To me it's one of the most original characters I
have ever encountered.
A lot of that has to do with Kerry and Carlton's writing of
contradiction. That was so vital. When you encounter such a deeper
level of virtuosity in the creation of a female character, you just
don't question it. You just thank your lucky stars. You thank the
writers for thinking of you. And you claim it. Yes, initially the
purist in me was a little skeptical. But that cynicism just had to
do with: what is everybody else going to think? Once I could stop
caring about what everybody else could think [I] found my own
passion for the story. I'm a mom. I'm a mom of two toddlers. The
story resonates for me. It's unnervingly relatable. My inspiration
for the role's development is always point-blank myself. I see the
way my strength and my weaknesses shape my babies.
That's what the story is about. So yes, that was my passion. I look at
things musically. Some roles are like the equivalent of playing
"Farmer and the Dell." (laughs) All of a sudden, Kerry hands
you Chopin's "Sonata in B-flat minor." With so many dissonances and
major and minor shifts. It's a rare gift of a very personal melody
that I've been given in the form of Norma Bates. I was absolutely
sure after seeing Freddie's audition tape that it was a sure fire
Do we leave the door open for a
third season at the end of this one?
Yes. Enthusiastically yes.
(They laugh) There's so much great story to go. This is such an
exciting show to work on, because there's something about the
relationship with Norma and Norman that just keeps on giving. From a
writer's point of view, it's just delightful. (laughs again)
So yes, for sure.
Vera, is there anything you do to
prepare before your emotional scenes? Any ritual or anything that
It's such an elusive sport. Some
days things I think are going to work don't. The bottom line is
always I'm so close with Freddie. So there's a lot there. There's a
lot of instigation. The constant, the best thing is just to trust
him and react. Simply remind myself to react. It's not about acting.
It's reacting and being. Bottom line, that is [it] always. Sometimes
you don't quite feel it. I have so much to draw upon within my
imagination, just putting myself in the "what if?" position of with
my own children. Certainly my maternity is constant. I'm surrounding
the house too. All the pictures that you see of young Norman are my
[children] Fynn and Gytta throughout there. All I have to do is look
at any other wall, it's a wellspring of emotion that is accessible
to me. (laughs)
Sometimes it's music. Sometimes it's a quick music. Kerry, you'll
probably attest to that. If you watch dailies, there's sometimes
where if I feel if it's bogus, if I feel it's false, I'll literally
just call myself out on camera. (laughs) Say that it's
dishonest. Then all of a sudden I'll feel sorry for myself. That
will put me into like, I don't know.... You do whatever it takes.
Sometimes that process is quite weird and wacky. Sometimes it's just
bringing this book that I have. I'm constantly trying to just keep
something by my side that keeps me thinking about it. Right now I'm
reading the New York Times best seller by Andrew Solomon,
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity.
It's just beautiful. It's a joyful tribute that exults parents and
how they love their alien offspring with open force.
It ranges from doing nothing and just being present. It depends on what
the scene calls for and what the moment calls for. But it's tough
too. It's like balancing my own maternity and the demands of that
with playing this cocktail of madness and maternity that is Norma
Bates. I find myself so tired that oftentimes it's just submitting
to that weariness that inspires me. (They both laugh.)
Usually it's just a matter of opening my mouth. We work at such a
rapid pace. Sometimes we shoot eight scenes a day plus more. You've
got to be prepared. I am constantly learning. I'm trying. I'm a
full-time mom too. I've never felt as prepared as before maternity.
I am constantly learning my lines on the way to work. It's
challenging, especially with this intrepid role. It's super
Like I said, mostly I just rely on my scene partners. I mean Max
Theriot this season. Norman too, I mean Freddie too. Nestor [Carbonell].
This second season just be prepared to see some astonishing work
from all of them. There are times where Max literally in a scene
where I just forget to say my lines because I'm so enthralled with
his performance that I'm watching him. I'm just in awe. So it's just
trying to be present with them.
And finding the right research. There's so much online too. You just
type in "parenting a psychopath." There's so much that comes up. So
much inspiration that will give me so much compassion for the
struggle of a mom trying to find that unlimited capacity to loving
her child through mental illness or whatever it is that that child
is suffering from. There so many testimonials online that are really
inspiring to me.
When you're screaming for your
freak out scenes, do you rehearse them at all or does that just come
natural to you?
(They both laugh.)
Any extreme emotion I
don't like rehearsing. Laughter is even harder to do than a scream
for me. I'm a screamer by nature. It's my vocal cords. My mom will
tell you that I was a [screamer], like a valid therapy. I probably
did a lot of screaming therapy as a child. I don't practice it,
though. I never quite know how it's going to come out. It never
quite comes out the same way twice. It's something that is like a
jump off the springboard. For me personally, it's like taking a jump
off the high dive in the pool. You just got a go for it and drop
your lower mandible and let it rip. Kerry, didn't you put [that]
together last season? Or maybe somebody else did. Maybe a fan put
together some of my freak out moments.
Oh, yes. I don't remember who did
This collage of Norma freak outs.
I didn't even realize that I scream as much as is evident in this
Well the freak outs are so deep
too. It's like there's so much under them and in them. I always find
they're so amazing.
Yes it is. It's beautiful. It's
what's unspoken. Like sometimes you just don't have the words. I've
learned to love these moments. Sometimes we cannot verbalize the
pain, the anxiety, the fear, the guilt that is within us. You just
let it rip.
Usually you can't.
Yes. I actually love those
moments. Most of my favorite moments are these wordless moments,
whether it's a shriek, or whether it's the quiet. For me what I
cherish with this kind of writing is those when we don't have the
words, you know?
I just wanted to add [something]
in listening to Vera talking about her process. Watching Vera on the
set is one of the most entertaining things I've ever done in my
life. (laughs) Because you really have no idea where it's
coming from. I go up to her all the time afterwards and I'm like
what were you thinking about during that? It is fascinating to
watch. It's like she's channeling. She's inside herself and outside
herself at the same time. She has such a radar about when it's real.
I just wanted to add that. It was very interesting for me to hear
about what her process was, because I'm always fascinated by it.
How will the arrival of Norma's
brother change the family dynamics this season?
Well, (they laugh)
obviously he's a very volatile emotional memory for Norma. She
really has no idea what to do with all of that. It's not like it's
ever been talked through or worked on. It's been basically just
shoved into the vault. Then this guy shows up and he's outside of
the vault. How do you handle that? Obviously it's super complicated
because of Norman. Norman's great protectiveness of his mother and
his tendencies that even he doesn't know about. So it's super, super
complicated and intense and interesting.
Will we see Vera grow any closer
to Dylan [Norma's other son, played by Max Theriot]? Or any change?
I find it such an interesting counterpoint to Norma's relationship
Do you want to do that one or do
you want me?
Oh God. I have such a hard time talking plot points because I always
spill the beans on stuff, because I get to excited. I'm biting my
tongue right now. I love that relationship. I'm glad in the second
season we really get to explore it even more intimately. It's
evolving. I think I want what Kerry wants. (laughs)
Yes, I mean it's the story of a
lost son. Just like Norma has her longing for normalcy and
everything. He has longing for a family that he's never had and he
never has been inside of. He very much is dealing with that this
year. Him and Norma have a fascinating relationship this year. So
many different permutations to it. It's really amazing.
Norma is such an iconic role. As
Vera said earlier, obviously in the original film you don't really
get to meet her, you see her through Norman's eyes. But you do find
out what exactly happens to her in the end. I know that Kerry had
said that you're trying to be faithful to the movie but not
completely beholden to it, but does knowing at least one potential
outcome for her affect the way that you act and write the character?
Well, Carlton Cuse and I have
always seen this as a strange love story between this mother and a
son. I don't mean incest love. But it's intense. It has to go in a
certain direction. The relationship you see in the film, she's very
much portrayed as one type of person. You don't ever get to know the
inner workings of how it got there. Which is really fun in the film.
I mean, it's great. It's a big surprise when you find out in the
[We] get the luxury of taking that mess and putting it under a
microscope and examining it and wondering how it got there and what
the permutations were. Was there anything that wasn't just ugliness?
Because in the film, she's portrayed as a very abusive, harsh, kind
of ugly parent. And it's like okay. Everyone gets mad at their
parents sometimes. Every one. Every teenager in the world has said
"I hate you!" (laughs) They don't hate them. It's like the
parent is such a complex thing to a kid. So really it's the love
story of those two people and how they get to that place. What it
means and what that looks like. And it's going to be amazing.
The outdoor set on the hill
obviously is such an iconic set in film history and everything. I know it's a facade, it's not an actual set
when you're filming on the outside does that really add to the
feeling of the scene,
knowing the history of this place?
Oh yes. We film out in Aldergrove.
It's about an hour outside of Vancouver. They followed â€“ correct me
if I'm wrong Kerry â€“ but I think every detail of that architecture
is taken from the plans of the original house. Every single mullion
on the windows. The trim package on the house. Everything. That's
the authenticity. But it's also the environment, you know what I
mean? This idealistic White Pine Bay, it's so beautiful in
Vancouver. (laughs) The only down side is they built it on an
old burial ground in a transfer station. So it's fetid in the warmer
months that we shot and the damp months, which also adds this kind
of ambient strangeness in the air. (laughs)
And Mark Freeborn also...
I'm sorry. Go ahead.
Yes, no go ahead.
I was going to say Mark Freeborn
did an amazing job of designing the interior of the house in a way
that it fits with the original, but it is contemporary. It pulls in
this whole other aspect of Norma, which was not an easy job when you
look at the interior of the house in the movie. That was just genius
on his part.
It is. But you can even take that
into what else inspires me. In Hitchcock's film what played an
integral part in the anxiety-induced thriller was fashion. actually.
Each costume was so meticulously planned to enhance the plot and
make the girl in question, whoever that was, like look achingly
chic. The same thing with Monique Prudhomme, the costume designer,
who designs these [outfits]. It makes up for me as an actress for
playing a character that goes from like failure to failure. (They
both laugh.) At least she looks good. I don't know another woman
who gets to dress the way that I do on television. In this
incredibly chic, beautiful, feminine and playful way, which is such
a contradiction to the internal life of the character. So it is just
the sum of its parts, in addition to Mark, Monique's costume design.
Even just standing out there on the porch wearing one of her
fabulous summer dresses, which you get to see more this year, it's
such a treat. It immediately puts you in a time and place.
Vera, a few years ago you directed
the film Higher Ground.
Would you like to do some more directing maybe on episodes of
You know, I think even
contractually I have that option. Carlton asked me last year. For
me, tonally, I feel like I'm still grasping the tone. I feel like
I'm more fortified [in the] second season than I felt the first
season. I felt like, in hindsight after watching the episodes cut
together, and see what the editing flare was on it, coming from a
directorial perspective. I'm still trying. Because it's balancing.
Kerry and Carlton so skillfully balance these multiple tones to
create this like strange tonality of drama, melodrama, mystery,
horror, psychological thriller, dark comedy, screwball comedy,
oddball comedy, altogether.
It shifts on a dime, the wind. I'm still getting bonked by the... What
do you get bonked by the wind shifts on a sailboat? That thing, when
it tacks? The boom. When it shifts and you're not watching, it
chucks you in the water. It's like that sometimes is still how I
feel. I just finished watching the tenth episode of a second season.
It's solidifying for me. This is the tallest order I had as far as
demands of the character emotionally, physically, spiritually.
(laughs) It's epic, this role. I rely a lot on my directors.
I love being directed for this role. I cherish each one we have. What's
wonderful is that we have Tucker Gates, who is a consistent sort,
but we also have a new coming director that has second season. It's
just been, it's been such a treat to be directed by John Coles and
Ron... oh, God I can't remember. I don't have a good short term
memory. But I cherish direction. I rely on it. I want to be
maneuvered out of comfort zones. I don't know if I have the time to
prepare. I mean I don't. (laughs) That's not to say that I
[won't ever]... I don't know. Not yet. I'm not ready yet. I'm not
ready. Ask me in another season. There's the short answer.
(laughs again) I'm apologizing for not being ready yet.
What's the most difficult part
about playing Norma?
To me it's very simple. It's just
being earnest in my emotions. The writing is so demanding. They
really want you to cause shock waves. It's just mustering that
earnestness and keeping yourself honest is really hard and most
challenging. Performing the role at this pitch requires an enormous
amount of endurance and perspiration. I think honestly it has
nothing to do with my time on set. This material is all on the
written page. All I'd have to do is take it off my scene partners.
They're that stellar.
Really, for me it's going home and forgetting about it all. Being
present for my own children, which I don't have a problem doing.
It's a job. It's an on and off switch that I'm super passionate
about. But for me actually the biggest challenge while I'm doing it
is to just this on and off switch. Just throwing it all away and not
worrying about how am I going to prepare for tomorrow's scenes when
all I want to be is present and available for my own children. This
has nothing to do with the role. It has to do with my real-life role
of being mother. I treasure and value it. It's my favorite role in
all the world, of any role that I'll ever have. Also my role as
wife. And it's just like balancing that is probably the hardest
After just one season your playing
this character attracted an Emmy nomination. Was that something that
surprised you coming up so quickly?
Yes it did. It was a really
wonderful surprise. I don't know what to say about that. Yes. It's
like the biggest pat on the back. (laughs) It always feels
really, really good to have the support of your peers and to have
that acknowledgment. And selfishly I don't want... I mean it's the
writers have the hardest part. They start off with a blank paper.
It's nice having that acknowledgment. But for all the blood, sweat
and tears that I shed, Kerry is also sitting there by her computer
and these words are coming out. She's screaming and crying too when
she does this. (They both laugh.) She's unloading as well.
They're exhausting these scripts.
They are. They're exhausting to write. They're exhausting to
I mean it's like that pat on the
back, I was happy because I just share that with them. Without their
writing, I'm nothing. I have nothing. So it was a victory for all of
Is there going to be like a
certain quality or personality trait of Norma that will be brought
more to the forefront in the upcoming episodes to highlight on?
Just so I'm clear, what has
everybody seen? Has anybody seen any preview? Have you been privy to
any of the new season or not? I forgot to ask that question at the
Yes. We saw the season premiere.
There are a couple of new
characters that ignite and awaken new personality traits and new
responses and different ways of reacting in Norma. Yes, new
characters show up [and] I think where you get to see like different
sides of Norma. Distortions of Norma.
What do you do to relax when
you're done at the end of the day? Or do you even have any time?
What do I do? Honestly, my
children are that for me. There's just so much joy there. There's so
much... what's the word? Reprieve. Is that the word I'm looking for?
Amnesty. There's so much pardon...
Yes, there's just so much pardon
from work in the love of my husband and children. I'm a very lucky
woman. My home life is storybook. (laughs) My kids are so
cool. My husband is so hot and gorgeous and cool and loving.
(They both laugh.) Honestly I just fall into their arms and it's
[Also], what I have been doing, I'm really serious about boxing these
days. (laughs again) Boxing is a great way for me to get out
of my head and get out of my heart and just like sweat it out,
honestly. I'm very serious about it. If I didn't have the insurance,
I would honestly start sparring and start competing in boxing,
because I'm that serious and love it. It's a huge passion of mine.
And I am in Vancouver, which is beautiful. I'm just constantly running
through Pacific Spirit Park in the ocean air, surrounded by this
ocean air in Vancouver. It is so medicinal. I don't know. I'm a
nature girl at heart. We're just making the most of the idyllic life
that actually Vancouver is, holds and provides.
There's a scene at the very end of
this first episode for season two where Norma's at the City Council.
She is getting railroaded in the meeting. She's stops them and calls
the guy a dick, which made me laugh out loud. Her sort of blatant
honesty and lack of a filter, do you think that the world could use
a little more of that?
Candor you mean? (laughs)
Frankness, forthrightness, yes.
Honesty. The way that creeps up. It's like with Norma she has this
wonderful pendulum swing of dishonesty and then disarming honesty
with her. It's either this way or that way. (laughs) There's
nothing in between. I don't know. Kerry, what can you say about
I think there's times when candor
is useful. Obviously, we can't all go around being totally honest
with everybody, because there would be plenty of fistfights a day.
(They both laugh.) Times when you just have to cut through
the bullshit. I think that's what Norma has this great instinct for
doing, which is really funny considering how much of her own
internal psyche is so guarded. But that she can't just lash out
sometimes with the truth in the middle of that world of chaos inside
of her is kind of poetic. I mean it's kind of beautiful.
Vera, what was your favorite part
of season one?
Season one, season one, season
one. (They laugh.) Oh my God. I'm like just sobering up from
season two. Season one, what happened in season one? (laughs)
My favorite part of season one? (long pause)
Did you have a favorite scene?
Let me think. Oh my God. It's a
distant memory. It's so crazy how my brain works. I'm trying to call
it up right now. Season two is so vivid in my brain. I don't know if
there is a scene. It's like choosing your babies, man. It's like
Sophie's Choice. (laughs) You can't. It's really hard to
pick a scene. I really love the aftermath of the rape scene. That
was really challenging to play. To find this mixture of dark comedy
and the whole lugging the body down the staircase. Certainly that
was my least favorite scene because I mean if I could show you, I
photographed of these bruises from that scene. (They laugh.)
It was really the most physically challenging thing I had ever done.
It was so hardcore. But, to me I really loved the comedy that
ensued, like the dark comedy. To me that was real representative of
what the show is. The whole scene when Norma and Norman are
struggling with the body down. Trying to put him in the shower. That
energy really encapsulated what it is. All my scenes with Norman, I
can't choose a favorite. I look forward to every single scene with
him. But also it's not even... I don't know... I can't figure out
what are my favorite scenes. I also cherish my scenes with
Nestor Carbonell. Man I love that. I love that dyad. Those two
characters, that's a really fun relationship that again gets
I was just going to say there was
a scene that I think I just have like a huge fondness for from the
first season. You and Norman in the car. It was at the top of
episode six where you have just found out about Shelby. (laughs)
You're trying to just get over to Shelby's house and like kick his
ass. Norman jumps in the car while you're trying to drive it out.
Oh, yeah! Oh my God.
I love that scene.
That was so much fun. How could I
forget that? And I can't believe they let me do all my stunt
driving. The Stunting Association of Canada doesn't do this, but
they gave me what they call a tuque, like a cap that says "Vancouver
Stunts." That's only because I do it all. They allow me to do it.
And Freddie is such a good sport. Literally we were making donuts
around the Bates Motel sign when half his body is hanging out the
window. We're struggling to gain control of the car. It's pure
shenanigans. I can't believe they allowed us to the stunt. They
wouldn't if they didn't trust my driving and didn't think that [I
could do it]. Yes. That's good too. It's true. We had lots of shits
and giggles over that one, yes.
Before Norman leaves for the
dance, Norma tells him about her brother. What was her purpose for
doing that? What did she hope to gain by telling him that?
Kerry, you start.
We felt like there could be a
number of different reasons. I mean the one thing with a character
like Norma is you don't always have to have a logical linear
connection to the impulse. In her mind it just wanted to come out of
her right then...
Totally, I agree with that. The
impulse is what this lady goes by. And that impulse was like a dam
burst of veracity. It was just the moment. It's also because there
was this impending sense of doom. Her life's been threatened. Her
children's lives have been threatened. And so that ache, it's true.
I love what you said about impulse.
It's like you get to look at her
and go: Well did she do that because she feels like she might die,
and she doesn't want to die with a secret from the person she's
closest to in the world? Is it part of her that's just pissed that
he is going to a dance? It's like who knows with her?
It's both. Yes.
It's coming from all these places.
It's just blowing up inside of her. It has to come out of her mouth.
Yes. I love that murkiness. I love
it. I know, it's true. There's nothing black and white. It's all
this murky gray matter that...
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