Fresh off her recently-announced Emmy nomination, Vera Farmiga and the rest of her Bates Motel cast members, including: Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke, Freddie Highmore, and Max Thieriot, joined by producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, took the Comic-Con stage to discuss the upcoming season of A&E’s new hit series. During the discussion, they delved into the show’s relationships and provided some teases for what to expect in Season 2. Hit the jump for highlights from the panel.
While initially, moderator Tim Stack had announced that Highmore would not be joining the panel due to undisclosed circumstances, all disappointment dissipated with the screening of a video clip. In the clip, Highmore was seen slowly transitioning from his normal self into the actual character of Norman Bates. It was comedic in nature and highly entertaining for the audience to see Highmore switch into this persona that eventually ended up committing murder. “I’ll miss Comic-Con!” Highmore yelled, as police men took him away and the screen cut to black. The lights came back on and he then joined the rest of the panelists on stage. The moderated session was then followed by a fan Q&A.
- When Farmiga was asked about the process of becoming Norma Bates, she said the first thing she did was Google “parents of psychopaths” and found a wealth of information. She approaches Norma as a “strong, loving, and nurturing mother.” She knows that the character is very flawed but belives that in her defense, she’s the mother of a child with a mental illness.
- Highmore revealed that he spent his hiatus translating for a law office in Madrid. He knows how to speak Arabic and Spanish. Going from a lighter note to something a bit darker, when asked about Norman’s first murder in the season finale, Highmore assured that it’s “a loose end to be resolved.” Norman murdering Ms. Watson will definitely move his transition forward.
- Thieriot was asked about the possibility of a romance between Dylan and Bradley and whether he was rooting for something to happen. “As Norman’s brother, I’m rooting for whatever keeps me alive,” he replied. Admitting that he’s worried for his safety if Dylan and Bradley were to become romantically involved.
- Keeping with the relationships theme, Cooke was asked a similar question but in regards to her character, Emma, and Norman. Cooke said she likes where the relationship is right now because she’s tired of being rejected. “Will you be my boyfriend?” She asked Highmore, who hesitated on giving an answer. “That’s a no,” She concluded with a smile.
- On the character of Sheriff Romero and whether he can be trusted. Carbonell said that Romero is a guy who has his own way of dealing with the law, “He has his own moral code.”
- The producers knew they had to keep certain things from the original classic intact in their new version. While the show had to include the Bates Motel and the Bates house, as well as Norman’s transition into a murderer, they knew they had the liberty to tell their own story. They found it fun to re-imagine the characters and retell the history. “We will do our own version of that story,” said Cuse. He also revealed that the first season of Bates can be split up into a 6-episode arc and a 4-episode arc.
- When it came time to talk a bit about Season 2, Cuse hinted at the possibility of meeting more of the Bates family, referring specifically to Norma’s brother. He said there are also new romances for Norma and Norman this year, “Not with each other,” he clarified.
- Farmiga pitched a story idea that we will see in episode 2. When asked to give a cryptic, one-word teaser, Cuse simply stated, “Sandman.”
- Thieriot admitted that he’s waiting for Dylan to get a love interest, to which Cuse replied that there is something coming up for him next season but he wouldn’t really call it “romance.” Later, Cuse answered a fan’s question about the purpose of Dylan’s character by stating that it was a way to have someone on the show who was looking at Norma and Norman’s relationship from an outsider’s perspective. The character sort of grew after they saw how Thieriot played the role.
- They’ve stayed away from featuring the classic Psycho theme because they don’t want to dislodge the viewers from the show and take them back to the original film. They like referencing the movie in subtle ways without replicating it.
- As far as how long Bates Motel intends to carry on with Norman’s storyline, Cuse says they want to tell the whole story arc but will have a better idea of where it will end at the end of the season. “Our idea is to tell the story as best we can in the right amount of time,” he said.