Vera Farmiga Q&A: ‘Bates Motel’
In the Emmy race for Best Drama Actress, Vera Farmiga ("Bates Motel") offers voters one of the most dynamic performances of the year. Over the past TV season, her character, Norma Bates — frazzled mom of that "Psycho" serial killer Norman (Freddie Highmore) — "not only breaks down, she breaks open," she says in our webcam chat. "She's been pushed to the edge."
As a result, Norma "ricochets emotionally like a bullet" while trying to cope with her crazy life that is a "continuous, desperate series of rebounds."
Throughout it all, Norma struggles to save her son as he's consumed by inner demons, but she's not always sympathetic. One of the biggest challenges of this role, Farmiga adds, is to ask "the audience — regardless of her faults, transgressions, deceits — to root for her, to forgive her and to like her."
Everyone who's seen Hitchcock's "Psycho" knows Norma will lose her struggle and end up becoming one of Norman's victims, but the TV series has finished only three seasons of its five-year run. At this point Farmiga says she doesn't yet know how she will die, but adds, "I know that it's looking like an inevitable Hades" for Norma.