Awards recognition finally caught up with Freddie Highmore when he was recently nominated for Best Drama Actor by the Critics’ Choice TV Awards for his deliriously deranged role as Norman in “Bates Motel.”
Psychologically, it’s a far more fascinating version of the character than Anthony Perkins played in “Psycho” because Norman, on TV, hasn’t gone nuclear nutty yet. The monster is stirring behind his creepy gaze, but it’s there, growling and sneering – and it finally pounced at the end of season two.
“I genuinely believe that Norman has redeemable features and he’s a nice guy,” says Highmore in our webcam chat. “We know what the end is for Norman – how the movie ‘Psycho’ goes – so for me it’s been all about playing against those more dangerous sides of Norman.
“The preconception of Norman Bates is that he’s a serial killer, so you can use that – make him seem more normal and likable, then people think, ‘Oh, no, there’s something nasty underneath!’ It’s much more delicious to watch him change and watch him descend.”