Bates Motel only has four more episodes before the fans learn how the A&E hit series will close. Freddie Highmore, the young actor who plays Norman, discussed the transition for his alter ego to go from a sweet high school boy to a mother-obsessed serial killer.
According to the April 17 issue of TV Guide, Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin looked at many different actors to play the role of Norman, but none had the spark that Freddie Highmore had. Cuse said that Highmore had the charm that Norman needed to pull off this complex role.
There’s a part of Norman that’s a good person. He works hard and has deep personal friendships. However, as Freddie explains, there’s a part of him that conflicted by his mental illness, which gives him the drive to kill people.
After five seasons of Bates Motel, the iconic series will dim its lights out on April 24. Fans of Bates Motel will have to say goodbye to the show, as well as the talented cast.
Freddie said that when he first heard about the role of Norman Bates he was 18-years-old and a freshman at Cambridge University. His parents wanted him to get a degree, so he was taking a break from acting.
Bates Motel was Freddie’s first American television series, but won’t be his last. He recalled that he was sent the first six scripts in 2011. Highmore remembers reading them in one sitting and knowing that he had to do the series. He felt connected to Norman in a way he couldn’t really explain.
“I was studying at the university when I was sent the first six scripts, and I knew I had to play Norman,” Freddie stated. “I wanted to work with Vera and I loved the deep dark relationship between Norma and her son. I had seen the original film but Carlton and Kerry didn’t want Norman to be completely crazy from the start —they want him to slowly decent into darkness.”
Freddie said the best part of the role was there was a “wealth of information” about Norman. He had the Psycho movie franchise and the novel based on the real serial killer that inspired the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock movie.
“I rewatch Psycho at least once per season to remind myself where Norman’s arc ultimately ends up,” Highmore explained.
Anthony Perkins inspired Freddie’s performance, but he wanted to make the role his own. As Bates Motel inches closer to the series finale, Highmore says the fans will see that his portrayal of Norman is very similar to Perkins.
At the beginning of Bates Motel, Norman was a teenage boy and just wanted to fit in. Five seasons later, the fans know Norman well and that makes his current mental status much more intense.
Even though Norman has killed several people, including his mother, Freddie doesn’t think Norman is a “full-fledged murderer.” There’s a part to Norman that is sweet and kind. It the side that “Mother” controls that makes Norman an evil, serial killer.
Highmore said that Norman’s life is tragic and sad because even though he has a good side to him, he’s dangerous and cannot have any real relationship with a woman.
“The killing scenes had an intensity to them that I had to find and play it out. In a funny way, they were cathartic to film similar to shooting a scene where you have to cry. As in real life, you get a sense of release, because you’ve gotten out whatever was inside you. Not saying I would ever want to kill anyone.”
Freddie said now that filming is over, he is having trouble letting go of Norman Bates.
Bates Motel fans, how do you think the show will end?
[Featured Image by Cate Cameron/Getty Images for A&E)