‘Bates Motel’ Star Freddie Highmore Discusses Norman’s Chilling First Transformation

Last night on Bates Motel, Norman finally went full-Norma, not just imagining his mother’s presence, but actually becoming his mother for the first time a la Psycho.

A huge milestone in the series was reached when Freddie perfectly portrayed Norman’s first complete transformation into his mother’s persona, with the young actor giving a nuanced performance that teetered between chilling and just plain sad. Audiences watched Norman flit happily around the Bates’ kitchen, cooking breakfast for his brother Dylan and “Norman”, fully in character as their mother Norma.

The star sat down to talk to The Hollywood Reporter about the scene, along with one of the show’s EPs Kerry Ehrin. “Once the scene was written it was more this sense to in some way have a balance between mimicking Norma completely, but keeping Norman in character. It would have been a bit too forced to have it as this complete mimicry and over-the-top. It was something I was hoping to keep simple and understated, because I felt that would make it more powerful,” Highmore said of trying to make sure his performance was believable.

Norman’s breakdown was triggered by Norma storming off and seemingly abandoning her, and sounds like, moving forward, Norma’s leaving will continue to have a negative effect on she and Norman’s relationship. “For Norman to link it all might be a step too far because he doesn’t necessarily remember all of these things he’s done. Their relationship shifts toward this point where Norman is seeking greater control, and becomes evermore manipulative of Norma. So if there is a turning point, it’s one where Norman will seek to make sure that Norma will never do that again. He might become more controlling and domineering, in a way that we expected of Norma in season one.”

Read the rest of what Highmore and Ehrin revealed about Norman’s future, including what’s ahead for Dylan and Emma, on Bates Motel over at The Hollywood Reporter.

Photo Credit: A&E


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