Interview with Freddie Highmore and Kerry Ehrin from "Bates Motel" on A&E - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Freddie Highmore and Kerry Ehrin

Interview with Freddie Highmore and Kerry Ehrin of "Bates Motel" on A&E 3/11/15


Moderator: Yong Kim
March 11, 2015
1:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing-by and welcome to the Bates Motel Freddie Highmore and Kerry Ehrin Press and Media Conference Call.

During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will conduct a question and answer session. At that time if you have a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator, please press Star 0. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Wednesday, March 11, 2015.

Iíd like to turn the conference over to Yong Kim, Universal Television Publicist for Bates Motel. Please go ahead, sir.

Yong Kim: All right. Thanks (Nicky). Hi everyone. Thanks so much for joining our conference call today. We are joined right now with star Freddie Highmore and Executive Producer, Kerry Ehrin.

Iím sure you are aware but the third season of Bates Motel returned this Monday and will continue to air on Mondays at 9:00p on A&E. Like, you know, this call will be recorded and if you need a transcript after the call, just please let me know and I will send it to you as soon as itís available.

And at this time, Iíll turn the conference call over to (Nicky) for questions. And just a reminder because of limited time please keep questions focused on the show. Thanks so much.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if youíd like to ask a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request.

If your question has been answered and youíd like to withdraw from your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3. If youíre using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request. One moment please for the first question.

And our first question comes from Stephanie Piche with Red Carpet Report. Please go ahead.

Stephanie Piche: Thank you. Great first episode this season. Freddie, how do you get into character because it doesnít seem like youíre - you have - you have far to go to get there.

Freddie Highmore: It doesnít seem like I do or it does?

Stephanie Piche: Well, it seems pretty natural.

Freddie Highmore: Well, I mean...

Stephanie Piche: I guess it's all that practice.

Freddie Highmore: Yes. I donít consider myself to be very similar to Norman. I think in - I mean the American actor did obviously one thing and I just try and stay as much as possible sort of on set in Vancouver and off stage as well. And then the rest of it is a character I guess now that's having done two seasons before this one, youíre more aware of and you can easily slip into.

And this season was more changing him and making him a bit more mature with the self-awareness that he gained at the end of the second season and so perhaps trickier than giving a look or finding out who Norman was in this third season, it was more about discovering in what ways he would change and grow up.

Stephanie Piche: Kerry, do you have anything to add? How youíre creating this character?

Kerry Ehrin: Itís definitely an evolution where Carlton and I began with the character in the first season. Itís a very different person at this point - and a lot of that has to do with self-awareness and also the natural development of teenagers to start seeing their parents as real people as opposed to gods or goddesses in their universe.

I think thereís a bit of that in it as well. And also this season very much playing with the game of control between him and Norma and the power struggle which is really delicious.

Stephanie Piche: Mm-hmm. Great. Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Jay Jacobs with Pop Entertainment. Please go ahead.

Jay Jacobs: Hi. Nice to talk to you.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Jay Jacob: Now Norman is such an iconic character and horror. And of course Anthony Perkins did such a legendary performance in the role. Now that youíve been doing the show and the role for three years, how much influence does the original Perkinsí performance have on your performance and how much are you trying to just sort of completely make it your own?

Freddie Highmore: I guess potentially now they are less comparisons that are made to it because people see the Norman on Bates Motel as being his own entity opposed to necessarily precursor to Anthony Perkinsí version

Jay Jacobs: Right.

Freddie Highmore: But at the same time Iíve re-watched Psycho before every season and in some ways tried implementing what Anthony Perkins brought to the role especially as the show continues because Iíve always seen that the end of Bates Motel not necessarily as the end of Psycho.

But the end of Norman is a lot closer to Anthony Perkinsí version than the boy that we saw at the start. But certainly we, I donít think any of us feel tied constrainingly to Psycho or to any performance that came before.

Jay Jacobs: Now the house and the motel are also iconic horror images. I know that itís a new version of it built up in Canada but does working around that atmosphere add to the sort of creepy feeling both as an actor and as a writer.

Freddie Highmore: Yes it does. I think the first time I stepped on the set, it kind of has this weight already behind it when you look up and you see a very similar version of the house and the motel to the one that was in the original.

And then over time it seems to become in view with your own memories and events that took place n Bates Motel. Like from the set, for example, leading up, thereís still the blood stain or whatever they used to pretend to be blood from Deputy Shelbyís death in last season.

So there are little reminders to us all of how far heís come.

Kerry Ehrin: Thereís definitely a texture to that set that is emotional and you feel it when youíre there. Itís very cool.

Jay Jacobs: Now that Norman knows about Normanís blackouts, do you think that heís going to ever let him back out on her own, on his own or is she sort of try and keep more and more control of him even though sheís already been overprotective towards him to start?

Kerry Ehrin: Yes, itís sort of like any mother. If your child had something wrong with him, especially something you couldnít control, your instinct would be to literally tie them to your ankle. I mean you would want to be in as close proximity to them at all times as you possibly could be.

And then you add to that all the dark undercurrents and suspicions and that a terrifying ordeal for Norma. And yes, her instinct is to keep him as close as possible.

Jay Jacobs: Okay. Thank you.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Kelly Schremph with Bustle. Please go ahead.

Kelly Schremph: Hi. Thank you so much for talking with us today.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Kelly Schremph: So the ending of the seasonís premiere was more or less open-ended but very suspicious. Is it safe to assume that Norman chilled Annika?

Kerry Ehrin: I feel like on Bates Motel itís safe to assume anything because thereís a, thereís an aspect to the storytelling that we love which is a lot, thereís a lot up for interpretation and part of the fun of the stories that we do is slowly peeling away layers of truth to them. So I think that itís safe to assume whatever anybody wants to assume.

Freddie Highmore: Itís safe to assume that Norman will be killing again. Thatís what everyone knows. Itís just when does he do it?

Kelly Schremph: And will we know one way or another by like the next episode weíll know for sure what happened to her

Kerry Ehrin: Youíll know more, yes.

Kelly Schremph: Got you. And we got a shower season, looked very familiar when Norman is looking in on Annika. Can we expect any other like shower, bathroom related scenes this season?

Freddie Highmore: Definitely. Thereís definitely another occurrence, really interesting bathroom seasons in many ways.

Kerry Ehrin: It is a different bathroom, though.

Freddie Highmore: What did you say?

Kerry Ehrin: We got a new bathroom set this year, which is amazing. I know it sounds stupid to say that weíre excited about a bathroom set but itís such an amazing design and we got to film some really pivotal scenes in it. Itís inside the Bates house. And thereís some huge...


Kerry Ehrin: ...scenes in it, yes.

Kelly Schremph: Oh, awesome. Well I look forward to that and thanks so much again. And the show is fantastic and you guys are doing a great job.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you so much.

Operator: And our next question comes from Jasmine Alyce with FanBolt. Please go ahead.

Jasmine Alyce: Hi, thanks so much for speaking with us today.

Kerry Ehrin: Hi.

Jasmine Alyce: So Freddie, my question for you is, was there a moment or a scene where you really just felt like Norman kind of clicked for you and you really just got him as a character:

Freddie Highmore: No, I wouldnít say that there was one particular scene that has defined him. Itís a really good question. Do you have one for Kerry and then I can come back to you?

Jasmine Alyce: Sure. Yes.

Kerry Ehrin: I mean having watched, oh Iím sorry, I was just going to comment on that, but...

Jasmine Alyce: Oh no, no. Yes, go ahead.

Kerry Ehrin: Him and Vera from day one. Carlton and I were on the set. I mean literally the first day of filming it felt like they were completely inside embodying the characters in such a true way. It was kind of amazing. So I just wanted to throw that in.

Freddie Highmore: The end of the set - the end of the set on the second season. Sorry, I guess (unintelligible) the scene in the woods and also the scene in the - just right at the end when Norman kind of looks up and looks into the camera. Thatís the way to enjoy all those sort of, thatís the kind of two sides of Norman really.

Kerry Ehrin: When you were doing the evil face you mean?

Freddie Highmore: The evil face but that build-up of him with mother Norma appearing and helping him to pass the test because I think really you need to do two things in order to know who Norman is because thereís this bifurcating of his personality that continues in the third season even more and so you need to understand the (unintelligible).

Jasmine Alyce: Well thank you very much and can you both kind of preview whatís to come for Dylan and Normanís relationship because Iíve always been really, really interested in that dynamic.

Kerry Ehrin: Do you want to take that or do you want me to?

Freddie Highmore: You can do it.

Kerry Ehrin: Well you can imagine, you can imagine, go ahead.

Freddie Highmore: No, I guess you see in the first, in the first episode how Dylan starts to get in between Norma and Norman. And I think that previously they have both been, they have both shared this unbreakable bond and no one could come between them.

And I think for the first time in the third season Dylan starts to breech that a little bit and Norma will start to confide in Dylan things that she canít say to Norman. So thatís kind of where their - their threesome is headed to some extent. Unless Norman...

Kerry Ehrin: It definitely heats up.

Jasmine Alyce: All right. Well, thank you both.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you so much.

Operator: Our next question comes from Kara Howland with TV Goodness. Please go ahead.

Kara Howland: Hey guys. So this question is for both of you. Can you talk a little bit about the evolution of Norman and Emmaís relationship and where weíre going to see that go this season?

Kerry Ehrin: Do you want me to start, Freddie, or do you want me to?

Freddie Highmore: Sure Iíll start.

Kerry Ehrin: Okay.

Freddie Highmore: I guess weíve seen in the first episode how Norman wants to try and establish, wants to try and date Emma. And I guess the reasons behind that become clearer as the season goes on and it is entirely, it is purely out of the feelings that he has for her but a lot of it is also out of feelings for his mother in the way that he feels like he should feel dating Emma.

And not only does he on some level want to, he also feels like heís doing the right thing by asking her out.

Kerry Ehrin: And Emma in general has been, you know, sheís done some growing up as Norman has and she, you know, when Norman first met her she was very much in many was still kind of a little girl, very idealistic. I think lonely. And she, you know, was really grateful to have this friend who was Norman Bates.

And I think as she grows older and she has to deal with the reality of her health which clarifies a lot of things in life when you have a crisis like that. She starts to mature and part of her story this year is her starting to understand things about Norman that are concerning to her.

Kara Howland: Well said. All right. Great. Thanks. I love the show. Thanks you guys.

Freddie Highmore: Thanks.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you so much.

Operator: Our next question comes from (Ben Mai) with Spoiler TV. Please go ahead.

Ben Mai: Thanks for taking the time out of your day to do this.

Kerry Ehrin: Oh thanks.

Freddie Highmore: Anytime.

Ben Mai: The season premiere was very intense and very excellent. My question is if the subsequent, what can you tease and not spoil whatís going to happen for the rest of this wonderful and intense season?

Freddie Highmore: I really enjoy this question, especially since youíre from Spoiler TV. Without wanting to spoil anything, could you essentially tease...


Freddie Highmore: Well Norman...


Kerry Ehrin: Go ahead Freddie.

Freddie Highmore: I think itís, just any sort of tease for this coming season from Normanís perspective, I guess as Kerry sort of answered in her first response, thereís this power, thereís this struggle for power between Norma and Norman in their relationship that will start to become ever more important.

And whereas Norman has always been very much the son or the younger person in the relationship before, that dynamic is starting to shift and even in the shots that we see in the first, in the first episodes, itís much more set up as these two equals are either lying in bed together or on some level equal.

But I donít think that that will, it wonít stay that way. Norman will seek to be, to take more and more of a control in their relationship and become the person whoís more dominant by the end of the season.

And I think thatís interesting. Heís become slightly more manipulative and capable of toying with Norma and using his knowledge about what heís capable of to gain things from her.

Kerry Ehrin: Heís starting to understand the kinks in her emotional armor...

Freddie Highmore: Yes.

Kerry Ehrin: ...very well.

Freddie Highmore: Yes. And he gets to (wearing) some of her clothes so thatís another side to him.

Ben Mai: Thank you for, thank you again, thank you again for producing such a wonderful show. I always look forward to it on Monday night. Itís my appointment television.

Kerry Ehrin: Thatís so nice. Thank you so much.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you very much.

Ben Mai: Bye.

Operator: Our next question comes from (Britney Cordray) with Ohsogray. Please go ahead.

Britney Cordray: Hi.

Kerry Ehrin: Hi.

Britney Cordray: My question is kind of about the (tenure) for Norman. Itís very hard to have a likeable anti-hero as your main character. I know what we have successfully done with Dexter. How are you doing that with Bates Motel to make sure that people still feel connected with him?

Kerry Ehrin: Well first of all you cast Freddie Highmore...

Freddie Highmore: And then you have Kerry writing.

Kerry Ehrin: ...who is incredibly likeable. You want to answer that Freddie or do you want me to start?

Freddie Highmore: No, no. I was just saying that you also have likeability.

Kerry Ehrin: Well I mean we, you know, when you, when you write these things, we love the characters and in a way, you know, actors have to love the character they portray in a way because they have to do the best version of it from that personís point of view and I think the writing is kind of similar.

If youíre going to take on a bad guy, you have to get inside of them and feel the world through them and no one, you know, wakes up in the morning and says hey, Iím a bad guy. Iím going to go out today and do bad things.

Everyone wakes up in the morning and lies to themselves so Norman is no different. And, you know, heís been through a lot. Heís been through a lot that people would have a lot of sympathy for, empathy for.

You know, tough, very violent childhood, home life and, you know, dysfunctional family. No father figure present. A mother who loves him to pieces but is very emotionally needy.

Heís been through a lot of terrifying things and heís very endearing because he always tries to do the best that he can. And I think that we love him for that. He doesnít want to be a bad guy.

Freddie Highmore: And at the same time, itís one thing to be a bad guy. He does become, in spite of his best intentions, I think he does become so over the course of, well over the course of the entire show but moving towards that in the third season.

And so I feel it was especially important to set Norman up in the first two seasons as someone we supported and whose side we were so as now we can start to, start to make us challenge whether we were right to get on his side and to start supporting him in the first place.

Operator: And our next question is a follow-up from Kara Howland with TV Goodness. Please go ahead.

Kara Howland: Hey guys. So I wanted to ask you both if youíre even allowed to talk about it. I love that Normaís brother is back in town. Kenny Johnson is so great in that role. And I love that heís kind of trying to have a relationship with Dylan.

Iím assuming if he sticks around long enough that either Norma or Norman or both will run into him. Are you allowed to talk about that at all?

Kerry Ehrin: Yes, I mean...

Freddie Highmore: Yes, everyone in that...

Kerry Ehrin: An exciting dynamic of the story is that she is a ticking bomb present in that, in that family community and we donít know whatís going to happen. We donít know if Normaís going to see him. We donít know is going to bond with him. We donít know if Caleb is full of it and is duplicitous.

We have no idea and it could be any of those because of the history we have of him. The thing thatís so moving to me is Dylan and his - and this kid who wanted nothing more than a family and to belong to someone his whole life whoís finally made strides with his mother for the first time ever and now is faced with this thing that is going to betray her but is also, has such a tremendous emotional pull on him which is a father, an alleged father showing up saying I want to claim you. I want, you know, to be in your life. I want you to belong to me.

And thatís, you know, like Carolyn to Dylan.

Kara Howland: Yes, absolutely. Iím looking forward to how thatís going down. I can imagine it being whatever it is really, yes. Iím looking forward to it.

Kerry Ehrin: I hope you like it. We love it. Thank you.

Kara Howland: Okay, thanks guys.

Freddie Howland: Thereís one scene - Oh youíre gone.

Kara Howland: Oh, no, no. Iím here.

Freddie Highmore: Thereís one fantastic scene that I guess I should tease in the widest of possible ways but where everyone which is how Kerry said at the start where everyone comes together and thatís going to be this amazing meeting of people.

Kara Howland: Yes, I canít wait. Thank you so much guys.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Anne Easton with New York Observer/ Please go ahead.

Anne Easton: Hello.

Kerry Ehrin: Hi Anne.

Freddie Highmore. Hi Anne.

Anne Easton: I was wondering what was the biggest challenge for both of you this season? Maybe it was a scene or a whole episode or something but what was the biggest challenge for both of you?

Freddie Highmore: I think as Norman changes over time the, one of the biggest challenges becomes not, and I imagine from a writing perspective Kerry itís the same, not replaying beats that weíve already played in the past. Or if you tackle this subject, retelling it or acting it out in a different way.

Kerry Ehrin: In a completely refreshed way, yes.

Freddie Highmore: So that in the third season has been really interesting because of how Norman, because of how Norman changes, scenes in which you have kind of learnt how to resolve in past, you canít use, you canít get out of it with the same emotion.

Kerry Ehrin: Mm-hmm.

Freddie Highmore: And so you know that in certain scenes where Norma, Norman in the past have ended with Norma on the winning side of the argument and so the trick this season for Norman was to find a way in which he can start to change that.

And gradually bit by bit in every scene between Norma and Norman, we this - this small shift, hopefully.

Anne Easton: And anything for you Kerry that was particularly challenging?

Kerry Ehrin: Honestly, the biggest challenge is not literally killing Vera and Freddie. We ask so much of them. The storylines we do, tend to be very emotionally aparatic while still grounded but that is such a feat to pull off for an actor and theyíre truly amazing, the performance that they, that they do every day. We just marvel at them in editing or if weíre on the set.

It really is a tall order and weíre incredibly grateful to have such amazing talent to do it. But honestly that is the biggest worry is, you know, are we all going to survive this season physically.

Freddie Highmore: Kerryís also being, Kerryís also being slightly modest in the sense that her writing especially comes from such an emotional place and whereas we, acting kind of live on it, live with the characters everyday on set and then find it reasonably easy to detach from that and go home without this feeling to write more or to come up with new ideas.

And so I think for Kerry whose writing is so exceptional, itís more the tireless way with which she goes about it thatís even more impressive and how you manage to also live in this world constantly for such a long period without going mad yourself.

Kerry Ehrin: Well, donít make any assumptions.

Anne Easton: Great. Thanks so much. Thatís a great answer.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Freddie Highmore: Thanks.

Operator: Our next question comes from Fred Topel with Nuke The Fridge. Please go ahead.

Fred Topel: Hi. Freddie, I want to try and ask about significant moments for Norman in a different way. You know, given that we know a lot of things about where he ends up in Psycho, would you say things like learning taxidermy were very significant to establish Normanís character also?

Freddie Highmore: Yes, taxidermy becomes - is every more important as the season goes on and weíll have to see what he ends up, what he ends up (taxidermying) by the end. But I donít know, itís the trick I think, as Kerryís spoken about in the past, is in not making those moments that are present in Psycho seem over or really noticeable when youíre watching it.

And of course part of the joy like when we see Norma, Norman as Norman is knowing oh, we know that this is also, has an extra creepy value because it will reappear in Psycho the film.

But at the same time it should never be sort of gratuitous or simply put in, in order to cause that, to cause that little wink to the audience and so I think what Kerry sort of balances so well is never making those sort of moments in Normanís progression seem out of place within our show but at the same time allowing them to have the power that comes from referencing Psycho.

Fred Topel: Great. Well in the season premier this year what did you make of the, you silly woman line when theyíre getting back into bed together?

Freddie Highmore: Oh, I love that line. These are the lines that I think I enjoy, well I guess theyíre all different but one of the ones I especially enjoy are Normanís moments when heís just reading them. You get the same creepy, creepiness but also this like excitement of being able to play these borderline scenes.

And so there were various takes of move over you silly woman with various levels of intensity and suggestiveness. So it was more or less...

Kerry Ehrin: Overly delightful.

Freddie Highmore: ...of finding the right one.

Kerry Ehrin: Sometimes Carlton and I have so much fun writing things for Norman because if you just imagine for a moment that heís, he has a quality like Cary Grant which actually Freddie does so you can kind of throw in these very incongruous kind of romantic comedy thatís the fact that heíd doing it with him mom is unusual but thereís still great fun. And Carlton and I actually, we really enjoy those.

Fred Topel: Did Vera try different inflections of her end of that conversation too?

Freddie Highmore: Vera always...

Kerry Ehrin: She always gives you so many different, totally different versions of things, itís amazing. But Freddie, that was your question. I totally jumped on it.

Freddie Highmore: No, no, I agree.

Fred Topel: No, it was for you Kerry.

Kerry Ehrin: Oh it was. Oh, sorry. Yes, I mean she does and sheís I mean really when youíre in editing and you have to actually select a take, itís painful sometimes because so many of them are so great and so different.

So you really have to pick one that has, you know, itís like youíre giving up the other ones that have a really different vibe which are also awesome. So itís, you know, champagne problems but, you know, weíre lucky.

Fred Topel: Yes, well thank you for taking my questions.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you so much.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Operator: And our next question comes from Earl Dittman with Digital Journal. Please go ahead.

Earl Dittman: Hi Freddie. How are you today?

Freddie Highmore: Good. How are you doing?

Earl Dittman: Good. I think my phoneís about to die so Iíll ask it really quickly. You know, along with what Kerry what saying where she tries to keep you and Vera alive because everything is so emotionally challenging, Vera earlier this week told us sometimes it gets really tough to kind of do these scenes and that she has to dig really deep.

And she attributes a lot of getting through them through you. She said without you she didnít think she could do them. Are they just as tough for you and does she also fuel your passion to do the scene or your character?

Freddie Highmore: Yes. So Iíd be pretty selfish or disrespectful to say no, I just do them completely without Vera. And (I donít need her) at all. Sheís so - sheís such a key part of everyday on Bates and I think where the release is to be found with the two of us is in the - is in the humor that we always end up laughing about.

Like the scene, like that scene of move over you silly woman and the various takes to amuse us and keep us sane, kind of laughing at our own characters in the way in which theyíre, in which theyíre behaving.

And sometimes those bed cuddling scenes which do return through season three and end with a nose rub or more but the joy, the joy is doing them with Vera and then pushing them up to the point where they seem to be believable. And thatís kind of when we end up laughing.

So the joy of being on set every day is constantly bouncing ideas off Vera both during a take or off it and of course sheís essential to that dynamic working and we often look at each other and say oh, weíre just so lucky that we, that we get along because we really couldnít imagine doing it with someone that we did really get along with. I think his phone died.

Operator: And our next...


Operator: And our next question will be coming from Jamie Ruby with

Jamie Ruby: Hi guys.

Kerry Ehrin: Hi Jamie.

Jamie Ruby: Thanks for taking the call. So this is sort of about what you were just saying but I wanted to expand about it. I know that when we talked to Vera recently she has said how to kind of step out of the, out of the darkness that she writes songs and plays the guitar and all that.

So what do you do, and you too Kerry, what do you do to kind of step back from all the darkness and not let it get to you?

Freddie Highmore: I pitch Kerryís silly ideas.

Kerry Ehrin: Thatís true. We do laugh a lot. You know, I think you just, I think that, like life you, if you have to deal with something sad, thereís always parts of life that renew you. You know, I have my kids are like an amazing haven of happiness.

I stepped outside my kitchen this morning and orange blossoms were blooming. You know, I mean, I think, I think, you know, thatís the stuff that keeps you, keeps you out of a black hold.

Freddie Highmore: Yes and we have the cold and grey in Vancouver.

Kerry Ehrin: Which I like.

Freddie Highmore: So we all huddle together around the fire in the living room and tell each other stories.

Kerry Ehrin: And laugh a lot.

Jamie Ruby: And then as a follow-up, I wanted to talk a bit about the character of Annika and how Norman and her are going to kind of evolve because I almost felt like - which is strange to think on this show, but even though itís wrong I feel like Norman kind of spying on a girl was sort of one of the more normal things that heís done so far.

So can you talk a bit about how their friendship or, you know, whatever is going to evolve?

Freddie Highmore: Yes, well I guess it remains to be seen just how far their relationship has, whether it evolves sort of definitively and conclusively already or not. So I guess weíll have to wait and see in that respect.

Jamie Ruby: Right.

Freddie Highmore: But yes, it is interesting that Normanís action of looking at Annika through the window isnít necessarily a trait unique to a serial killer.

Jamie Ruby: Right.

Freddie Highmore: It wasnít that he sought her out or aimed to do it. He merely kind of stumbled upon the open window and peered in and was slightly transfixed. And I guess we slightly have to ask ourselves what would have happened had Norma not, had Norma not come down and caught him in the act, as it were. Would Norman had just sort of realized that he was, he was being slightly purvey and gone upstairs back to the house or would he have gone around and tried to break into her motel room.

Jamie Ruby: That part would have been better.

Kerry Ehrin: It was really all the raccoonís fault.

Jamie Ruby: Yes, blame it on the raccoon.


Kerry Ehrin: Itís all right in that scenario.

Jamie Ruby: Why was the raccoon hanging out there?

Freddie Highmore: (So they could have) sort of (taxidermied) it and hold it as a little trophy. By the way it was a blind raccoon and actually a trained one whoís a blind one.

Jamie Ruby: So you had to chase a blind raccoon?

Freddie Highmore: Yes.

Kerry Ehrin: The things we ask you to do.

Freddie Highmore: It was a rescued, a rescued raccoon. It was very good though.

Kerry Ehrin: Yes it was.

Freddie Highmore: It did do a bit of eating.

Kerry Ehrin: He was very sweet.

Jamie Ruby: Well thank you both.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Freddie Highmore: Thanks.

Operator: Our next question comes from Tony Tellado with Sci-Fi Talk. Please go ahead.

Tony Tellado: Hi guys. Itís a pleasure to talk to you. Itís a, love this version of Bates Motel and the whole Norman Bates analogy here.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Tony Tellado: I wanted to ask you, thereís a couple new characters coming into the show this season and no spoilers but, you know, especially actorís like Tracyís going to be joining for the season. How are they going to kind of stir things up a little bit because the show seems to be really about relationships and it really starts with Norman, his mom and kind of works its way up from there.

Kerry Ehrin: Well one of the really interesting things in structuring this show that Carlton and I have faced since day 1 is weaving together two worlds that donít necessarily, you wouldnít think go together.

And the, you know, part of that is these dark secrets that exist in White Pine Bay and are told through various peculiar characters that emerge from the society?

And this year we have, we have some amazing actors, Ryan Hurst plays such a cool character whoís this kind of bent mountain man who, he does such a brilliant performance.

You donít quite know, he feels threatening but at the same time he seems incredibly, you (die) at certain times and then Dylan does not know what to make of him but he definitely brings some mystery and trouble with him.

And then another really wonderful character is played by Kevin Rahm and this is a very prominent head of a very exclusive, elite hunting club. Very old school high buy-in and heís just such a great antagonist. Heís a really fun character.

He is a, heís a bad buy that really likes himself, that enjoys his life and his senses and his body and dresses great. And Kevin Rahm just is so amusing in this role and so great.

And then it also takes a darker turn because heís also someone from, who grew up with Alex Romero and the storyline reveals a lot about their own history growing up together but also Alex Romeroís history and heís this great stoic character who we know nothing about. So we get to peel back some layers and look inside, which is really fascinating.

Freddie Highmore: We need to say though, you called him Alex Romero because I donít think any of us have really referred to him as that on set. Nestorís like, heís like Sheriff Romero or we just call him the Sheriff especially in the fifth episode of the season (that Nestor) directed for the first time.

Kerry Ehrin: Yes.

Freddie Highmore: I mean itís absolutely...

Kerry Ehrin: Amazing.

Freddie Highmore: ...amazing. And so, you know, it certainly amuse us just to see him in his sheriff's outfit, directing away. He was very much the Sherriff/director.

And then the other relationship I think to tease in this season is the one between Norman and his fictional version of his mother that he conjures up this persons moments and entices him and repels him various times into or from doing things.

And thatís a really interesting dynamic, the way that Norman not only, I guess Norman starts to struggle with knowing whether he is talking and whether heís interacting with this fictional version of his mother or the reality.

Tony Tellado: And speaking of Norman, because we really didnít know his mother. She was already dead in the movie. You guys really I think, and I want your opinion on this, have kind of a wider latitude as far as both of those characters.

Because youíve got Norman so young, we donít know much about him at that age and you donít know about his mother. So you might be boxed in in some ways but you also have a lot of freedom in a lot of ways, if you both can comment.

Freddie Highmore: Yes, Carlton and I from the very beginning wanted to tell a story about Normanís mom that was different than what you hear in the movie because what you hear in the movie is from Norman when heís completely gone crazy.

So, you know, people carry many different versions of their parents inside of them from different memories and different times and, you know, that when you went through with them. And we definitely wanted to broaden out the scope of who this woman was and then, you know, the same thing with Norman.

Heís really in many ways such an endearing person and the concept that someone who had a good heart was trapped in this situation and in this body and in this circumstance was so compelling and, you know, just gave, it opens up so much storytelling that we were always excited about and continue to be excited about.

Tony Tellado: And Freddie, you have a little bit of room too to kind of mold him and kind of do your own version of him a little bit.

Kerry Ehrin: A lot of room.

Freddie Highmore: Yes, of course. Yes. And I think also the contemporary setting has given us a certain freedom too in sort of reimaging this odd duo.

Tony Tellado: Well Iíll tell you, itís a lot of fun to kind of watch this deconstruction. I hate to say it about somebody else but theyíre fictional so itís - and itís Norman.

Kerry Ehrin: Thatís good. Thank you. Iím glad. Thanks.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from (Ivan Majaro) with (unintelligible). Please go ahead.

Kerry Ehrin: Ivan.


Operator: Go ahead.

Kerry Ehrin: We lost Ivan.

Freddie Highmore: Maybe his phone died.

Kerry Ehrin: Maybe.

Operator: (Ivan Majaro), your line is open. Please verify your mute button. We still canít hear you. Please feel free to re-queue back in. And weíll go ahead. The next question is coming from Mabel Salinas with Westside Terrace. Please go ahead.

Mabel Salinas: Hello. Hello everyone. I would like to know, Freddie, how hard it is to play the violent scenes, especially with (unintelligible) and how do you plan them emotionally speaking. How do you talk about them so you know which lines you must not cross when youíre playing these characters?

Freddie Highmore: You mean lines I donít cross with Vera?

Mabel Salinas: With Vera and when the scenes become really, really hard...

Freddie Highmore: Sure.

Mabel Salinas: ...or really, really dark or even violent. How do you manage that you both as actors?

Freddie Highmore: I guess the incredibly violent start is always - not that there is much of that on Bates Motel is more suggested into that sort of darkness as opposed to overt showings of it. But I guess, I guess with the, with the sort of violent fight scenes, itís always so kind of planned out in advance that there wonít be any sort of problems or issues along the way.

But I think, I think the important is maintaining those moments where thereís a lack of conclusion to the darkness, where thereís lots of layers and hints to it as opposed to it being merely an incredibly dark look or a very violent attack.

I think itís more interesting to always approach those scenes with a kind of multitude of emotions because people are never really, unless, you know, Norman sort of becomes filled with this all-consuming rage, a lot of the time there are, itís a multi-layered thing.

Mabel Salinas: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Skylyr Ballew with Please go ahead.

Skylyr Ballew: Hi. First congrats on the continued success of Bates Motel.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Skylyr Ballew: Iíve got a fun kind of question for you. The Web site Trip Advisor is a very popular tool for tourism and advising where to eat and which hotel to stay at. So Iíll direct the first part to you, Kerry.

In your mind, what would Bates Motel guest reviews sound like? What would be some things they would mention or comment on?

Kerry Ehrin: Well Iíd have to look at this from the reality of Norma Bates. I think they would have a good time. I think they would, I think they would be well taken care of. I think Norma and Norman would be charming hotel managers/owners. I think I would like to stay there. I think it would be good.

Skylyr Ballew: Okay, and then to Freddie as your new role as hotel manager, it would probably be your responsibility to respond to reviews. How do you think Norman would handle like a negative review?

Freddie Highmore: I donít think his reaction would be to go and kill people if thatís what youíre angling toward. I think heíd probably be a little disappointed because I think he puts a lot into being the manager of the motel. And now heís assumed this responsibility as one that heís both incredibly proud about and also keen to working diligently in the role.

I think heíd be one of those managers that would, that would respond thoughtfully to the concerns be that about the closeness of the two managers or anything else but I think he would write a nice, intelligent response saying and maybe offering a free night back so they can, they can relive their experience in a different way.

Kerry Ehrin: Thatís a hilarious idea.

Skylyr Ballew: Yes, I work part time in a hotel too so it always (unintelligible).

Kerry Ehrin: Oh really.

Skylyr Ballew: Yes. On a more serious level...

Freddie Highmore: (Unintelligible) in the fourth season.

Skylyr Ballew: ...on a serious, more serious note, in this first episode, they touched on his grandmother and she was literally crazy. Will we learn anymore about that in terms of how maybe itís all hereditary?

Kerry Ehrin: Thatís an evolution but (will be) (unintelligible) out. I canít really say more than that. Iím sorry.

Skylyr Ballew: No, I understand. Thank you guys for your time.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you so much.

Operator: Our next question comes from Derek Anderson with Daily Dead. Please go ahead.

Derek Anderson: Hi guys. Thanks for joining us today and (unintelligible) Bates Motel. Congrats on a great season three premiere. And...

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Derek Anderson: ...I just wanted to ask, oh absolutely. And with season three kind of taking a darker tone, as you were writing it and preparing to act in season three, were there any books that you read, movies that you watched or music that you listened to kind of get into the frame of mind of the tone of this season?

Kerry Ehrin: Iím embarrassed to say this but I really donít have to do all that work to get into the tone and doing the work to get out of the tone.

Derek Anderson: Got you.

Freddie Highmore: I do find itís more, especially at this stage, comes very much from the great writing and the previous episodes and the weight of all of that that youíve, that youíve (known).

And apart from Psycho, as I said I re-watch this, thereís so much thatís in the writing as a source of inspiration. There is a source of much need to sort of look elsewhere aside from the basic things like taxidermy and in certain instances skills.

Derek Anderson: Yes.

Kerry Ehrin: Itís interesting when you havenít...


Kerry Ehrin: ...Iím sorry. Go ahead.

Derek Anderson: Oh no, please go ahead.

Kerry Ehrin: I was just going to say when you havenít written a script for the show for say six months or acting, I assume is similar. But when Carlton and I were writing the first episode of the season and you face a blank page for the first time and youíre like is it going to feel awkward? Is it going to feel, great, you write two sentences on the page and itís almost like you slip into a drain.

Itís like its right there and I think thatís exactly what Freddie is saying about thereís a history in it because weíve all emotionally lived through it. Thereís part of it thatís just in us now so I think itís kind of easy to go inside and outside of it.

Derek Anderson: Got you. Yes. Itís probably like a living nightmare for you in a good way that everyone enjoys too, so. Thank you very much.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you. Your voice was so cheery. When it said from the Daily Dead and then thereís this cheery voice that comes on. Like, hello. Iím back from the dead. (Unintelligible) the return or something.

Kerry Ehrin: Well itís good to be cheery if youíre back from the dead I suppose.

Operator: And our next question will be coming from (unintelligible) from (unintelligible).com. Please go ahead.

Man: Hello.

Kerry Ehrin: Hi.

Man: Hi. So Normanís relationship with his mother has changed quite a bit but theyíre still very close at this point. So how will that relationship continue to be tested as we continue into the third season?

Kerry Ehrin: Do you want to take this one? You should take it.

Freddie Highmore: I should? Okay. Yes, I mean Iím trying to think of new angle apart from the things that weíve spoken about. The, do you have something else Kerry that we...

Kerry Ehrin: No, I was going to probably go back into the concept of the, that thereís whatís emerging between them is an awareness on Normaís side that he is more controlling in a way and on Normanís side, is an awareness that she has chinks in her emotional armor.

And so we get to kind of spin that in emotion and see how that, see how that plays out. Sometimes Norman and Norma remind me of those paint things at Carnival where you pour paint in them and then they spin around and the colors fly out. Then they make like these amazing abstract art things.

And I feel like thatís sort of what Norma and Norman, like you get them in a specific psychological place and then, and then you let them go and you see what happens. And thereís a lot of spinning out this season between them.

Freddie Highmore: I think that maybe one other interesting thing is though there will be this increasing separation between the real Norman and the real Norma, there will also be, by the end of the season, almost a complete convergence of the two at one moment where youíre almost not entirely sure which person it is in a teasing the general fashion.

Kerry Ehrin: Sounds good.

Man: Okay. Is there any different as the, I guess other Norma has appeared more and more? Freddie, is it any different for you to act with sort of the imaginary era as opposed to the, you know, the actual mother?

Freddie Highmore: I think itís interesting. Weíve experimented with in many ways this season how Norman himself is behaving in those, which comes a lot from the writing, how heís behaving in those moments with this vision of her and whether heís purely imagining her there in front of him, whether he is imaging himself as her, whether heís talking out loud in using her words or whether heís merely listening and hearing them.

And from what perspective do we see those scenes? Is it purely from Normanís perspective or is it from the kind of third person storytelling that weíre, that weíre used to in most television shows. So though theyíre all, they all sort of play a part, I think when weíre, when weíre doing those scenes between Norman and this vision, this mother, this Norma character.

But thereís also a new sense of freedom to be found in them because it isnít, ways in which they might interact, isnít the reality and so that opens up exciting new possibilities for how both Norman and Norma can behave.

Kerry Ehrin: Mm-hmm. And also the hallucinations to him are incredibly real and I think that, you know, the big goal is to get people to go on a journey with Norman. If youíre, if youíre crazy and you, you know, if you are imaging, I guess I shouldnít use the word crazy.

If you are imagine something that isnít there to you it is incredibly real and thatís what you want people to be inside of, is that part of it. And itís actually really exciting to get to get to develop the fictional, the hallucinatory version or versions of Norma as a really, you know, thatís a pretty exciting thing to get to do.

Man: Thank you both so much.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you.

Operator: And that was our final question for today. Iíll turn the call back to Mr. Kim.

Yong Kim: All right. Thank you everyone for joining todayís call. Just to reiterate, Bates Motel airs at 9:00pm on Mondays on A&E and thank you so much Freddie and Kerry for joining the call today and taking the time.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you.

Yong Kim: And if anyone needs transcripts, once again email me and I will send it to you guys as soon as I have it. Probably will take a day or two, but thanks Freddie and Kerry.

Kerry Ehrin: Thank you Yong.

Freddie Highmore: Thank you all.

Kerry Ehrin: Thanks Freddie. Come back (unintelligible).

Freddie Highmore: Thanks Kerry.

Kerry Ehrin: Bye.

Freddie Highmore: Bye.

Kerry Ehrin: Okay. Bye.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you once again for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines.


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