Vera Farmiga has long thought of the relationship between Norma and Norman Bates not as Oedipal, but as "a really bizarre love letter between a mother and a child." At today's Bates Motel panel at Comic-Con, the actress, whose performance as Norman's high-strung mom just earned her an Emmy nomination, continued to make her case. "In her defense, she is the mother of a child with mental issues," she said.
In her research, Farmiga said she Googled "parents of psychopaths, and "there was a wellspring of information, so many testimonies. That's where my compassion for the character came from." But her co-star Freddie Highmore says the two actors disagree on the nature of Norma and Norman's extra intimate relationship, i.e., he thinks it's pretty creepy!
Highmore: "I think it's slightly dodgy, she thinks it's really nice."
Farmiga: "He gets this little twinkle in his eye and I'm like, 'No! No, no, no…'"
Highmore: "Do you think it crosses the line, or no?"
Farmiga: "It doesn't!"
The audience seemed to side with Freddie, breaking down in giggles after Farmiga a moment later added, "Every mother in the audience will tell you, 'They grow up so quickly you gotta slather it on while you can!'" Even she had to laugh.
[For those interested, Highmore video at source.]
She and Highmore are really good in this show, and I'm excited for next season. I hope she's trolling with these comments; if not, prayer circle for her IRL kids.