Freddie Highmore talks ‘Bates Motel,’ Vera Farmiga and keeping his focus on his education
Freddie Highmore stars as Norman Bates in A&E’s Batel Motel, a prequel to the classic Psycho film series. The hit series takes back in time, before Norman was a killer, focusing on his relationship with his mother Norma.
The gravity of the project was a key topic in a new April 27 interview.
“You did get that sense of history and weight behind it. That’s what impresses me about old buildings—that sense of time and the number of people and experiences that have gone into that place. You get that sense after having done a film or a television shoot as well. They’re like different worlds that you’re a part of. But you go back to your family and it’s like you’ve never been away. Then you’re back on the set and it’s like you were never back with your family.”
The actor started young, starring as Charlie Bucket in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and later in Finding Neverland.
“Acting has always been an extra or addition to my life, as opposed to my life itself—not that you never take acting seriously; of course, you do. (But) keeping that distinction keeps you grounded. I appreciate how lucky I am to have done what I have done.”
Despite the acting resume, Highmore’s focus was completion of his education, especially learning different languages.
“I didn’t take any time off to do films. That was a choice. I wanted to focus on my studies. It’s such a unique experience that I didn’t want to miss. We worked it out so that I could finish my studies at Cambridge and do ‘Bates Motel,’ and carry on doing that at the same time—which is the best scenario possible. I’ll definitely be able to graduate on time.”
The English actor returned to Bates talk, praising co-star Vera Farmiga.
“She’s such a wonderful person,” he gushed. “Vera’s kids are very lucky to have her as mom,” Highmore said. “She’s a superb actress, incredibly effortless. You watch her and you think, how is she managing to just be there so naturally? I’m sure it takes a lot of work but it seems that it doesn’t. That marries really well with ‘Bates Motel’ because so much of what is important in the show is unsaid; it’s in the subtext.”
Check out the entire interview here
A&E has already approved a second season for the show, more info here