Stars of ‘Bates Motel’ Talk Season 2 at Premiere Party

Shows like Bates Motel are the “in” thing right now. There’s something making the TV audience crave the thriller that makes you just that little bit uncomfortable and you can see it across the networks. From The Walking Dead to DraculaHannibal, and even sometimes from Game of Thrones (why do we love Cersi and Jamie so much, when we know it’s so wrong?), Bates Motel is just one in a trend of shows that is capitalizing on this sort of perverse desire by the audience for television that pushes the limits of what society considers acceptable behavior.

“It feels like there’s something on the edge of frame,’ says Michael O’Neill, who will join the cast of Bates Motel in the first episode of the second season tonight as the father of recently deceased Ms. Watson. “There’s something just out of your vision, and it’s coming for you, so you never can fully relax with it and I think people just like that sense of being on the edge when they watch.”

Bates Motel definitely does a good job of keeping you on the edge. The easiest way to approach the show is not to get too attached because anything can happen, and everyone’s a suspect. “That’s a wonderful filter to look at it through,” muses O’Neill, “you won’t be disappointed and yet you will be continually surprised.”

Bates Motel/Those Who Kill Premiere PartyO’Neill is one of a slew of actors joining the cast as we learn more about the strange town of White Pine Bay. Kenny Johnson will join as Norma Bates’ (Vera Farmiga) brother, Caleb, whom Norma dropped a bit of a bombshell about in that final episode of the first season. In a truly gripping scene Norma tells her son, Norman (Freddie Highmore), that she was continuously raped by her older brother when she was a teenager, perhaps giving a bit of insight into her actions and her sometimes inappropriate relationship with her youngest son. Johnson, who professes to being a big fan of the show before he took on the part, had forgotten that it was her brother she spoke about, “I thought it was her father, so when I went back and rewatched it I thought it was great.” He adds, “everyone is human and he has his own way of looking at what happened.”

Paloma Kwiatkowski joins the cast as Cody Brennan, a troubled young girl who has been a resident of White Pine Bay for some time, but only comes to the attention of young Norman in the second episode of Season 2. “She really bonds with Norman because she has a family life that’s messed up,” says Kwiatkowski. You can tell from the trailers that she’s going to stir things up a bit, “She shows him that you can have a good time acting out.” So now Norman won’t only “act out” when he has a blackout, but he’ll be doing it consciously? If the first season is any indication, that does not bode well for our cast of characters.

Season 2 will also expand upon the story of the dark underbelly of White Pine Bay, and the drug trade that seems to run the town. Kathleen Robertson will play Jodi Wilson, a “very damaged, complicated woman” who Robertson let slip is to be a love interest for Dylan, and is heavily involved in the drug plot. Robertson’s mother and 16 year old niece are huge fans of the show, and literally screamed when they heard she’d been cast. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and they’ve never been this excited for a role of mine before.” Being a big fan of the original film (Psycho, but you should know that) and the series, Robertson says she willed this into being and was thrilled to join the cast.

Bates Motel/Those Who Kill Premiere PartyBut it’s not only new faces that will play a part in the unfolding story of White Pine Bay. After a season of wondering just what he was all about, Sheriff Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell), gave us the first true glimpse into his mind with his shocking murder of Jake Abernathy in the season finale, but notably, he didn’t keep that bag of cash. “On the one hand you can tell he’s not a guy who is going to be greased,” says Carbonell, “But he’s also not a guy who is going to go through the court system every time. He was always trying to find that line of ‘what can I let go and what can I be permissive of,’ and obviously he draws a line at the sex trade.” He adds, “When he sees an imbalance of power, that’s when he steps in and says that can’t happen.”

Perhaps the most innocent resident of White Pine Bay is Norman’s best friend, Emma Decody, played by English actress Olivia Cooke. “She’s very innocent,” says Cooke, “And I think this season you definitely see her lose a lot of innocence.” When asked if that loss of innocence has anything to do with her finally learning the truth about her friends nature, she told us that “towards the end[of the second season] she definitely gets an inkling of what Norman is about, but only slightly.” Cooke adds,” You know what the Bates family is like, they never really let anyone in.”

Season 2 of Bates Motel definitely promises more twists, turns, and lots of surprises. You can catch it starting tonight, March 3rd, on A&E.