Highmore goes a little ‘Psycho’ as ‘Bates Motel’ starts second season

Source:Reuters Published: 2014-3-4 20:08:01

While most college students often use their year abroad to embrace the culture and nightlife of new countries, British actor Freddie Highmore opted to play one of the most notorious fictional serial killers, Norman Bates.

Highmore, 22, plays a teenage version of Norman Bates who helps his erratic mother run a hotel in modern-day Oregon in the A&E series Bates Motel, which returns for a second season on Monday.

Bates Motel is the first television series for Highmore, who is currently finishing up his final year at Cambridge University, where he studies Spanish and Arabic. The actor started out his career playing wide-eyed young boys in films such as Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

However, playing Norman Bates has presented a new direction in Highmore's career, playing an innocent, sensitive teenager who begins to transition into a psychologically disturbed young man with an abnormally intimate relationship with his mother, played by Vera Farmiga.

"I always did want to get to play a killer, so I guess that one's ticked off," the young actor said with a laugh.

"What's fun about Bates Motel is that the characters change so much. The Norman that we see at the start of season one is markedly different to the end of season two," he said.

After a dramatic finale in season one that culminated with the suspicious death of Norman's attractive young female teacher, the second season opens with Norman trying to cope with her demise by embracing taxidermy.

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