With her recent appearances headlining New Line’s horror hit The Conjuring as well as the A&E prequel series Bates Motel, one could be forgiven for thinking that the chiller genre is Vera Farmiga’s exclusive wheelhouse. However, the Up in the Air Oscar nominee has a long and storied resume (including Higher Ground, her 2011 directorial debut), and her most recent turn in director Glenn German’s At Middleston (now playing) bespeaks her range as a performer.
The charming rom-com, about a meet-cute during a college tour, pairs Farmiga with fellow Oscar-nominee Andy Garcia, and also features her sister Taissa in the role of her daughter. I recently had a chance to speak with the actress about what drew her to this particular project, what advice she’d give to young women trying to get ahead in the industry, and whether she prefers to work in television or film. What follows are some highlights of that conversation:
Everyone who went to college remembers their college admissions tour. Walking through the hallowed halls of your university, being given a tour of the sights on campus by an experiences student guide. At Middleton tells that story, only from the point of view of two single parents who fall in love while taking the tour with their teenage children.
Vera Farmiga (The Departed) plays Edith and Andy Garcia (Oceans 11) plays George. Their eyes cross while touring Middleton University, a prospective choice for their respective children. Soon, they find themselves ditching the tour in an effort to get to know each other better.
In this exclusive clip, we get a brief glimpse at the tour they take, plus we get to see the brief fleeting glimpse they first take before delving into love.
Check out At Middleton, which is in theaters, On Demand and available on iTunes on January 31.
Everyone also wish Vera a very warm welcome to twitter @VeraFarmiga
To date we’ve heard plenty of casting news from ‘Bates Motel‘ season 2 on A&E, even a photograph or two, but nothing all-that revelatory from series stars Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga. That all changes today, as we have our first look at season 2 and its new characters with a behind-the-scenes featurette and promos of ‘Bates Motel’ re-opening for business!
Our first in-depth look at the new season begins with a recap of the previous season finale, in which poor Ms. Cooke ended up dead while a blacked-out Norman had no memory of his time at her house. In the wake of his teacher’s death, however, Norman becomes fixated on the bizarre nature of her murder and what it might mean for the darkness lurking inside him.
Elsewhere, it looks as if White Pine Bay will come under fire from a drug war, placing Dylan Bates (Max Thieriot) in the middle, while Norma struggles with Norman’s burgeoning habits, and a few less than savory associations. We also saw Emma getting into some deviant behavior of her own, while Bradley seems zonked out on anti-depressants. And who are Norman’s handsy new friends, we wonder?
So far, we know of a major trio of new guest stars checking in for ‘Bates Motel’ season 2, including ‘Alias’ star Michael Vartan as a new love interest for Norma, ‘Hung’ star Rebecca Creskoff as Norma’s first real female friend Christine, and ‘Sons of Anarchy‘ vet Kenny Johnson as Norma’s estranged and abusive brother Caleb. Additionally, ‘Boss‘ star Kathleen Robertson has been announced for a mysterious new role, ‘Percy Jackson‘ star Paloma Kwiatkowski will portray a new love interest for Norman, and ‘Transformers‘ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ star Michael O’Neill will play Miss Watson’s vengeful father.
The new season of ‘Bates Motel’ will premiere on March 3, but get an early sneak peek in the preview above, as well as two fresh teaser promos below, and give us your predictions in the comments!
We’ve already had two brief teasers for ‘Bates Motel’s second season and now we have 3 images to share as well! The popular modern day origin story of Norman Bates has been a smashing success. Most likely due to the amazing performances of “mother and son” duo Vera Farmiga (‘The Conjuring‘,’Orphan’) and Freddie Highmore (‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’,’The Spiderwick Chronicles’) who have exemplified the creep factor of this twisted family quite perfectly.
The show returns on March 3rd, 2014, and will be including a slew of new faces such as: Paloma Kwiatkowski (‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’, ‘Whatever It Takes’) who is going to be another potential love interest for the son who loves his mother more than anyone else. Michael Vartan (‘Alias’, ‘One Hour Photo’) as a love interest for Norma (another future victem of Norman’s?), Michael Eklund (‘The Call’, ‘Watchmen’) who will be involved in the drug business, Rebecca Creskoff (‘Hung’, ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’) as the first friend Norma will seem to have on the show and finally Kenny Johnson (‘Sons Of Anarchy’, ”Dexter’) who will be playing Norma’s brother.
The premiere date for “Bates Motel”Season 2 has finally been revealed. Coming in at around the same time Season 1 premiered in 2012, the A&E series will return on March 3.
There have been plenty of promotional images and teasers released for the second season of “Bates Motel.” The new season will deal with the death of Miss Watson and also the introduction of Norma’s brother, Carlton (Kenny Johnson).
When Zap2it spoke to Nestor Carbonell, he teased that Season 2 will resolve some of Season 1’s cliffhangers fairly quickly. “One of the great things about this show is, even with cliffhangers, they’re pretty much dealt with head-on, so the payoff is always going to be there,” he says. “We definitely tackle [Miss Watson’s death] pretty quickly in Season 2 and the ramifications of what happened with the teacher at the end of Season 1. Not that it’s all wrapped up in a neat bow, but it’s definitely being dealt with for sure.”
Season 1 of “Bates Motel” was one of the best new shows of 2012, so the upcoming Season 2 is something people should either be counting down the days to, or catching up on what they’ve missed to get excited.
She’s already been nominated for an Academy Award, and now she’s up for an Emmy for her turn as Norma Bates in A&E’s ‘Psycho’ drama ‘Bates Motel.’ The beloved Farmiga talks to Anna Klassen.
How do you breathe life into a character whom audiences identify as nothing more than a corpse sitting in a basement?
Ask Vera Farmiga, the star of A&E’s Psycho prequel, Bates Motel[. The actress plays Norma Bates, who became a Hollywood horror icon in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic. But in Psycho, Norma is never seen—alive, that is—though she’s often heard inside the head of her deranged serial killer son, Norman.
Praised by many, Farmiga’s performance in Season 1 earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. “It’s the most powerful form of encouragement,” she tells The Daily Beast. “I know that the category is cutthroat and there are a lot of deserving women. It’s so darn special.”
Says series producer Kerry Ehrin of the nomination: “It is very deserved. She blows your hair back on a daily basis.” And Carlton Cuse (Lost) echoes his producer-partner, saying: “I’m glad she did get the nomination because if she didn’t I would literally be holed up on the floor someplace in depression.”
If you’ve seen a single episode of Farmiga as the modern-day Psycho’s mom, you know what all the fuss is about. Equal parts compassionate and neurotic, Farmiga plays Norma with an intense level of adrenaline. She murders rapists and hides their bodies, finds a dead man she used to sleep with in her bed, deals with the surprisingly never-ending list of Norman’s female admirers, and defends her son to the bitter end, her end—all the while looking smoking hot in a pair of 1950s pumps and an apron.
“It’s so rare to encounter in female characters this level of complexity,” says Farmiga, who compares Norma to her son’s Legos: “He wants the imperial shuttle with the double rotating doors. Norma Bates is the imperial shuttle.” But according to producer Cuse, it’s just as rare to find an actress like Farmiga to take on the powerhouse role. “Vera was someone we always wanted for the show, but in television you don’t always get lucky and get your first choice, especially when your first choice is an Academy Award-nominated actress,” he says. “She just killed the part.”
Like Norma, Farmiga is a mother who uses her real-life circumstances to fuel her performance. “In the [Psycho] house, if you look around, there are photos of my own children. There’s photos of my daughter Gytta and my son Fynn,” she says, a wide smile forming on her lips. “It’s such an emotional role. We do take after take. It’s such a rapid pace that sometimes it just takes a glance at a certain photo and it puts me in this real place of compassion.”
Compassionate, however, is a word few would use to describe Norma Bates. Playing a character historically blamed for her son’s illness, Farmiga feels a distinct need to shift viewers’ perceptions of Norma. “She comes with a lot of projections onto who she may have been, and assumptions, but really she’s just a pile of bones,” she says. “I’ve been appointed by Kerry [Ehrin] and Carlton [Cuse] in her defense to present to the jury and the audience a completely different notion of who she is.”
With Vera’s emotion-packed, high-anxiety performance, we just might buy it.
Nestor Carbonell (Lost), who has jokingly described his character on Bates Motel as “an ageless sheriff with guyliner,” went out of his way to sing Farmiga’s praises at the show’s Comic-Con panel in July. “She rarely goes into her trailer and is one of the most giving actors I’ve ever worked with.”
“I really hope doing however many seasons we do it, the audience will grow to adore her, respect her, and root for her, even though she reaches her demise.”
Freddie Highmore, who plays the emotionally distraught teenage Norman and who shoots nearly every scene with his on-screen mother, offers similar praise. “She’s great, isn’t she?” he says. “She’s brilliant. I’m very lucky to have worked with her. I’m so lucky to be able to act opposite of her almost every single day. She constantly brings new ideas and keeps you on your toes. She’s always alive on set.”
But fans of the 1960 original—that is, practically everyone who has or hasn’t seen the film—knows that one day, Norma must meet her end. Farmiga is aware of the conflict. All good things, even genre-defying performances, must come to an end. “I really hope doing however many seasons we do it, the audience will grow to adore her, respect her, and root for her, even though she reaches her demise,” she says. “This character is a real roll-up-your-sleeves job. I really, genuinely approach the character with the utmost integrity.”
Bates Motel won’t return for its second season until 2014, but Farmiga already has us anticipating what’s to come:
“I just finished Episode 3, and the complete unexpected has come my way. I wish I could share it with you. I can only tell you that I am terrified. The actor’s challenge for me to do what I need to do is something I did not anticipate. It’s a zoo. It’s a real zoo.”
The Conjuring easily won the box office this weekend with $41.5 million and a sequel is looking likely. During the Bates Motel interview sessions at Comic-Con yesterday, Vera Farmiga let us know that she’s already signed on for another movie.
Vera Farmiga joined our table to discuss the first and upcoming season of Bates Motel, but also had a chance to talk about The Conjuring. While we’ll post the full interview soon, she mentioned that both her and Patrick Wilson signed a deal that included the both of them appearing in a sequel. It wasn’t mentioned if the same was the case with James Wan, and we’re hoping to have more details soon.
Previously: After all the positive reactions from early screenings ofThe Conjuring, New Line is expecting to have a big hit on their hands and is already developing a sequel. This news comes from Variety, who also revealed that New Line hopes to build a franchise around the Warrens’ past investigations.
Of course, all of this will depend on how The Conjuringperforms at the box office, so we should have more details on potential sequels next month. The big question is whether or not New Line will wait for James Wan to return. He’s currently involved with the next Fast & Furioussequel and it may be more difficult to get him to commit to a sequel right away.
The Conjuring was directed by James Wan and stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Joey King, Shanley Caswell, Haley McFarland, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, and Sterling Jerins. The movie will be released in the US on July 19th and the UK on August 2nd. Missed out on the previous trailers, photos, and poster? Check them out at the following links:
“Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. “The Conjuring” tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.”