The hit horror drama Bates Motel, starring Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore as Norma and Norman Bates, returned to A&E on March 3rd after a successful first season. The series depicts Norman Bates going through high school before the events that take place in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho.
So far we’ve been introduced to many new characters within the Psycho universe, but none as intriguing and (possibly?) menacing as Nestor Carbonell’s Sheriff Alex Romero. Romero seems to be the only character on the series who is any kind of match for Norma Bates. Nerdist caught up with Carbonell at the premiere of Muppets Most Wanted (opening on March 21st) and asked him about Romero and Norma’s dynamic, working on the show, and what fans can expect for Season 2.
For an actor of Carbonell’s caliber (he appeared in ’90s sitcom Suddenly Susan, The Tick, Lost, and The Dark Knight franchise), how was it for him working on the A&E series? “Oh, it’s a dream job. You have the scripts and then you have this extraordinary cast, at the top of which is Vera and Freddie, which is amazing, so it’s just a dream to get to play with all of them and then to work with Carlton Cuse again. I worked with him on Lost; the scripts are just extraordinary.”
What does the actor think of his character’s relationship with Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates? “[O]ur characters are both control freaks, we’re always trying to establish control. I think my character… is mystified by her, enervated by her, and has respect for her sense of strength. So, I think it’s all of those things, and I think there’s a combative nature to our relationship.”
After a crazy Season 1, what can fans of the series look forward to from the rest of this season? “I think the character [Romero] starts to get more sympathetic to her… I think we get to see a more personal side to both of them, and that starts to happen midway through the season.”
Bates Motel airs Monday nights on A&E.