Why Vera Farmiga is ‘Bates Motel’s’ Perfect Creepy Mom

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Why Vera Farmiga is ‘Bates Motel’s’ Perfect Creepy Mom
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Vera Farmiga

We've yet to delve too far into the "Bates Motel's" twisted history, but already A&E's hit series is prepared to serve up a second season. Without a doubt, this is due in part to actress Vera Farmiga's stellar performance as Norma Bates. Vulnerable, cold, and definitely a little creepy, Norma's past is one filled with secrets. Farmiga's film roster is impressive to say the least. But if you take a closer look, you'll definitely see that she's got plenty of experience playing fragile, slightly off-center Mom-types. Was she the perfect choice to play a future killer's mother? More than likely--and here's the proof…

Calling Child Protective Services…

In a March interview, Farmiga admits to studying her own maternal role as well as others in order to get into character for "Bates Motel." She claims that Norma is a woman who is trying to be a good influence. We could say the same for the drug-addled character she plays in 2004's "Down to the Bone" - an indie drama that tracks her bumpy recovery from substance abuse. If anything, this movie was Vera's introduction to sublime dysfunctional parenting.

Secrets and Lies

What we love about "Psycho's" televised prequel is the sense of mystery enveloping Norma and her sons. Farmiga certainly has experience playing mothers with secrets. In "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," she never reveals to her son that his father is actually a Nazi war "hero" - a fact that ultimately yields nightmarish results. Indie sleeper "Never Forever" found her character secretly involved in a plan to become pregnant with a stranger's child. If that's not a prerequisite for "Bates Motel's" shadowy storyline, what is?

Coming Undone…

In "Joshua," she plays a new mother whose birth of her baby girl causes tension in her household and with her 9-year-old son Joshua (who happens to be a child prodigy intelligent beyond his years). A history of post-partum depression sets the stage for this creepy thriller. And as the family adjusts to having a new infant in the house, her first born becomes increasingly more sadistic. Farmiga's on-screen unraveling is the stuff horror is made of - completely fascinating to watch.

The Horrors of Motherhood…

When she's not giving birth to sadistic children, she's adopting them. In 2009, "Orphan" found Vera in the role of Kate - a recovering alcoholic desperate for the chance to put the pieces of her fractured marriage back together following a miscarriage. Indeed, it's Kate's fragile nature that keeps others from believing that their adopted daughter has violent tendencies. Farmiga's icy blue eyes are magical to watch as she channels nervousness, sexual tension, and disgust from one moment to the next. Perhaps this is where she got her experience with homicidal children.

More From This Contributor:

Seven Horror Movie 'Helpers' Who Got the Short End of the Stick

What Does Your Favorite Horror TV Series Say About Your Personality?

The Purpose of the Horror Film's Unhappy Ending (Eight Examples)

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