Max Thieriot Interview on ‘Bates Motel’ Season 5, Rihanna, and Norma’s Death

Bates Motel Season 5 Cast
Nestor Carbonell, Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore and Max Thieriot from ‘Bates Motel’ at Comic Con 2016 ( Photo © Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

Unfortunately for fans of A&E’s critically acclaimed dramatic series Bates Motel, season five will be the show’s finale season. Season four left off with the death of Norma Bates (played by Vera Farmiga) and the continuing downward slide of Norman (played by Freddie Highmore), but the audience hasn’t yet learned how Norman’s brother, Dylan (played by Max Thieriot), will react to the devastating news that Norman killed their mother.

At the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, Thieriot discussed this upcoming last season, stepping behind the camera to direct, and what it will be like to say goodbye to his Bates Motel family.

Max Thieriot Interview:

What can you tease about the final season?

Max Thieriot: “To be honest, I don’t have any scripts yet so I don’t even know that much. But the exciting things I think for me are I get to direct episode four and obviously the news that Rihanna is going to be coming and playing Marion Crane. I did know (before it broke at Comic Con), but we’d been sworn to secrecy for a while. So it’s going to be super interesting and exciting to see what she brings to the character, what she brings to the show. Obviously she has such a big fan base but it’s not really about that. I think it’s about the energy that I feel like she’s going to bring, because she just naturally has, to the character.”

Dylan recently moved away from the town. Will his relationship with Norman going to be different?

Max Thieriot: “I mean, I assume and I don’t know, but I assume at some point Dylan has to find out so I think the big question for me is what…and I think that they’ll probably dive into it this season…but I think the big question for me is what that does to Dylan in general, what that does to his relationship with Emma and how that affects their relationship. When he finds out – if he finds out – that Norman killed his mom, how does that affect them? Can he ever forgive him for doing that? I think that Norman and Dylan’s relationship has played on a lot of give and take and this kind of bond is what brings them closer than anything. Even though they have complications and stuff happens to their relationship as brothers, they sort of seem to overcome them a lot of the time. But I think that this is something that is such a massive thing, can Dylan ever forgive Norman for what he’s done to their mom? So I’m super excited and curious to see what the writers do this season and how they decide to sort of play this all out.”

Are you looking forward to directing or are you nervous?

Max Thieriot: “I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve wanted to be a director since I started acting and have always kind of been so inquisitive and just curious about how things worked at a young age. You know, why the director chose to do certain things, why they put the camera in certain places. I’m super excited. I’m really grateful that they’re giving me the opportunity to do it. But it’s also a really great place for me to sort of start because I’m so familiar with the characters and the writing and the show and how the show looks. I already feel at home. I’m just excited at this point.”

Did you ask to direct an episode?

Max Thieriot: “No. Carlton (Cuse) and Kerry (Ehrin) actually asked me in the off season. They said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in directing an episode?’ I was like, ‘I’ve always wanted to direct an episode. That would be amazing.’ They said, ‘All right, we’ll make it work. We’ll make a spot for you for one of the episodes.’ That’s pretty much it.”

When will you see the script for that episode?

Max Thieriot: “I don’t know. I’m dying to get it though because we start in September sometime and I’m ready to get to work now. I want to start breaking it down and figuring out what we’re going to do in the episode.”

How does it feel to say goodbye to this cast?

Max Thieriot: “It’s weird. Honestly, it’s really sad. It’s been such a fun journey. You know, I kind of judge different parts of my life like, ‘Oh, I was filming that movie when I was doing that.’ It’s kind of funny. When you’re an actor for like 14, 15 years now, you sort of categorize things that happened in your life based on what you’re doing at that point in time. But now that this show has become such a huge part of my life and so many things have happened during it, it’s going to feel really weird. It’s going to feel like the end of an era. I think I was already engaged but I got married; I had a kid. There’s so many things that have happened in my own personal life over the course of shooting. And also you just make such great friends with these people because you’re with them for so long. It’s really weird…not to say goodbye forever but it’s like when you’re in high school and you’re going to see the same people when you come back after summer vacation. But then it’s kind of like graduating and leaving and you’re like, ‘Well, we’ll still talk.’ But who knows what will happen down the road. You know, I’m not going to see you guys next season so it’s kind of weird. It’s sad.”

Watch the full Max Thieriot interview: