Home » Max Thieriot, Kenny Johnson and Ryan Hurst Talk Bates Motel

Max Thieriot, Kenny Johnson and Ryan Hurst Talk Bates Motel

Bates Motel promo poster

Wicked Horror sat in on a conference call last week with Bates Motel stars Max Thieriot, Ryan Hurst and Kenny Johnson, each of whom has an intergral role to play in the currently developing season. With the relationship between Norman and Norma undergoing a lot of changes, Dylan has a more interesting place on the show than ever before. For the first time he has a true sense of family, but not one that is necessarily easy to hold onto.

Speaking to Dylan’s progression throughout the series, Thieriot says “It’s funny…When I first got the script, I think I was sent three and in all of them Dylan kind of shows up and he’s—I mean he’s really a prick. He shows up and he’s rude to his mom, which doesn’t jive very well with me…And I kind of didn’t get it at the beginning and my initial thought was ‘wow, everybody’s going to hate this guy’…But Carlton and Kerry really know what they’re doing and obviously had a bigger picture and plan.”

He goes on to talk about where the character has ended up and the role he currently serves on the show, saying, “Dylan is kind of like this sign of hope in the show. We also don’t know his fate. We know what’s going to happen to Norma. We know what’s going to happen to Norman. And so he kind of gives a little sense of hope that something good can come out of all this.”

Max Thieriot as Dylan

Kenny Johnson also speaks a little about what it’s like to play Caleb, Dylan’s father/uncle who is beginning to bond with him, but has still done horrible things in his past that can’t be forgotten. “I really wanted to humanize him,” says Johnson. “And I thought ‘don’t look at him as what everybody keeps saying he is. Look at him as a human being who obviously has made this pretty horrific mistake back in the day’… he’s just trying to… I don’t want to say redeem himself, but do some good while he’s still here.”

On the prospect of a relationship developing between Dylan and Emma, Thieriot has this to say: “Do I think that Emma and Dylan can be together on the show? I don’t know. You know, I think anything’s possible. For me, that has always been an interesting idea. I always thought it would be interesting if they explored that. They’re both in a way the outsiders… outside of this relationship between Norman and Norma. They’re both kept on the outside. You never know. I think it would be fun to watch.”

On where Caleb is developing and where the character is headed, Johnson says “I like that Caleb’s come back and he’s kind of searching for, you know, some sort of sense of family and self and maybe getting to his son, who didn’t want anything to do with him. So I like the fact that there’s slowly earning trust between the characters, a little bit. There’s something about that that’s really interesting and intriguing because you don’t know which way Dylan is going to react. You know, and basically they keep writing to put Caleb’s heart on the line.”

Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga as Norman and Norma Bates in "Bates Motel"On his own mysterious character who has been added to this season, Chick, Ryan Hurst says, “I’m always a fan of characters whether they’re large or small… ambiguity I think is the name of the game when you’re talking about a mystery or thriller. Whether to trust him, whether to be afraid, not be afraid… that’s what I like most about Chick.”

Talking a little bit about how much Dylan believes the things that Caleb has been accused of doing, Thieriot says, “That’s hard. You know, in the beginning, he didn’t believe all that much because Norma kind of definitely has a way of being dramatic and making up a lot of stuff. I think even though Caleb may have a shady past and a dark side to him, Dylan can kind of see his heart, and is able to see that he’s being truthful and sincere with him. And I think he’s able to see… he’s able to see all the good that’s in him.”

On what to expect from the rest of the season, Johnson says “I would obviously expect a good cliff hanging finish that I think everyone will be really excited to see and be shocked by. And for me what’s kind of cool is that this season we really start to see Norman unravel.”

And finally, on how Thieriot would end the series and bring an end to his character if he was in charge. “If I was writing the show,” says Thieriot, “at the end the big reveal would be that Dylan kills Norman and wears his skin and then he actually becomes Norman.”

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Written by Nat Brehmer
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Nathaniel Brehmer has also written for Horror Bid, HorrorDomain, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, and more. He has also had fiction published in Sanitarium Magazine, Hello Horror, Bloodbond and more. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and his black cat, Poe.
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