Bates Motel Producers Preview Rihanna as Marion Crane

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Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin on telling a different version of the fateful Norman/Marion meeting. By Matt Fowler

On this week’s Bates Motel, Rihanna begins her two-episode Pyscho-inspired arc as Marion Crane, the doomed character Janet Leigh portrayed in the classic 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film. Bates Motel creators/executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin spoke to me a bit about the casting the pop star as one of cinema’s most famous murder victims, how it came about, and why the Psycho storyline wasn’t made to be the very end for the series, which will continue for four final episodes beyond Marion’s appearance.

“Bates Motel is really the story of Norman and being in Norman’s shoes,” Ehrin explained, “and what Psycho was doesn’t feel like the ending to who Norman is here. Because basically the ending of Psycho is that he’s lost. He’s gone. He doesn’t know who he is. He’s completely absorbed and becomes the mother persona. We wanted to tell a different story.”

She added, “When we spoke to Rihanna about the Marion role, we told her the intentions of what we wanted to accomplish with the character and the storytelling and that it was going to be