Farmiga debuted in the Emmy® competition last July when she was nominated as outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her critically acclaimed role as the mother of all madness, Norma Bates. The series’ executive producers Carlton Cuse andKerry Ehrin identified Farmiga as their muse from the very beginning, “We needed an actor who had to be warm and sympathetic, who is capable of being a little nutty, but she had to be beautiful, sexy, smart,” says Cuse. “In both our minds, there was no one better than Vera.” The actress accepted the role, crediting great timing and the type of challenging role she was looking for. “I was fascinated with her. She’s absolutely ridden with contradiction, and that pendulum swing is very exciting for an actor,” Farmiga says about her character. Costar and on-screen son Freddie Highmore is amazed at her ability to be incredibly professional and devoted to her character, all while maintaining her proudest role — mother of two. “Every take is completely natural,” he says of Farmiga. “Obviously the preparation is all there, but then she has the confidence to disregard it and let whatever happens happen… Being in a scene with her, you’re always kept on your toes and alive to the fact that new things can come at any moment,” Highmore explains.
The latest issue also includes interviews with Oprah Winfrey and OWN and Harpo Studios presidents Erik Logan and Sheri Salata on reversing the fortunes of their young network, learning the cable business and increasing the impact of their programming through social media; Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, andVerne Gay, TV critic for Newsday, discuss the power and passion behind binge watching, as well as its place in the future of television; actor Josh Holloway discusses his battle with nerves early in his career, auditioning for his groundbreaking role in ABC’s Lost and his next chapter as a husband, father and a high-tech spy in CBS’s Intelligence; and an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at Animal Planet’s 10th Annual Puppy Bowl.
Features and profiles in this issue of emmy magazine also include: a look at Pretty Little Liars’ homage to 1940s film noir in the February episode “Shadow Play”; Vikings actress Katheryn Winnick talks about her roots in taekwondo, paying her dues in Hollywood and reading fem-power biographies for inspiration; actor Brian Van Holt on his balance between Bobby, his endearing character on TBS’s Cougar Town, and his edgier portrayal as Ray in FX’s The Bridge; the Esquire Network and NBC Universal’s mission to pursue the holy grail of demographics and the future beyond unscripted programming for the rookie network; a look at Starz’ new eighteenth-century pirate saga Black Sails from Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine as they try to stay grounded in historical reality; Comedy Central’s new funny-girl duo Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer discuss their idol, Amy Poehler, and her influence in bringing Broad City from the web to TV; Isaac Lee, CEO of Fusion, the new network from ABC News and Univision, explains plans for getting millennials to watch TV; NAB president Gordon Smith looks at the future of broadcast television.
Highlights from this issue of emmy include:
- reveals that to prepare for her role as the contradictory Norma Bates she took to Google, searching “mothers of psychopaths” for information on parents of high-profile serial killers. “It’s just anguish to read the testimonies of these parents confronting the evil in their children,” she says.
- Bates Motel executive producer Carlton Cuse on Farmiga’s role: “I could never imagine anybody but James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. I could never imagine anybody but Dennis Franz as Andy Sipowicz in NYPD Blue. And I could never imagine anybody but Vera as Norma Bates. I don’t think there’s a soul on this earth who could do the part better than she does.”
- Oprah Winfrey replies, “Twitter is the new autograph,” when discussing the power of social media in television.
- Verne Gay defends the classic television model of releasing new episodes week by week: “Great TV is also all about anticipation, waiting for the next episode, wondering what it will bring, musing about character and motive.”
- Gordon Smith, NAB president, insists that adopting mobile TV technology is key to the future of broadcast TV: “TV in the twenty-first century has got to be bigger than just the big screen in the living room.”
- Abbi Jacobson is grateful for her time with Upright Citizens Brigade where she met UCB alum Amy Poehler: “I learned how to be confident as a performer. It’s also how Ilana [Glazer] and I met. Things would not be the same if that hadn’t happened.”
- Bear McCreary speaks of his 2013 Emmy win for outstanding original main title theme music for Starz’ Da Vinci’s Demons: “I don’t recall the moment my name was called. I just have vague memories of flying down the aisle toward the stage, literally floating. I don’t remember my feet on the floor at all.”
Vera Farmiga Emmy Magazine