Post Mortems

Vera Farmiga and Nestor Carbonell Bicker About the Bates Motel Brawl That Left One of Them Hurting

Bates Motel Fight

Forget Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. The real Fight of the Century went down on Monday’s Bates Motel, when Norma Bates at last took out three seasons of sexual frustration on local lawman/romantic foil Alex Romero.

Below, the almost-couple’s Method portrayers, Vera Farmiga and Nestor Carbonell — with a little help from showrunner Kerry Ehrin — take TVLine readers behind the scenes of the violent, passionate brawl, present he says/she says accounts of their injuries (or, depending on whose story you buy, lack thereof!) and reveal which of them wanted the bout to end in a knockout of a kiss.

TVLINE | Vera, you really went for it in that scene. You landed almost all of those blows.
Vera: [To Nestor] This guy, especially when the camera wasn’t on him, was literally [egging me on]. I was landing those punches.
Nestor: [Deadpans] If you wanna call them punches. I don’t know what that was. You were batting me like a little cat.
Vera: I could’ve thrown bonafide uppercuts. I actually am a boxer. And I was so tempted to. But Norma is not an experienced fighter. By the way, Nestor has the most amazing skin in the world. There was no rosacea.
Nestor: I exfoliate a lot.
Vera: It was a tough scene. You have to go for it.

punchTVLINE | When was the decision made that Vera, the actress, would actually hit Nestor, the actor, versus using Hollywood smoke and mirrors and fakery.
Kerry: That’s the magic of Vera. [Laughs] She doesn’t fake that s–t.
Vera: These characters are like positively ignited ions. They repel and they attract. And you need that one-upmanship in order to create this incredibly passionate dynamic.
Nestor: You started slapping me in the beginning, but it felt like it needed to be more violent. And we talked about it and I said, “You can punch me. You can hit me in the face. Just make sure, if you do, you do it with these two knuckles because you can break my hand.”

TVLINE | Did it hurt when Vera slapped you?
Nestor: No.
Vera: [Rolls her eyes] I totally don’t buy that. It had to hurt. You’re just playing tough.
Nestor: It didn’t hurt. It was cute.
Vera: This was my hand the day after I hit him. [She pulls up a photo of her bruised hand on her iPhone; click here for an exclusive glimpse of the pic]. And I texted him and I said, “You’re telling me you don’t feel anything today?”
Nestor: I used to box back in the day. [Laughs]

TVLINE | The physical aspect aside, there were a lot of emotions coming out in that scene. When Norma was screaming, “I hate you! I hate you!” she may as well have been screaming “I love you! I love you!”
Vera: Yeah. That [outburst] was impromptu because he was like, “Give me more.”
Nestor: Norma needed a punching bag, so I was like, “Bring it” And you did. That moment needed to happen. Norma needed a release.

kissTVLINE | And then things went from violent to very intimate, although you both stopped short of actually kissing.
Vera: [To Nestor] You were [pushing ]for an actual kiss, but I was so resistant. I didn’t want to cross that line.
Nestor: But my character had to go there.
Vera: I think that breathing-in is actually more electrifying than locking lips.

TVLINE | Kerry, why didn’t they kiss?
Kerry: It didn’t seem like the right time for them.

TVLINE | It’s been three seasons!
Kerry: They still have huge trust issues. And they’re just starting to peel away a little bit of that. With two people like this, when they finally do cross that line, it’s going to be so f—ing [amazing]… it makes me cry just thinking about it.

TVLINE | The bruises that will be sustained during that scene…
Vera: [Laughs] Yes.
Nestor: We’ll be in the hospital for sure.

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  1. Jill says:

    The #Normero is strong

    • Angela says:

      This interview is adorable :D. I was smiling and laughing reading this whole discussion-it makes me so happy to see they click so well off set, too.
      That’s the magic of Vera. [Laughs] She doesn’t fake that s–t.
      That does not surprise me one bit :). I’m glad they didn’t add in any tricks or whatnot, that it was all real (she wasn’t kidding about those bruises on her hand-they’re small, but they stand out, for sure. Dang). It was very convincing, and so true to how Vera plays Norma-slightly comical and very pathetic and sad all at the same time. Watching Norma just completely break down this episode, both with Romero and when she’s standing on that pile of dirt next to the pit…I really just want to give that poor woman a hug. And take her to a bar to drown her sorrows and vent :p.
      I also agree that them NOT kissing was sexier than actually going for it-that was a nice bit of sexual tension between them there. I snickered at the hospital line at the end. Ha. Yeah, I can believe that.
      Ah, Norma and Romero. I just want those two crazy kids to run off and be happy together. Is that so much to ask? I hope we get word soon about this show being renewed, so I can look forward to what else happens with these guys, as well as all the other crazy stuff going on on the show, next season!
      Great interview, this :).

  2. abz says:

    I love Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson and Julianna Margulies and they better all be nominated this year for their roles (and Tatiana Maslany too, although we know she’ll probably be ridiculously snubbed again), BUT really its about damn time Vera Farmiga wins a damn Emmy for this role. Norma Bates/Vera is this show! Without her, I don’t if there’d be a show. Freddie Highmore is fantastic as well, especially this season, but Vera Farmiga is so mesmerizing and talented and campy and just overall AMAZING. I just can’t take my eyes off her when she’s on screen. She needs to be nominated and I’m definitely thinking she needs to win.

  3. Et Al says:

    This show is amazing and the acting tonight was beyond words. From every cast member. This show deserves every award that can be given (with the caveat of the Tatiana/Vera best actress tie).

  4. I LOVE the characters on this show. Norma is fragile, yet strong. And this is her MAN! Oh yeah the sex will be amazing. The entire country will need to go fix a major wardrobe malfunction when these two get naked. I missed last nights’ episode while I was working BUT I will see it. I can’t wait! You know you love her Alex!

  5. bryan haifal says:

    Geez, I can’t believe the season is almost over. Really love this show, watched it from the very beginning. I believe this show is just as good, if not better than the Breaking Bad series. Keep up the good work! Norman is truly going psycho – Alfred Hitchcock would truly be amazed if he could only see, how his movie turned into a #1 television series in the new millennium.

  6. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Norma and Romero are a good fit together. But it seems like Dylan and Emma could end up together I would like to see that happen, Dylan really cares about her going through all that trouble to get that money for her surgery.

  7. Lois says:

    Where and how did Dylan get ALL that money and so fast, Did he rob a bank?? I sure hope he and Emma end up together before something happens to her.

  8. Scamper says:

    This needs to happen! Like Normero.

  9. Linda says:

    Great episode last night, especially the fight between Norma and Alex. The relationship between the two has evolved so much and it’s thrilling to watch. I agree, when they finally do plant one on each other, it’s going to be earth shattering.

  10. Ashlie says:

    That was an awesome episode. They better get a season 4 or I will go totally psycho

    • Allison says:

      I believe Bates Motel is the best show on TV. Hands Down! Keep up the good work. I would also like to mention that the chemistry between Dillion and Emma is amazing. 2Thumbs up! Keep up the good work, and I will pray a season 4 will take place.

      • Kristina Ciampi says:

        I cant afford cable these days being a single mom so I watch this AWESOME show Bates Motel every week on my phone on the A&E app! I live for it and is my favorite hour of the entire week and there’s no other show I would do that for! If it wasn’t a season four I would die what happens between Alex and dorm because that whole scene is so hot! They couldn’t have cast a better actress to play Norma. I think she is great and I didn’t like Alex as much as I do now that we see his sweet and sensitive side. I can’t wait to watch when they finally do get together and there has to be a season 4! I waited like a year and a half just to see season three and I watch the app just to be able to watch it so please please don’t cancel the show! I love love love it! Also Dylan is the next best hottie and his sweet moment with Emma was great to just not as built up as 3 years of Alex & Norma!

  11. Carol Jeney says:

    This is so fun to watch each of these characters with a new twist each time. Wish it was every week.