Bates Motel Casts Rihanna as Marion Crane for Fifth and Final Season

It’s curtains for Rihanna — shower curtains, to be exact.

The pop star/actress has been tapped to appear in the fifth and final season of Bates Motel as Marion Crane, the ill-fated character that Janet Leigh played in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, it was announced at Friday’s Comic-Con panel for the A&E drama.

Rihanna had previously expressed she was a fan of the series, prompting producers to reach out to her about the gig.

As TVLine reported back in May, executive producer Carlton Cuse plans to make this final season of the series “our version of the Psycho lore.” As such, Marion’s introduction will be “a big moment.”

However, Cuse hastened to add that viewers shouldn’t expect a blow-by-blow recreation of the 1960 movie. “We will be colliding with certain events in the narrative of the film,” he said, “but it would be boring to just recreate Psycho.”

Cuse tweeted a quick tease of the “Bitch Better Have My Money” vocalist announcing her new role.

In other news from the panel:

* Cast members Nestor Carbonell, Freddie Highmore and Max Thieriot will all direct episodes during the farewell season.

* Season 5 will indeed serve as the acclaimed series’ swan song, which has long been the vision for Cuse and co-creator/showrunner Kerry Ehrin, A&E reiterated.

What do you think of Rihanna’s casting? Would you have preferred one of the actresses that we suggested (see photo gallery below)? Hit the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. SJ says:

    Uh… wut?! This has to be the most WTF casting choice in the last five years at the least.

  2. Reese says:

    Hopefully it’s just in the finale?

    Do they still have times to change their minds?

  3. Tim says:

    Can she act?

    • Gern Blanston says:

      I had the misfortune of watching the movie Battleship and can say without hesitation, no she cannot act.

  4. markr says:

    is this a joke? what a terrible choice, i wont be watching

  5. Jennifer says:

    Does this mean Bates Motel finally jumped the shark?? And I was sooooo excited for season 5!!

  6. Crash says:

    Awful awful awful. Way to screw the final season of a fantastic show. This is the weirdest casting ever

  7. Bates lover says:

    Really???? Really????? W T F?
    Truly the first decision in this show I have really questioned… And I have LOVED the show so far

  8. NolaNola says:

    Hopefully she’ll be in the last episode and get murdered and then curtains.

  9. Simon says:

    Relax nerds, let’s just wait and see how she fares then you can criticize all you want. Myself included. I’m gonna wait for her first performance to judge. I like the fact that she’s a fan of the show. It’s kinda smart i mean Janet Leigh being killed off half way through a movie was unheard of back then. So casting Rihanna can be looked like the same way. An international mega popstar on a cable show.
    I would have loved Drew Barrymore as a callback to Scream, but I guess she’s a bit too old for the role now.

    • dumomt says:

      God, everybody overreacts, don’t they? Some of these people need to step outside and take a stroll in the fresh air. You would think she had been cast as Lady Macbeth opposite Daniel Day-Lewis – it’s just a secondary role. Calm down!

      • Simon says:

        LOL I love your comment……”Lady MacBeth opposite Daniel Day-Lewis’

      • abz says:

        It really is ridiculous. You have some people saying they’re not gonna watch it. I mean this is the FINAL season after you invested four seasons and you’re gonna quit over this?? I have nothing against Rihanna and while this still is a WTF casting decision, Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore are the reasons I got hooked and they are still the main part of the show. That’s reason.enough to continue to watch.

        • Lucifer says:

          Kind of like the Sleepy Hollow fans saying they won’t watch the next season now because Nicole Beharie quit? Oh, I bet you’ve got some double standard excuse for that one.

      • Soa says:

        Lol.. great comment

      • Renee Angela says:


    • Lucifer says:

      Except Rihanna can’t act her way out of a paper bag. There’s plenty of actresses that they could have given the role to, yet they chose to cast a childish pop star with no acting capabilities. The only thing that could top such a ridiculous stunt casting would be casting Beyonce on Game of Thrones.

  10. A fan of TV says:

    Kind of huge. I really kind of like this clearly stunt-y casting!

    • A fan of TV says:

      And I’m by no means specifically a fan of Rihanna. Still, the show has gone out of its way to modernize the town they’re in, etc and Marion Crane was never the kind of role that required Meryl or Day-Lewis level acting chops. I think it’s got all the potential to be great. I see I’m the only one so far. Ah well.

      • Dick Whitman says:

        Totally agree. It’s funny how all these people above are crying because she “can’t act” when the role (at least what we saw in the movie) doesn’t really require much. The casting caught me off guard ngl, but 4 great seasons back up Carlton and Kerry so I trust them 100%.

  11. Jobless says:

    Save the stunt casting for Ryan Murphy shows. Bates Motel doesn’t need to stoop to this level.

  12. Joe says:

    This is pure crap!!!
    I was very happy with what they did with the series… “until reading this”..
    Give me a break!..

  13. Lala says:

    Are you kidding me…WTH honestly!!!!

  14. Spence says:

    OMG! Good for Bates Motel, getting a huge, surprising star for its final season. I love Rihanna as a person so I’m happy about this haha

  15. Kelly says:

    It’s gonna be awesome having a tall exotic Marion Crane in White Pine Bay. She’s got that devilish grin and has the appeal of someone who could pull off a heist, while still being human and likable. Although, the new storyline may not include a heist. Mother will hate her!

  16. Summer says:

    I want very badly to reserve judgment on this? But man, I am not a fan of RIhanna. Yay for this being a big name – considering the legacy of Janet Leigh, that makes a great deal of sense. But this just feels like some sort of lame response to the casting of Lady Gaga in AHS instead of, you know, choosing a well-known name who has some decent acting chops.

  17. Ashley says:

    Lol, no freaking way! Several months ago I always pictured Rihanna in the Bates Hotel series for some reason and to tell you the truth, I’ve always wanted to see her play more serious, ill-fates roles to see if her acting talent improve since Battleship and Home! Gotta get the series when it comes out.

  18. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    I LOOOOVE Rhianna! But on Bates?…idk that’s a very ICONIC ROLE and I’ve seen the movie once and that scene scared the bejesus outta me lol. Well I’ll give her chance if she can pull it off.

  19. Hipper says:

    This sounds more like a failed premise to a SNL sketch.

  20. Matt C. says:

    As someone who loves both Bates Motel AND Rihanna, this is amazing yet shocking news. Though I’m not 100% convinced of her acting skills, I do trust Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, etc, and I know they wouldn’t have cast her in this iconic role if they weren’t 100% sure she could pull it off, so now I’m even more excited for the final season!

  21. Et al. says:

    Such passionate vitriol for an unknown entity. Gee, I wonder what’s driving that.

    • Zac says:

      Something tells me it’s just 1, 5 tops, people commenting the same sentiment

    • Lucifer says:

      People are upset over this stunt casting of a talentless pop singer with zero acting capabilities. You and the other braindead progressives can believe in your ignorant little heads that it’s for other reasons, but if it were Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift – it would still be met with outrage.

      • Natalie Funk says:

        It’s about the color not the pop singer

        • mary says:

          For me it’s not about the color. It’s about putting someone in an ICONIC role who most people know as a singer(quite different than say Lady Gaga in AHS). She was terrible in Battleship. I’m still going to watch because I loved Hitchcock, & loved the original Psycho. Thus I want to see how they play this out. Frankly they should have gotten an unknown. I wouldn’t have minded what skin color she was. I do know, yes, some are referring to her skin color, some are also referring to her bad press. But I would bet for most it’s just like my reason. This is the final season with Marion Crane playing a bigger role than she did in the movie(supposedly). People just want the best pick.

  22. Daniel Clark says:

    In related news, Madonna will headline a musical version of “Sophie’s Choice,” and Taylor Swift will star as Celie in a film version of the musical “The Color Purple.” This is crazier than Norman Bates.

  23. T says:

    Well I think I’ll watch it, never seen this show but she’s good friends with my son, so we’ll see how this goes.

  24. wrstlgirl says:

    Geez people, chill. it is an interesting cast choice but I think she’ll do just fine. I’m at least willing to give her a shot before I pass judgement.

  25. Angela says:

    Hmmmmmm. That’s a rather out there choice of casting. But given she’s a fan of the show it makes sense in that context, too.
    This should be quite interesting. I understand others’ concerns about her acting skills, but the writing on this show is great, as are the other actors, and Carbonell’s proven himself as a director (and yay for Highmore and Thieriot directing as well-look forward to that). So I trust they’ll be able to bring a good performance out of her, and craft an intriguing story for her as well.
    Yeah. Wow. I’m honestly curious to see how this’ll play out.

    • Natalie Funk says:

      Why do you think she’s going to be in it? if you read earlier she called the writers and said how much she liked the show that’s a sure way of getting in..

  26. chloe says:


  27. parstl says:

    The selection is a bit surprising but a lot of unknown or low experience actors have done well on cable series. I speculate half of the opposition is due to the “r” or “j” words, namely racism or jealousy. Hope she does well.

  28. Ashbash says:

    I don’t know why so many people are upset about Rhianna being cast. It’s not like they need an Oscar or Emmy winning actress to play someone who checks into a motel and then is butchered in a shower. At the most she’ll probably have a few lines an episode and then be killed. And no one knows how well of a performance Rhianna will do until after she first airs. I only knew Nicola Peltz from that god awful Last Airbender movie and yet while I thought she sucked in that movie she did a pretty surprising performance as Bradley. So we should really reserve our judgement of Rhianna’s acting until after she first premieres.

    • Natalie Funk says:

      I guess you are not a huge fan of Hitchcock,it does make a big difference to fans…

    • mary says:

      If you ever watched the movie Marion Crane is in far more than just a shower scene. And if the directors are mot messing with us, this Marion Crane is supposed to have a much bigger role(that’s what has me concerned).

  29. Soh says:

    Rihanna has decent acting skills(better than singing, btw).
    But she has a very gorgeous face and sensuality, and charisma because her spontaneity and these factors make up for/compensate.

  30. Brian says:

    Super shocked by this casting choice. Hope she slays this role.

  31. Soh says:

    *Rihanna has a very gorgeous face and sensuality, and charisma because her spontaneity and these factors make up for/compensate for her bad acting skills.

    But she can have improved her acting skills.

  32. Dude says:

    I get why they’d want to add such a high profile name to the cast and I applaud them for thinking outside the box for Marion but…how can you waste such a major casting decision on someone who cannot act? At least Beyoncé would have sold it.

  33. Joey Padron says:

    Surprised she got cast to play Marion Crane in the final season. Hope she can play the role good.

  34. Rafiat Olayioye says:

    Her? And final season? Awww.

  35. Natalie Funk says:

    Are they serious I’m not trying to be racist or anything here let’s put that down right now but it was going good with characters they had and they don’t need a black singer coming into play a white woman in the shower, give me a break. I was really looking forward to season 5 I have been watching all seasons religiously.

    • A Fan of TV says:

      She won’t b playing a white woman, Natalie. She’ll be playing a black character (of a fictional woman who was originally written white, incidentally, but a fictional woman whose skin colour does not have to be white for the role to be played). Relax.

      • Natalie Funk says:

        The issue comes down to the type of crime portrayed. A white on white crime is not held in the same light as a white on black crime. This would change the characters underlying intention that has been portrayed in the original Psycho. I enjoy the fact the series up until this choice has been true to the characters motivation, but a perversion of the facts would take place and Norman’s crime would then change into a hate crime. Which considering the current controversy with these racial issues would alienate a portion of the audience, while bring unwanted attention to an already sensitive topic.

        • Ashley says:

          I completely get what you are saying when I really re-read over your comment and the real point that you was trying to make.

        • mary says:

          Norman kills as Norma. And as Norma he sees any attractive woman as “out to destroy Norman & her relationship with him”. Has nothing to do with her being white.

      • Lucifer says:

        Actually, while skin color doesn’t always have to do with the character, Marion’s does. She reminds Norman of his mother because of the uncanny resemblance. And considering they cast a blonde woman with fair skin and blue eyes to play Norma on the show (which is what Marion looked like in the movie) it doesn’t make sense that he sees his mother’s resemblance in a tan-skinned, black-haired, brown-eyed woman.

        • Natalie Funk says:

          THANK YOU!!!!! finally someone gets it

        • Ashley says:

          Actually…Rihanna has green eyes.

          • Ashley says:

            Oh, I see. Her skin isn’t the perfect pure white that represented his sweet mama, who he had a weird relationship with by the way. I’m still interested to see how this turns out. Her playing the scene of getting stabbed in the shower. Hmmmm.

          • Natalie Funk says:

            That’s how the story goes Hun…….

          • Ashley says:

            White so she got to be right. If she was playing just another Jane Doe, who checked into the Bates Motel and got killed, people wouldn’t be comparing her to Marion.

          • Natalie Funk says:

            You are probably right…

          • Ashley says:

            But the fact that Rihanna actually did suffer real life abuse from Chris Brown, a real psychopath, being stabbed by Norman Bates should probably make this more interesting. But yeah I was thinking if maybe she played a Jane Doe that Norman just happened to attack out of one of his blind rages when Mother took over, like she did in one of the psycho movies when a woman named Red was stabbed.

        • mary says:

          That would work if Marion was the only one Norman killed. He did kill others who didn’t look like his mother.

  36. Natalie Funk says:

    I can’t believe this I was really looking forward to season five. Enough said

  37. rik says:

    Alexis Bledel is my choice. I think she is just the right female for that part. Too bad she didn’t get it….

  38. rick says:

    Awful choice. Awful. Alexis Bledel would have been perfect.

  39. There are a lot of other celebrities I’d rather see try to full Janet Leigh’s footsteps….. (Jamie Lee Curtis, for one)!

    But, as long as Nester Carbonell is still on Batest Motel, I’ll watch every episode! He & Vera Farmiga had such INCREDIBLE chemistry–I hate that it couldn’t have lasted with them!

  40. JMark (formerly JM) says:

    Well, this is a surprise. Not sure how to react. But if her role is short, then it shouldn’t be a problem. I’m actually MORE disappointed that the show didn’t get any Emmy love!

  41. Natalie Funk says:

    Alfred Hitchcock is rolling in his grave!!!!!

  42. LaTigreBlue says:

    For sure, Rihanna cannot act but considering that she’ll get offed in the show, that could be worth watching.

  43. Deirdra Montgomery says:

    FREAKIN’ Rihanna! !.REALLY???. .wasn’t expecting that. Looks NOTHING like the original character & can she even act?
    Was never a big fan of Rihanna but hope the turn out is good .Kindof puts a slight disappointment on me.

  44. Linda says:

    wel I am so glad to hear that “bates motel ” is coming back. excellent show. the only problem is why don’t the same characters come back ? cant see rihanna playing in this . cant see anyone other than the originals playing this. guess it wont be the same . the originals were the show they

  45. Psycho says:

    Nicole Baharie as Marion’s sister

  46. nathanhayes2016 says:


  47. languagegirl says:

    Seems having a mainstream trendy person in a gothic non mainstream tv series will be counter productive…but I will trust Carleton judgement and pray.

  48. Pookiepoo says:

    I’m a purist when it comes to iconic Hitchcock movies and roles. I have loved every season so far and felt they did an amazing job. Now I’m truly upset with this decision.