Kathleen Robertson on ‘Bates Motel’ Season 2 & ‘Murder in the First’

Last night, Kathleen Robertson made her debut on “Bates Motel” as Jodi Wilson, a key figure within the local drug trade in White Pine Bay.

Unfortunately, Robertson wasn’t allowed to say much about her new character when I spoke to her earlier this year. Luckily, I’ve already seen the pilot for Robertson’s new drama, “Murder in the First;” which premieres this summer on TNT.

In “Murder in the First,” Robertson has a lead role as Detective Hildy Mulligan. Hildy and her partner Terry (Taye Diggs) are investigating a murder involving internet millionaire Erich Blunt (Tom Felton), which will take the full season to investigate. Robertson also told us what the third season of “Boss” would have been had it not been canceled after two seasons. 



CraveOnline: How many episodes of “Bates Motel” are you in this season?

Kathleen Robertson: I appear in the fifth and then through the end, so five through 10. 

What can you say about your character?

Not much. [Laughs] With that show, they’re very tight lipped about everything, so I play Jodi Morgan. She’s introduced in the fifth episode and what she does for a living is kind of a surprise. She’s sort of the least expected person you’d expect to be doing the job that she does. She’s kind of a little bit of an enigma. You sort of think she’s one thing and then she’s revealed to be something very different. It was fun for me. It was really different than anything I’d ever done before. I was a huge fan of the show and was so excited to do it.

Did you shoot “Bates Motel” before the pilot to “Murder in the First?”

Actually, we did the pilot for “Murder in the First” and when we were waiting to see if the show got picked up or not, I did “Bates Motel.” It worked out really well. Actually on my very first day filming “Bates Motel” I got the call saying that “Murder in the First” had been picked up so that was a pretty exciting day for me, both on the same day. 

Is Jodi Morgan someone who’s ever appeared in any of the Psycho movies?

No. 

What was it like working around or just seeing the iconic Bates house?

Well, it’s pretty trippy because they used the original architectural drawings and all the exact measurements and everything from the original house that was built. So it’s identical. I mean, everything is exactly the way the house is that was in the original movie, and it’s on the side of a freeway in Vancouver so it’s so bizarre. You’re just driving and there’s nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing and then all of a sudden you see it off in the distance and it’s very, very surreal. 

They have 24 hour security there because I guess a lot of fans and people will come and want to try to get into it in the middle of the night, so they have around the clock 24 hour security there to make sure nobody tries to get in there. It’s really amazing. When I saw it for the first time I literally just full on goosebumps and taking a million photos. I was such a huge fan of Psycho that for my 13th birthday, my party was a Psycho themed party. When Carlton Cuse called me and offered me this part in the second season, I was really, really, really happy. 

What exactly is a Psycho themed birthday party for a 13-year-old?

Well, my brother-in-law made me, there was a Psycho kit that he made. We all had little rubber knives with fake blood on them. Do you remember in the second one, there was the whole thing with the family? He made a tape and of course we couldn’t watch the movie because it was too disturbing for the other kids. My mom and dad were like, “There’s no way we’re watching the Psycho movie at your birthday party. We’re going to get in trouble with the other parents.” 

It was my favorite movie. I don’t quite know why. It’s very odd to me but it was my favorite movie. We played the music from the movie and we actually still have all of the paraphernalia from the party. My dad found it. It was in storage and he found it. We were laughing about it when I got the part. 

But you had seen Psycho II and III also?

Yeah, yeah, I’d seen them all. Actually when I worked with Gus Van Sant on “Boss,” that was the first thing I said to him when we were working together. I said, “I want to talk to you all about the Psycho remake that you did.” I loved his version of it too. I thought it was super cool.

Was he happy to talk about Psycho?

Yeah, he was. He was really happy to talk about it. When you get him talking about his films, he gets into specifics and details. It’s like going to film school. It’s pretty school.

Do you get to go head to head with Vera Farmiga on “Bates Motel?”

No, I don’t. My storyline isn’t really with her. 

How soon after “Boss” were you looking for another series?

Well, the show was canceled in November/December. I was in Montreal at the time doing a movie. We all were pretty sad when the show was cancelled because it was so good. We really thought with Kelsey winning the Golden Globe that we were at least going to do a couple more seasons. It was sort of a shock I think to everybody so it took me a little while. I definitely took a few months to process and figure out what I wanted to do. 

Luckily there were a lot of fans of the show in the industry so I was able to have a lot of good options to consider. I wanted to obviously just do something that was really different from that and a really different character from Kitty. Yeah, it took a while for me to get my head around the fact that it was gone. Where they were going to take the show in the third season, the storyline for my character was particularly interesting and really juicy. It was definitely a little mourning period to get over that, but then I just moved on and here I am. 

Can you tell us now what the third season of “Boss” would have been?

Where the season ended, there was that scene with Kane and Kitty where he says, “I don’t have a lot of time left.” And she says, “Well, then let’s make the most of it.” The third season was very much Kitty back working for Kane and everything being bumped up a level. They told me that Kitty was essentially going to become much closer to Kane than the Kitty we have scene in the past. It was going to just be all of her deficits and all of her brokenness was just going to be amplified intensely to the point where she was going to be a version of herself that she almost didn’t even really know anymore. That would’ve been fun. 

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