Michael Vartan: Movie stars pushing him out of TV

LAURI NEFF
This image released by A&E shows Michael Vartan, left, and Vera Farmiga in a scene from "Bates Motel," airing Mondays at 9 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/A&E, Joseph Lederer)

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Vartan checks into A&E's "Bates Motel" this season but says finding new work is getting more difficult "with all these famous movie stars taking TV jobs."

Vartan said he understands why film actors, many of whom are older and have families, are drawn to television.

"You work Monday to Friday, you're in the same city and there's a consistency about that that I assume is much easier to have a healthy family life," Vartan said in a recent interview to promote "Bates Hotel," which airs Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern.

He also called today's television content "amazing" and said it's "better than movies for the most part."

Vartan is best known for playing Michael Vaughn in "Alias," but he also starred in ABC's "Big Shots," TNT's "Hawthorne" and the Reelz Channel miniseries "Ring of Fire."

Vartan joins "Bates" on March 17, playing George, the love interest to Norma Bates, played by Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actress Vera Farmiga in the second season of the modern-day "Psycho" prequel.

"She's very mysterious, she's intelligent. She's just a very different type of woman than he's ever met," Vartan said.

Norma, however, initially rejects his advances.

Vartan said given a disastrous affair in Season 1 and the revelation that she suffered shocking child abuse, her hesitancy is understandable. But he said he breaks her down.

Still, he described Norma as an "emotional roller coaster" and said she sometimes thinks she can have a healthy relationship with George but then "her demons" return.

"There are a couple of scenes where everything is going fine and she just snaps and has to get out of there and leaves poor George wondering what the hell just happened," Vartan said.

Then there is her son, future serial killer Norman (Freddie Highmore), who, along with improving at his taxidermy, is already experiencing deadly, blind rages.

Vartan said Norman's not a fan of George, something that you can see in Norman's face the first time George shows up at the motel to take Norma out.

"He's obviously incredibly possessive of his mother and very jealous and afraid of what bringing someone new into her life could mean for their relationship," Vartan said.

Norma, also possessive of her son, is unhappy with Norman's new interest in girls. Said Vartan, "That whole dynamic between Norman and his ladies and Norma and her George creates a lot of tension between the two of them."

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Online: http://www.aetv.com/bates-motel

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