Would Tracy Spiridakos have said “yes” to any role that offered regular showers?
My first reaction upon seeing Spiridakos in Bates Motel was, “She cleans up nice.” Of course, I was used to seeing Spiridakos in her previous series – the post-apocalyptic Revolution (2012-14) – where she regularly was covered in dirt.
“I liked that part!” the Canadian actress said with a laugh. “I was fine with that, are you kidding me? Rolling around in the mud? I think that’s fun! And they paid me to do it? Sure!
“Putting on makeup (for Bates Motel)? I was like, ‘What is this?’ And then they brought up heels, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute – you want me to walk in those? How far?’ ”
And here I thought the mere promise of regular showers would have been a big draw for Spiridakos in Bates Motel, which begins its third season Monday, March 9 on A&E. Then again, the first time we see Spiridakos’ character, Annika Johnson, taking a shower, the creepy young Norman Bates secretly is staring at her.
“But Annika doesn’t know his whole history,” said Spiridakos, laughing again. “He’s like a nice little kid, you know? A nice young man.”
Um, maybe Annika needs to work on her radar a little bit.
“Yeah … maybe,” Spiridakos said.
“Everyone has been saying to me, ‘Uh, how long do you last?’ ” Spiridakos said. “And I’m like, ‘What do you mean? Come on!’ But I think that’s everyone’s first reaction.”
Norman quickly becomes infatuated with sexy and friendly Annika, and who wouldn’t? But as if Norman weren’t enough of a threat, Norma doesn’t like the notion of anything or anyone coming between her and her odd son, either. It’s all just so weird, in an entertaining way.
The Annika character provides built-in irony. She has had a tough life, but that has made her strong. She’s absolutely not afraid of anything, but unbeknownst to her, she has wandered into a circumstance where she should be afraid.
“She has thick skin and she trusts herself and trusts her instincts and is just pushing forward with her life,” Spiridakos said. “And she’s cool, she’s not a victim, she doesn’t victimize herself for anything that has happened to her. She’s very matter-of-fact, this is just the way it is, this is where I am, and I’m going to try to make the best of it.
“It’s only as an outsider looking in that you’re thinking, ‘That’s a sketchy situation.’ Being in it, she’s not sure, because no one knows anybody, really. But when the audience is scared for her, that’s great writing, you know?
“It echoes the fact that they’ve created these characters and put them in situations where you’re cringing watching it, but the characters are just living out their lives. The audience is going through an emotional roller-coaster for them.”
As long as the Annika character keeps her eyes wide open. There’s a dirty side to Bates Motel, notwithstanding Tracy Spiridakos’ understandably mixed feelings about getting to take a hot shower.