Vera Farmiga has revealed that an online parenting test showed her Bates Motel character Norma Bates scored higher than her as a mum.
The Conjuring actress plays intense mother Norma in the US TV series, which is a prequel to the Hitchcock film Psycho, and shows how Norman Bates became such an unhinged character because of his upbringing with his overly close and jealous mum.
Vera said: "The hardest job for me that I knew was going to be really challenging and fun was to convince the audience that she wasn't a bad mother, she was actually a very good mother.
"I recently took an 'Are you a good mother?' internet test. I took it as myself and I took it as Norma Bates, and Norma scored higher, in fact, than I did. As far as things like vigilance."
She also said that she had great respect for Freddie Highmore, who plays her son Norman, and that they had grown closer, especially in the second season.
Vera explained: "That affection started from the moment I laid eyes on him. I had seen his work previously and he caught my eye, but when I saw his audition tape for Norman I knew it was a done deal. I was in. I saw his tape and I thought, 'I see it.'
"I had such a tremendous respect for his skill and his earnestness as an actor. I was completely won over. There was a genuine respect and admiration before meeting him.
"He's a good person. He's a good kid. He's a good egg. They broke the mould on that one."
She continued: "We shoot about eight to 10 scenes a day, so working at that rapid pace, you just have to have your A game on. I'm a mother of two children, so I'm going home after 18 hour days sometimes and I have my own family dysfunction to come home to. So it's exhausting and I need him, I rely on him heavily.
"We know how to press each other's buttons now, we know each other's triggers. He's become more cheeky... You see this evolution of Vera and Freddie alongside Norma and Norman and he challenges me much more and it's wonderful and necessary."