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SDCC 2016: Rihanna lights a fire under the ‘Bates Motel’ cast

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On Friday (July 22), “Bates Motel” dropped an unexpected bombshell on San Diego Comic-Con when they announced at their panel that Rihanna has officially joined the cast to take on the iconic character of Marion Crane. Needless to say, that news came seemingly out of left field and left many fans dancing for joy. Not only is Rihanna a big fan of the show, the entire cast is a big fan of hers.

Zap2it was there in the press room after the news dropped and it was, understandably, the hot topic of conversation. According to Carlton Cuse, the pop star made it known she was a big fan of the A&E show and when he and Kerry Ehrin were going through the early casting talks for the character, Rihanna came up in the conversation.

RELATED: ‘Bates Motel’: Norman goes ‘Psycho’ without Mother

“We had always planned on having Marion Crane in the final season of the show and we did not want to do just a remake of what was in the movie,” Cuse tells Zap2it. “I had read an article that said ‘Bates Motel’ was one of her favorite shows. I said to Kerry, ‘What about Rihanna?’ She said, ‘Oh that’s very interesting, but I don’t know if she’d ever do it. I said, the only way to find out is if you ask the question. So I asked the question and the answer came back, ‘Yes!'”

According to Nestor Carbonelli, who plays Sheriff Alex Romero in the series, the cast has known the Rihanna news for a few months now. But that still doesn’t stop them from being giddy. Take Vera Farmiga’s reaction, for instance. When we brought the casting news up to her, she couldn’t help but dance a little. “It’s astonishing and I feel so graced that she wants to be a part of this. And … man, they better write us some good scenes!”

Since Marion’s scenes will be tied closely to Norman’s storyline this season — that is, if they follow the structure of the Hitchcock canon — it’s safe to say Rihanna and Freddie Highmore will be working a lot together. “I’m incredibly excited to work with her,” Highmore says. It seems that his sentiment is shared far and wide.

“Bates Motel’s” final season will premiere in 2017 on A&E.

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