11. Although that little sound byte now falls under “famous last words”—Bates Motel got renewed for a second season and should be heading into production right about now. Then again, there are worse roles to be “locked into” than that of Norman Bates’ legendary mother…
12. Vera has been married twice: She met French actor Sebastian Roche while filming Roar and tied the knot with him in 1997 (the marriage broke up in 2004); and in 2008, she married carpenter and former Deadsy keyboardist Renn Hawkey. They have two kids together, four-year-old Flynn and three-year-old Gytta.
13. Here’s how Vera auditions: When she reads a script or hears about a role she finds intriguing, she shoots a video as the character she’d like to play. She does these videos entirely of her own volition; they are short, fully-realized character studies, complete with whatever wigs, makeup, costume pieces, or accents she considers necessary for the character. She stands against a white wall in her house in upstate New York, and her husband will read and record a scene with her. Then she’ll send the video in. It’s how she landed The Departed, among many, many others. Sounds way better than the normal high-pressure screen test!
14. These videos were essential in helping Vera make the transition to film. Her manager suggested the idea, and in 1999, she put together the first of what would become nearly 15 years’ worth of videos and landed her first notable film role. The character? Daphne Handlova, a Czech woman who witnesses two murders in 15 Minutes, which starred Robert DeNiro.
15. Vera was once asked by her agency, C.A.A., to make a video in which she played her agent, Tracy Brennan. Tracy has what’s described as “a distinctive mane of hair and an idiosyncratic, rat-a-tat-tat vocal style.” The video was shown at the agency’s annual retreat, which has led to other C.A.A. agents than her own recommending her for roles. For her part, Brennan said of the tape, “I’ve never laughed so hard. She does me better than I do myself.”
Above: Vera as Norma Bates in Bates Motel.
Up next: Why she doesn’t live in Hollywood + more!