Vera Farmiga Vera Farmiga

A&E's upcoming series Bates Motel has found a mother for young Norman Bates — and this time it's not a skeleton in a wig. Vera Farmiga, who carried on a salacious affair with George Clooney in 2009's Up in the Air, will play Norma Louise Bates.

"We are delighted to welcome Vera Farmiga to Bates Motel," says executive producer Carlton Cuse (of Lost fame). "She is a phenomenal talent who has demonstrated incredible range and intelligence in a number of landmark film roles, and we couldn't be more excited to have her join our project."

In this prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1960 classic Psycho, Norman Bates is a boy of 16 showing peculiarities of what's to come. "His mother, Norma, is in her early forties [Farmiga is 39] and very hot," says Cuse. In the pilot, the Bates family moves to a rural town in Northern California and purchases a run-down motel. "We're reinterpreting the mythology a bit and we might discover that Norman has a sibling."

Besides Up in the Air, Farmiga won raves in such films as The Departed and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Last year, Vera's kid sister, Taissa Farmiga, spooked us as the gloomy ghostly daughter on F/X's American Horror Story.

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!