(EW.com) -- "The Departed" actress Vera Farmiga has been cast as one of the most notorious mothers in movie history.
She joins A&E's "Bates Motel," a prequel to the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film.
"[Farmiga] 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," executive producer Carlton Cuse said.
The role's official description downplays Mrs. Bates' abusive character, who twists her son into a serial killer of women: "Mother of young Norman Bates. She's complicated, passionate, and compelling, Norma Louise is a smart, multidimensional character who is always capable of surprising us."
The role of Norman hasn't yet been cast. (Never noticed this before, the similarity of their names -- Norma and Norman Bates -- nice).
CLICK HERE to Try 2 RISK FREE issues of Entertainment Weekly
© 2011 Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc. All rights reserved.