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Interview: 'Bates Motel''s Max Thieriot talks drug dealing and incest for Dylan

Max Thieriot and Vera Farmiga in "Bates Motel."
Max Thieriot and Vera Farmiga in "Bates Motel."
A&E/Joseph Lederer

Dylan (Max Thieriot) is asked to take control of a volatile situation on tonight's episode of "Bates Motel" now that he is in the good graces of his drug-dealing boss, Jodi Wilson (Kathleen Robertson). After all, he showed his loyalty to the family by putting himself in harm's way and saving her brother's life -- almost paying with his own.

"It's always a concern in this business," Thieriot shared in a conference call. "Especially with the war that's going on between the two families. And as he's climbing the ranks of his business, the higher you get up the totem pole, the more your head's worth."

Also on tonight's episode, a secret spreads threatening Norma (Vera Farmiga) and Norman's (Freddie Highmore) relationship, while Emma (Olivia Cooke) finds herself in a very dangerous situation.

Thieriot also shared his thoughts on how Dylan is dealing with the fact that he is the product of an incestuous relationship, the role the new guest stars will have this season, and more.

Despite the fact that Dylan found out he was born from an incestuous relationship, he seems to be the only sane person in the family. Do you play it a certain way because of that, or is that something that you just ignore?

I think Dylan is the window for the viewer into the behind-the-scenes lives of Norman and Norma they wouldn't be able to see otherwise. Everybody says that Dylan is the sane one. But if you look at some of Norma's issues and quirks and the things that make her who she is, Dylan is still her son. And so, I think, underneath all of it, there's still some of that gene and it flares up every once in a while.

For the most part, though, he's just trying to survive and get by, but he definitely still has some issues like everybody else in the family. And now, obviously, it's tough, too. It's tough for Dylan because it seems like as soon as he starts to hit his stride and everything's okay, his world comes crumbling down again. It's a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs in his relationship with Norma. At this point, he's basically gone as high as he has possibly ever gone and now he's really taking the fall. And so, I think it'll be a really trying experience for Dylan that will ultimately define his character -- this knowledge of what he's come to know, or maybe think he knows, about his uncle and his dad.

Max, your character has really grown into someone fans want to root for. Should we expect to see a shift in that line of thinking after everything that's happened? Will you still remain sympathetic?

I hope not. When Dylan showed up, I thought, everybody's going to hate this guy. But what was so interesting was you introduce a character that, initially, everybody wants to hate, and then you try and make the transition into a character that everybody is supposed to sympathize with, understand and maybe relate to in certain ways.

I think this isn't where we change how we feel about him. I think, if anything, because of this experience and what he's going through, and because he always puts on this tough façade, we now get to see more of the vulnerable, human side to him. And I think, if anything, it brings the viewer -- in a very tough bunch of scenes and environment -- a little closer to Dylan and [provides the opportunity to] understand a little more about him and to see another side to him that's possibly a very positive side to him.

Now that we've seen Norman go into the Norma persona, how much of that is going to figure in the rest of the season?

I think the thing is Norman is starting to realize that he has some problems. He's not really quite sure what they are, and he's not really ready to admit that. Obviously, we want to delay some of these things and Norman can't go all out right away. It's always a constant battle of high-school Norman vs. psycho Norman and those two people fighting inside of him. And, obviously, psycho Norman also happens to have a lot of Norma in it.

The thing is that Freddie [Hightower] plays Norman on edge a lot of the time, and Norman gets easily frustrated with other characters throughout the show, like Cody [Paloma Kwiatkowski] when he raises the tire iron at her. He is constantly yelling and gets heated. It's interesting because you never really know when he's going to snap.

How do Michael Vartan and Kathleen Robertson 's characters affect the dynamics of the Bates family throughout the season?

The great thing about "Bates Motel" is we're constantly introducing new characters that are really dynamic, different and unique. Each character that is introduced in the show, I think, is really unique and that's what makes it awesome because they all really stand out.

I think probably more than any other character this season [the most interesting] is the introduction of Caleb [Kenny Johnson], who is a basically a new Bates family member. The thing about introducing Caleb is you don't really know what to expect. He's such a wild card. Is he going to bring good to the family? Are there going to be negative things that he brings? And just being able to figure out what that means because, obviously, it's going to mean something.

Should we be worried for Dylan going forward given how the drug situation is playing out and also because he may not be in the best state of mind moving forward?

Yes, definitely. I think given what he's just learned about himself and the history of where he came from, I think it's definitely a concern as to how he approaches situations now and if he goes in guns blazing, trying to take on the world. I think it's definitely a concern because he's already battled with having not a lot to live for throughout his life, and so this is another one of those things.

"Bates Motels" airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. on A&E.

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