'Bates Motel' casts Rihanna in Janet Leigh role

San Diego (AFP) –


The horror television series "Bates Motel" has cast pop star Rihanna in its final season, the show revealed during its panel at the Comic-Con fan convention on Friday.

The 28-year-old diva will play Marion Crane, the role made famous by Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," executives revealed.

The series is set before the events of the 1960 horror thriller, in which motel owner Norman Bates murders Crane in one of movie history's most memorable moments.

"We wanted to thrust the iconic role into a contemporary spotlight and redefine it in a meaningful and exciting new way," executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin said in a joint statement released after the Comic-Con announcement.

"We also heard Rihanna was a fan of the show, and we were huge fans of hers, so it was the perfect collision of creativity and fate."

Rihanna is no newcomer to acting, having starred in 2012 movie "Battleships" and played a lead role in Luc Besson's upcoming sci-fi fantasy "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets."

But it will be the Grammy-winning Barbadian singer-songwriter's debut television series role.

"Yes, hello Comic-Con. It's the girl Ri-Ri and let me tell you what a bad bitch is about to do," Rihanna said later in a video posted on the "Bates Motel" Twitter account.

"I am about to check into the Bates Motel, very soon, and guess what else? Guess who's playing Marion? Yes, so all you Comic-Con fans, all you 'Bates Motel' fans, stay tuned."

Producers at the "Bates Motel" panel also confirmed that the fifth season, filming in Vancouver in the fall, would be the show's last.

It's Emmy-nominated star Vera Farmiga, who has played Norman's mother Norma Louise Bates since 2013, revealed how tough she found it to play a dead body.

"I found I would be thrown into a panic if I had to actually hold my breath... I'm actually breathing in all those scenes, but so shallow that it would take me about 40 minutes to get into it," she said.