Rihanna as Marion Crane
“Bates Motel” executive producer Kerry Ehrin said that Rihanna’s Marion Crane “is edgier and sassier and less of an emotional victim” than Janet Leigh’s version of the character in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho.” The CW

Rihanna is set to make her debut appearance as Marion Crane in tonight’s Season 1, episode 5 of “Bates Motel.” And according to the executive producers of the show, the singer’s incarnation of the role isn’t a copy of Janet Leigh’s version of the character in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho,” which inspired the A&E series.

“She’s a more contemporary woman trying to handle her own life and get what she wants and when things happen that she doesn’t understand, she tries to figure them out,” executive producer Kerry Ehrin told USA Today of Rihanna’s version of Marion Crane. “She’s edgier and sassier and less of an emotional victim.”

Ehrin’s fellow executive producer, Carlton Cuse, revealed to Variety that they “spent a long, long time” making sure that Rihanna’s Marion Crane will be different from Leigh’s version of the character.

READ: What was Kenny Johnson’s first impression of ‘Bates Motel’?

As for Rihanna’s performance, Cuse and Ehrin only had good things to say. “[She] is playing a wholly different character than herself or her persona,” Cuse said. “She did a great job and came up with a performance that was really special. I’m excited to have people see what a good actress she is.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ehrin said that they were aware of Rihanna’s previous acting roles prior to casting her as Marion Crane, so they weren’t really that shocked by the amazing things she brought to role. “I wouldn’t say we were surprised [by her performance, because] we’ve seen her perform before,” she said. “But what she brought that was so beautiful was just a real presence, a reality, a depth, and a humanity to the character.”

Cuse also spoke highly of Rihanna’s work ethic on set. “We had this incredibly ambitious schedule where we were trying to shoot this huge amount of work for two episodes in the one week,” said Cuse. “She was so committed, she really worked hard, and she brought this open, vulnerable, completely in-the-moment quality to the character.”

“Bates Motel” Season 5, episode 5, titled “Dreams Die First,” airs tonight at 10 p.m. EST on A&E.