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Laura Fraser on 'Breaking Bad,' getting all wound up


  • Laura Fraser says she can relate to her "Breaking Bad" character, Lydia.
Laura Fraser says she can relate to her "Breaking Bad" character,… (Angelo Kritikos )
August 15, 2013|By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol | RedEye

The fervor over the final episodes of AMC's "Breaking Bad" has reached such a fever pitch, Laura Fraser is noticing it even in her home country of Scotland.

"It's really kind of upped the ante this year. It's just gone, like, phenomenon kind of—just insane," the 37-year-old said Tuesday during a phone conversation. "Yeah, it's like a freight train; it's mad."

Fraser joined the Emmy-winning series in its final season playing Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, the neurotic but calculating business executive who has now taken over distribution of Walter White's meth empire. When the final eight episodes debuted Aug. 11, Lydia pleaded with retired Walt (Bryan Cranston) to come back into her ailing business to fix the purity of the meth. He said no and his wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), broke a little bad herself and told Lydia to get lost.

Fraser was under strict orders not to go into detail about anything in upcoming episodes, but the warm, funny Scot did tell me that she has, in the past, gotten "highly wound up" like her character.

"I can totally understand how she can go down that path," she said, laughing. "I have to say, I'm not quite as much of a nutcase as she is, but if I'm premenstrual or something I can definitely go there for a few hours. My husband’s like, 'OK, you're on one.' Yeah."

Fraser talked more about Lydia's and the show's end—but don't expect any spoilers. But you can read the wild speculations about the show I inferred from our chat here.

New episodes of "Breaking Bad" air at 8 p.m. CT Sundays on AMC.

People are crazy over Sunday's premiere of "Breaking Bad."
Yeah. I know, it's kind of mad. Even here in Scotland people are kind of crazy about it; it's like fever pitch. It's kind of mental, really.

Did you expect that after your time on the show last year?
Last year, I remember in New York, I'd be in a cafe and then I'd sort of hear someone talking about what had just happened in "Breaking Bad." And I'd be like, "Oh my God, this is so weird." ...

Are you glad to be in Scotland?
Yeah. I kind of feel like I've been sequestered here in case I get Tourette's syndrome and just like spill all the story lines, because people keep asking me like [they're] drug addicts, like, "Just give me something! Let me know what happens! I'll take anything." I'm so worried that I'll just go, "Well, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah" and give them everything. So I've kind of sequestered myself here in Scotland ... I've managed so far not to tell anyone, but I'm not a good secret keeper. It's a worry.

But today you're going to tell me everything right?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. What do you need to know? [Laughs.] I get in trouble too often doing the wrong thing. There's some really great stuff I'd love to tell you about but I can't. Sorry. It's very boring.

I don't think I actually want to hear it anyway.
I know. That's the thing. Nobody really wants it because it would ruin it; it would spoil it. Yeah.

Exactly. So we'll skip the "how's it all end" question. But you can tell me, are you happy how it all ends?
I love the way it all wraps up, she said vaguely, for Lydia. I couldn't have wished for a kind of more fitting ending, whatever that may be. The way it all wraps for her at the end of this final season, I love it. It kind of made me laugh. It kind of felt pristinely perfect for Lydia Rodarte-Quayle to kind of wrap it up the way she does.

She's kind of a contradiction, because she's so nervous and high strung, but she's in this business that makes no sense for that kind of personality to be in.
Yeah, I feel like she kind of vibrates at a very high-pitched frequency. She's a mass of contradictions. I feel like the last season that was on last summer, she kind of had fallen into it and was constantly kind of scraping the sides, trying to get back up and get out. And I kind of thought she would claw her way out, you know, hopefully without dying. But then this season it seems like she actually will continue to be there in meth land and continue to distribute, but by choice. It's like, "Yeah, you know what? I'm in this business now. Let's get this going, keep this moving." She seems to be there more by personal choice, even though she's desperately uncomfortable with it.

You think she's still desperately uncomfortable with it?
I do. But I think no matter what Lydia does she's desperately uncomfortable. You know, I just think she's not a happy bunny. Whatever she does it would be like fighting, you know, battling with it. She's just, I don't know, she can't seem to relax. It's awful for her.

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