Laura Fraser Q&A: ‘Breaking Bad’
"I think it was time for [Lydia] to go," admitted Laura Fraser during our recent webcam chat (watch below) about the death of her "Breaking Bad" villain in the series finale. "I like that she tried to get in there first and kill Walter first. But I think it was just a case of one sociopath too many and she had to go. And she's gone, that's it."
Despite featuring on the series for two years, Fraser revealed that she did not meet series creator Vince Gilligan until the end of the show's run: "He told me that my character died, so it was kind of like meeting my maker."
While Fraser took on an adversarial role during Season 5, she didn't necessarily see Lydia as a full-fledged villain. "I like to think she was a little bit of both [hero and villain]. Very early on, before I really knew what she was like, there was a scene with her where I found her to be quite heroic. When she has the gun at her head [in 'Madrigal'] when Mike's about to shoot her and she doesn't beg and plead for her life, she just says, 'Okay, here's how I'm gonna die, but this is how I want it to be.' I mean, I would never have had the wherewithal to describe how someone should kill me and what they should do with me after I die. I would definitely be the panicking, screaming mess."
Fraser detailed being the newcomer to an already-established cast: "It was like joining this amazing party that's in full swing and you can't believe you got an invitation and then that you get through the door, that the doorman lets you in. But at the same time, I was frightened and I suppose a little bit self-conscious like you're the new kid in the class or something. But it was great actually to be nervous because I was able to use those nerves for Lydia, one of the most nervous people ever, and that was kind of handy."
Most of Fraser's scenes on the series were with male characters played by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Jonathan Banks, but she wishes she could have had more screen time with the "Breaking Bad" sisters Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt. "Everyone's brilliant in that show, but I love doing scenes with women and it would have been really interesting. I did have a little scene with Skyler. And I remember meeting Betsy on set at lunch one day and she said, 'We'll probably never work together but nice to meet you!' It was a fly-by. It was like, there goes Betsy, and I never saw her again until the following year."
The Scotland native also told us how she perfected her American accent, what it was like winning a SAG Award this year as part of the "Breaking Bad" ensemble cast, and her ideas for how Lydia could pop up on spin-off series "Better Call Saul" starring Bob Odenkirk. "I've got this whole story that… Saul is actually her sibling and their mother abandoned them and they spent a lot of time in a group home. And then they got involved in very dodgy dealings and she went the logistical way and he went the lawyer route, and then they fell out and it was this massive thing. But I don't know if Vince is gonna go for it, so we'll see."