Gold Derby Emmy MVP: Betsy Brandt is underrated heroine of ‘Breaking Bad’

“The only bad thing about being on ‘Breaking Bad‘ is, what do I do after?” wondered Betsy Brandt in April at the TV Academy during a cast reunion in front of Emmy voters. “That’s a champagne problem to have. When you first are done with a show like this, the next few scripts you look at, you’re like, I can’t do that. Oh, come on, seriously? I was on ‘Breaking Bad’!”

As the unsung heroine of the final season of “Breaking Bad,” Brandt reached a career high that even she wonders if she’ll ever see again. Here’s hoping her enthusiasm for the show translates to Emmy voters, because it’s her very last chance to be nominated as the neurotic, emotional, purple-loving kleptomaniac Marie Schrader.

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A whopping six actors have been nominated at the Emmys for their work on “Breaking Bad” — three-time winner Bryan Cranston, two-time champ Aaron Paul, last year’s victor Anna Gunn, supporting nominees Jonathan Banks and Giancarlo Esposito, and guest contender Mark Margolis — but so far, Brandt hasn’t earned an early morning Emmy wake-up call of her own.

Throughout the first five years of the reigning Emmy-winning Best Drama Series, Brandt often came across as a disposable character, easily forgettable due to the fact that she was left in the dark for so long about what was going on all around her.

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If the Emmys are truly about rewarding the best TV performances of the year, it’s no surprise that Brandt has been snubbed up until now. But that could all change this year thanks to her increased role and commanding on-screen presence in the show’s final eight episodes.

Early in the season, Marie found out the truth about Walter’s meth business and reacted by telling him to kill himself. Later, she became a great catalyst for drama as she forced her sister Skyler (Anna Gunn) to tell the truth to her son Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte). And at the end of the show’s run, Marie dealt with the emotional death of her on-screen husband Hank (Dean Norris).

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According to Gold Derby’s exclusive odds, the top six contenders to receive a nomination as Drama Supporting Actress are Gunn with odds of 19/10, Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey“) at 4/1, Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife“) at 13/2, Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones“) at 12/1, Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men“) at 14/1 and Michelle Monaghan (“True Detective“) with 16/1 odds.

Can Brandt break through this crowded category to receive her first nomination for the final season of “Breaking Bad”? Let’s consider the factors working for and against this Gold Derby Emmy MVP.


Reigning Best Drama Series champ “Breaking Bad” is arguably the hottest show of this Emmy season, giving the show and its stars an automatic edge against the competition.

Six cast members from the show have been nominated already, with three taking home trophies.

The “Breaking Bad” writers increased Brandt’s role for the final season, and she rose to the occasion with every twist and turn thrown Marie’s way.

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While not impossible, it is quite rare for a performer to be nominated for an Emmy so late in a show’s lifespan.

“Breaking Bad” ended way back in September 2013, meaning Brandt’s performance could be out of sight, out of mind when it comes to Emmy voters’ memories.

If voters relate to Cranston’s Walter, they could see Brandt’s Marie as an annoying foe getting in the way of their favorite character’s actions and punish her with yet another Emmy snub.

The fact that she starred in comedy flop “The Michael J. Fox Show” immediately following the show’s run could hurt her chances.

Vote below for Drama Supporting Actress using our easy drag-and-drop menu, then sound off in the comments section below.

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