'Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt Talks Season 4

By John Neal,

Betsy Brandt plays Marie Schrader on AMC's hit series "Breaking Bad." She spoke with TheCelebrityCafe.com's John Neal about season four, the complexities of her character, and why she can't wear the color purple.

TheCelebrityCafe: Congratulations on season three, which was awesome. And congratulations on getting picked up for season four. That has to be pretty good news.

Betsy Brandt: Thank you. I've got a good feeling about season four. After shooting season three I think the next will be another fantastic season. It's a weird business so you never know.

TCC: Right, it's like you have some of these hits shows that come out and all of a sudden it's "What? You're getting cancelled?"

BB: I always say I don't count my chickens until I'm growing them. There's nothing premature.

TCC: When do you start production on season four?

BB: Not until January.

TCC: Wow, so you've got a good long break.

BB: This will be our longest stretch. I'm hoping it will go by before we know it. We're seeing quite a bit of each other right now because of the television critics' functions and things, and there are parties and getting together.

TCC: With such a long stretch will it be hard to get back into character, or do you have her down pat?

BB: I wouldn't describe myself as having anything down pat but I think the world is so clear I can't help but get right back into it, and I feel pretty comfortable in knowing Marie and knowing who she is. And I really love her and I really love getting to play her. So I'm so happy to get to back to play her.

TCC: She looks like a lot of fun.

BB: It is fun. She's fun. It's a lot of fun.

TCC: Any idea what could happen to her next season? We left off with her trying to get her husband back on his feet.

BB: Right, any way that she can. We don't really know yet the situation with Hank but he's badly injured. We're not even sure if he will be able to have a full recovery. She's going to be dealing with that, and she's going to be dealing with whatever is going on between Walt and Skyler. Right now we think it's the gambling thing, which is a huge thing. I think there will be more issues with them coming down the pike. She's got her own stuff, too, her own issues, so I'm sure those can pop up when she's stressed out.

TCC: She seems determined to get Hank back up and running while he seems resigned to his condition. What's her motivation?

BB: Number one, I think she loves him like crazy and feels that if he doesn't get back up on his feet and able to do the job that he loves that it will kill his spirit. I think she can't stand to see that happen to him. Also, and I think this could be borderline delusional, I think that's just the answer she wants. He can't walk. I'm sorry—just no. There just has to be a way.

TCC: She's unintentionally gotten Walt into compromising situations, like suggesting that he's got another cell phone and getting him to appear on the news. Do you think she could be Walt's downfall, albeit unintentionally?

BB: She could, but it would have to be unintentional. She may be one of the more complicated family members but she is very devoted to her family. She would be in a real rock and a hard place if she found out about Walt's activities before Hank because of what Hank does for a living. She would never throw Walt under the bus, not intentionally.

TCC: Is there anything about Marie that you can relate?

BB: There are some things about her that I can't relate to, but there is a lot that I can. She's a different character, but my intention with her is to keep her very realistic and also in this show. She's devoted to her family and she doesn't give up. I can absolutely relate to the situation she's in now. There's something she wants so badly she just can't accept that it might not happen, that Hank might not walk again. She has a clear idea on what's right and just and fair, and I can completely relate to that.

TCC: You've got a lengthy break before "Breaking Bad" resumes production. What are you going to do during all this time?

BB: I did a new play by ["Big Love" writer] Julia Cho called "The Language Archive." I like to do theater but I have two small kids and I'm working on "Breaking Bad" so I don't get to do much of it anymore. So I did that for a few months which was fantastic. And I just finished guest starring on Maura Tierney's new show, guest starring on their pilot episode of "The Whole Truth." I think it will be pretty fantastic. And then I'm going out for a few days to do a movie in New York right after the Emmys. I'd love to get a great film in—a somewhat meaty role—before we go back to New Mexico.

TCC: With two children, how do you balance family and work on a hit TV show?

BB: It gets a little busy. I don't have a role like Bryan [Cranston], so I'm not on the set all the time. I think I just go to the gym a lot less [laughs]. If I'm not working I'm totally into my kids. And when I am working we have some really fantastic people who help us. But I get to spend so much time with them that's actually easier when I am gone and working. When I have to get to work early in the morning and don't home late at night for one or two days, that's really hard.

TCC: Purple. Can you wear purple when you're not working?

BB: [laughs] No, no, no. I do not. I cannot. I will not. I've got nothing against purple, and I think purple is a color that looks good on me and is flattering on a lot of people, but I just can't. I love it about Marie though. We all started in the pilot with a color and Kathleen Detoro, our costume designer, said one of our first superpowers is color. And I said that I think the way this character is, everything should be purple. I think there is very little that she does is half assed. So our house is purple. The poor people—they're really great—whose home we use for Hank and Marie's house in Albuquerque have to live with a purple wall. She's been into purple before we met her in this show, and she'll be into purple when it's all over. I'm sure she'll be buried in it, all laid out in purple, probably a sparkly ensemble. I'm only mad we don't have a purple car, and when I see a purple car in L.A., I think I know that person.


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