Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser Channels Her ‘Inner Hate’ To Play Lydia Rodarke-Quayle
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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Breaking Bad feels like it’s everywhere. The show, which has gained traction and fans with every passing episode, concludes Sunday night with a finale that has left people guessing, and a final season that has left people gasping for air.
“It feels amazing doesn’t it?,” Laura Fraser said on Friday morning. Fraser plays the complicated, neurotic, and pretty evil Lydia Rodarke Quayle on the show. A character who could have come and gone in a few episodes, or gone the distance like it has.
It feels like one of those shows that could define a career. So much so that there could be confusion as to where Laura ends and Lydia begins.
“One time when this guy visited the set, and he was quite fanatical. And he found that I was maybe 60% Lydia,” Fraser said. “But other than that, people who have come up to me have been quite clear. You’re an actor, and you’re on Breaking Bad, and that is cool. Luckily I haven’t had that kind of confusion, which could be pretty scary, because I imagine they wouldn’t like me if it was me that they thought was Lydia.”
If you haven’t seen any of Fraser’s other work, you’ll be surprised when you hear her. She’s got a noticeable Scottish accent, that she hides very well in Breaking Bad. She also laughs a lot, which as far as I can remember, we’ve never seen Lydia do.
“There are a lot of wonky moral compasses on the show, but I mean to Lydia, to top it all, is extremely self-righteous and irritating as well, and that’s just unforgivable [she was laughing]. On top of everything else, she takes herself far too seriously,” Fraser said.
So how does a person, who sounds pleasant and happy, play someone so, well, quite the opposite?
“I know that I am capable of hideous feats, and I know I’ve been aware of horrible thoughts that have crossed my mind, and as Laura I would never carry these thoughts out, but I’m aware that on the inside of human beings that we have the potential for incredible, disgusting, hideous behavior. And hopefully, we’d never act on it, but some people do,” she said. “So I take all my anger, and all my hate, and my hideous secret thoughts and bundle them up and there’s Lydia.”
The viewers don’t know much about Lydia’s past. Laura on the other hand, had to create that past to play Lydia’s present.
“I do feel that Lydia was brought up in a group home, and had a very unhappy and uncertain childhood and was abandoned as a kid, and that was the start of her loneliness and alienation and one reason why she is who she is,” she said. “It’s hysterical that she wants absolute purity in something she’s digesting [like her choice in zero calorie sweeteners], and yet she can order a massacre.”
That brings us to Sunday’s finale. There are theories everywhere about who will die, who will live, and how it all happens. It’s a secret that they’ve kept pretty well under wraps.
“I have already seuqestedred over here in Scotland, because I’m worried that I’ll accidentally give full disclosure, like, Tourette’s style, and just [sound of blurting things out] and ruin it for everybody,” she said. “Because traditionally I’m not a good secret keeper. I’m pretty awful at it actually, I’m sort of hopeless. That’s why I was worried doing press, because I didn’t know how I’d do it without talking about it. I’m really excited for people to see the ending, because I think it’s really cool. I feel very grateful just to be part of it all. to be part of it is so surreal. It’s a little sad for me, that it’s over. But for the people who were on it for years, because it’s intensely sad. I feel bad for them, because it’s like a family.”
The Breaking Bad finale airs on Sunday at 9pm on AMC.