Before you ask: Yes, Betsy Brandt is keenly aware of how lucky she is.
"I must have done something good in a past life to be blessed with this kind of material twice," she says of the remarkable TV two-fer she's about to pull off. Not only is Brandt back as Hank's loyal wife Marie Schrader for the final eight episodes of AMC's riveting "Breaking Bad," she's also set to play Michael J. Fox's better half on his highly anticipated new NBC sitcom "The Michael J. Fox Show," debuting this fall.
Not that she doesn't deserve every bit of it: Marie's chipper comic relief has been a welcome antidote to "Breaking Bad's" grimmer moments for five seasons now, and we can't wait to see how she'll react when she finds out what her mild-mannered brother-in-law Walt has been up to all these years. (Not to mention that her sister Skyler has been hiding an entire meth-trade enterprise from her.) It's enough to drive a woman to shoplift.
Brandt sat down with Yahoo! TV recently to chat about how Marie figures into the final chapters of "Breaking Bad," when she stopped siding with Walter White as a viewer, and the physical feat Michael J. Fox pulled off that blew her mind.
On saying goodbye to "Breaking Bad's" Marie:
"I'm a big fan of [the show], too, even though I'm on it. I'm a crazy fan. Sometimes I read the scripts and I'm like, 'Noooo!' Once it finishes airing, that'll be a whole new level of mourning for me. I do miss [Marie]. Her good qualities, and her not-so-good qualities. I miss them all."
On her last day shooting "Breaking Bad":
"It was kind of surreal. I didn't sob or anything like that. [Creator] Vince [Gilligan] came up and hugged me, and he gives very polite hugs, and I said, 'Godammit, it's my last day on the show! I want you to just hug the s--- out of me! Just squeeze me like you're trying to hurt me!' And then I went and had Champagne in the hair and makeup room."
On how the unraveling of Walt's secret life might affect Marie's relationship with Skyler:
"The fact that [Skyler] has been keeping it from [Marie] is definitely huge, but I think if Marie found out everything she's been doing… family is really important, but it's in opposition to Hank. Those are the two most important people in her life: her husband and her sister. When she said, 'Till death do us part,' she meant it. And she's not planning on him dying anytime soon. Not if she can help it."
Get caught up on "Breaking Bad" with this recap of all five seasons:
On the insanely detailed "Breaking Bad" universe:
"Nothing just goes away on this show. They have a plan for everything. It's kind of freaky. Vince and [co-star] Dean [Norris] and I were doing an interview, and I said to Vince, 'When did you think of the whole Madrigal food empire thing?' And he said, 'Well, if you look back in Season 3, the ad says in the corner…' And I'm like, 'You freak! You crazy, sick, smart, wild man!' That is the genius that is Vince Gilligan."
On losing all sympathy for Walter White:
"I don't feel the same about him any more as a viewer. Once he poisoned that kid, I was like, 'That is a bridge too far.' Before, I was like, 'He had to kill those people! He didn't want to cook meth! He just needed the money!' I made excuses for him. And I would still find myself cheering for him, but then I would be like, 'No.' But I don't want anything bad to happen to him at the end. So I guess I am still on his side."
On her new role as Michael J. Fox's sitcom wife:
"It's a whole new thing. It's so fun for me to do something new. I'm learning a lot. He's hilarious. It's a really funny cast. I have ruined more than one take where I'm just trying not to laugh. I'm surprised they didn't have to stop for me during the table read. I told Mike afterwards, 'I'm not in that scene, but I might want to come just to watch you shoot it.'"
See Betsy Brandt as Fox's wife Annie in this trailer for NBC's "The Michael J. Fox Show":
On the show using Fox's Parkinson's disease as a source of humor:
"That's how Mike and his family are. They're not like [tilts head], 'He has Parkinson's.' They're like [matter-of-factly], 'He has Parkinson's.' Whenever people ask me about him, they kind of cock their head to one side and say, 'How's he doing?' He's great. Parkinson's is awful. It's just a crap disease. But Mike has said, 'There have been so many great things in my life, Parkinson's can't take that away.' You should see him on ice skates. He's amazing. He's like, 'I skate better than I walk.' And he does! He's phenomenal. It's that Canadian blood."
The final eight episodes of "Breaking Bad" premiere Sunday, 8/11 at 9 PM on AMC. "The Michael J. Fox Show" premieres Thursday, 9/26 at 9:30 PM on NBC.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Marie Schrader
- Betsy Brandt