Betsy Brandt on Hand Jobs and Twitter Rants

'Go big or go home – when Marie does a hand job, it's two-handed,' says the 'Breaking Bad' actress

Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader on 'Breaking Bad.'
Ursula Coyote/AMC
Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader on 'Breaking Bad.'
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In anticipation of the Breaking Bad series finale on Sunday, September 29th, Rolling Stone will publish an exclusive interview with a new cast member every day, Monday through Friday. Yesterday, Giancarlo Espositio told us he wants to see Walt's head on a pike. Tomorrow, Jesse Plemons explains why Todd might be the most evil character on the show.

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Let's talk about the two married couples on the show. It seems like Marie and Hank have a better sex life than Skyler and Walt do.
Oh, are you kidding me? I think they have a better sex life than most people in their neighborhood, if not New Mexico.

There are interesting parallels and contrasts between the two marriages, especially in the realm of sex.
Let 'er rip! Ask me anything, you dirty perv.

There's a big difference between the hand job Marie gives Hank and the one Skyler gives Walt.
We were taking some photos in the desert – it was supposed to be the two couples on vacation. And I said to Dean Norris, "So, we're drunk, right? Because we're that couple – the loud, obnoxious couple on vacation." That hand job scene, when Hank is in the hospital, is charming and sweet. She's just like, "We're getting you out of the hospital." And she uses two hands! Go big or go home – when Marie does a hand job, it's a two-handed hand job. In that moment, I loved her.

Did your parents see it?
No. I said, "There's a moment with Hank and Marie in the hospital, when you may want to go to the kitchen for a snack."

As with many other characters on the show, there are plenty of people who don't like Marie.
What do you mean?

What do people say when they recognize you?
People are always nice in person. Much nicer than they are on Twitter.

I can imagine people tweeting "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" to you, which is what Skyler yells at Marie in season five.
I get that tweeted a lot. And I get tweeted "Jesus Christ, Marie" on a daily basis. I have thousands of really nice followers, a few marriage proposals, and a few fuck you's.

Which mean more to you?
The fuck you's are from people who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. I suppose the marriage propsoals are, too. Wait, they're not really proposing? Because I'm making wedding plans!

What is it that people find annoying about Marie? Do you understand it?
Listen, I get it. In the first season, I said to Vince, "You can't have a family where everyone's wonderful, because that's just not real." I said, "I'm happy to play the pain in the ass." She's not a bad person; she's a difficult person. She needles Skyler, in passive-aggressive ways.

And I miss her! [Laughs] She's complex; difficult, a pain in the ass and so narcissistic. And then she will be the most considerate, selfless person, and the voice of reason.

What does it say about humanity that so many Breaking Bad viewers are rooting for an evil prick?
I don't know if I want to know. A happy ending for this show left the station in season two, if not season one. They're not going to all ride off into the sunset together. I hold out hope that the good side of Walt will come back, before he doesn't have any time left to get it right. And I don't feel good for that happening.

It's funny that so many people are annoyed by Marie, yet they love Walt.
As a viewer, I rooted for Walt much longer than I should have. He poisoned that kid, but then I'd still catch myself hoping he'd survive. Once he offed Mike, that changed things for me. I told Jonathan Banks, "Thank God they didn't put Mike in a barrel, because I don't think I could stand watching that."

Mike, Walt, Gus, Hank and even Skyler have things they're really good at. It doesn't seem like Marie does.
[Laughs] Well, she got busted stealing, so she's not great at that. I think she's a really great wife. When Hank was bedridden, she never lost it with him. I think she would do anything for Hank or Skyler or those kids or Walt, until she found out he was Heisenberg.

And she's not a bitch. That makes it difficult, because you can't totally hate her. I remember once saying to Vince, "The thing about Marie is that she shows up. Whether you want her there or not, she shows up. You can count on her, even when you don't want her around." [Laughs] That's family.

I always liked the idea that she's really overdressed for work. Patients are sick and getting chemo, and she looks like she's going to a disco, with high heels on. She acts like a teenage girl. As the show winds down, we see a side of her that we saw bits of before, but never like this. I've been with the show for six years, and honestly, in these last eight episodes, I didn't see any of it coming.

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