Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched episode 6 of the third season of “Better Call Saul,” titled “Off Brand.”
She’s back! This third season of “Better Call Saul” has started to feel like a “Breaking Bad” reunion, as familiar faces have popped up from the original series that launched it all (including Saul Goodman, who makes his highly anticipated debut). So it was only a matter of time before a certain Stevia-loving sociopath made a comeback as well. She only got a few lines in her exchange with Giancarlo Esposito’s Gus Fring, but her return was noteworthy for what it may signify. “Well?” she asks him, as he inspects a large industrial property that’s for sale (for meth making, perhaps?). “It could work,” he replies. “OK then,” she says. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of the unforgettable Lydia Rodarte-Quayle.
Here, Laura Fraser tells Variety about getting the call to join “Better Call Saul,” stepping back into the role, and what’s in store for Lydia.
When did you find out the producers wanted you on the show?
I was on holiday in the Canary Islands in September, and it came through and I wasn’t on my phone for a week. And there was an email saying we’d like you back. It made the holiday even better. It was just one episode which we did in December for two lines with Gus.
What does it mean for you to be back?
It’s really surreal. I was over the moon when I first heard because I’ve been watching “Better Call Saul” and I love it. I think I like it more than “Breaking Bad.” And to be actually in it is beyond ridiculous. It’s probably going to ruin it for me. I don’t think I’m going to be able to watch it in the same way.
What do you think of this version of Lydia?
I’m finding it hard to do. I felt like so much of what she was was this fear and these nerves and it’s hard to let it go. I keep trying to bring it back in and it’s no, make her cool, make her fine. It’s hard for me. I was talking to Giancarlo (Esposito) about this. How do you not try to repeat something? He said he’s thrown it all away and just started afresh. It’s hard to do that, too. You feel like you’re just doing a s–t copy of yourself. And a lesser, less intense version. That’s my paranoia. Just a s–t version of Lydia.
Who is Lydia in this “Better Call Saul” timeline?
She’s still coping. She still thinks what’s she’s doing is going to lead to more power, more control. She’s not totally ethically, morally bankrupt yet. She’s going to get out with enough power, control and money that she can feel safe for the rest of her life. Because she was brought up in a group home so she’s always felt people have taken advantage of her. She’s been scared. Never been able to be in control of her own destiny. She thinks if she can get even power, enough control, enough money she’s going to be safe. At this point she thinks, I’m going to do this. I’m going to be all right.
How do you think fans will respond to seeing her again?
“Oh, no, not her again!” I don’t know. I think it’s always interesting and fun when people from something that you loved come back. It’s kinda cool. And it’s not for novelty’s sake. The storylines are so great. Hopefully it will almost go unnoticed that a couple of people are back. Because we’ll just slide in and be a part of the context.
Will we be seeing more of you?
We will see. I would like to come back for more, but I would also like not to, because then I could be very happy watching it and just bee an outsider again.