The series finale of Better Call Saul went back to its roots with some special appearances of major players from Breaking Bad. Of course, that includes Bryan Cranston showing up for a flashback sequence, revealing a new scene with Walter White and Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). Flash forward to the current “Gene” timeline, and Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt) also returned with the widow hoping to see Saul face justice for what happened to her late husband, Hank (Dean Norris).
In a new interview with Variety, Brandt opened up on revisiting the role of Marie Schrader for Better Call Saul. She reveals that there had been some discussions about bringing in the character early on for a cameo, but showrunner Peter Gould told her that it wasn’t time yet. As time went on, Brandt wasn’t sure she’d ever appear in the spinoff, but when the call finally came, she couldn’t have been more thrilled.
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“Oh my God, it was an absolute pleasure. It wasn’t something that I thought I’d get to do. When you’re finished, you’re finished. That’s usually how it goes… It was like putting on your favorite sweater that you forgot how much you loved. I’ve missed her. I know she can be a real pain in the ass, but I’ve missed her, that purple-wearing, obsessed person. The way they brought her back, she’s grown up a lot since we saw her. I love the dignity that they gave her. It was everything I wanted for my character as an actor.”
Brandt went on to detail the hopes she had for Marie when she learned that she would be coming back in Better Call Saul. Because she had so very much loved Hank, Brandt thought it was important for Marie to continue on with her mission to do right by her late husband, saying that Hank was “in my heart” all throughout her time filming.
“I still wanted her to be the same person; you have to recognize her. Marie’s so tightly wound, and she still is, but she’s determined and she wants to do right by Hank. I always had this feeling that — I get emotional talking about this and I know it’s pretend, believe me, I get it — what kept her going after Hank died is that she wanted to make him proud, even after he’s gone. Dean Norris wasn’t in this episode, but Hank was in my heart all the days we were shooting. That is what really guides her. Not ‘What would Hank do?’ but ‘What would Hank think of what I’m doing?’ Their love story in the show is really beautiful, and it was wonderful to get to honor that.”
Betsy Brandt Wasn’t Wearing Purple
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In Breaking Bad, Marie was known for her obsession with the color purple. Because her scenes in Better Call Saul were in black and white, fans couldn’t tell for sure if she had purple on, though it was easy to imagine that she had been wearing the color. However, Brandt has cleared up that she wasn’t wearing purple for that scene and even offered a possible storyline explanation for why Marie is dressed differently by this point.
“No purple. I think it was green or gray, nothing even close to purple. That didn’t surprise me. I loved the last time we see Marie in Breaking Bad. She’s wearing all neutral tones, beige and white, after she experienced the trauma of losing Hank. She had to let go of a lot of her bullsh*t. It seems pointless after something like that. When I showed up for the costume fitting, our costume designer had the perfect clothes picked out. All the options were spot on, and I don’t think there was any purple in there.”
The end of Better Call Saul spells a grim future for Saul Goodman, though there’s still room for some interpretation with fans imagining what might happen next with the former lawyer and his ex-wife Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). As for Marie, Brandt has her own theories. Brandt believes that Marie probably hasn’t reached the point where she’s able to start seeing new people, still very much grieving Hank, but that she’ll nevertheless go on to have an otherwise great life.
“She keeps going. I think she’s going to live the life she knows Hank would want her to. I think that’s exactly what guides her. I can’t imagine what dating would be like for her, because she’ll compare everyone to Hank, and she’ll do that for a while. But I think she’ll live a long, happy, full life. I hope she and Skyler have some connection. It’ll never be the same, but I love that relationship. I love that they had that war-buddy connection. That was such a loss for my character when she realizes Skyler was in on this. I think that would be hard to forgive, but I hope they have some connection. And I hope she sees Walt Jr. and little baby Holly.”
There are no plans as of now for any more stories to be told in the Breaking Bad universe, so odds are we have seen the last of Marie Schrader.