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Laura Fraser Felt Pressure Trying To Fit In With The Cast Of Breaking Bad

As just about everyone knows by now, "Breaking Bad" follows the rise and fall of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), the high school chemistry teacher who, after finding out he has cancer, starts cooking meth in order to provide for his family. But Walt is just one of the major players of the drama narrative — there's also Walt's former student turned partner-in-crime Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), as well as Walt's wife Skylar (Anna Gunn) who becomes resentful of him after finding out about his drug exploits. Then, of course, there are the antagonists of the show — Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) is likely first to come to mind for most fans of the show.

But Gus doesn't work on his own; he has quite a few allies, many of whom also play vital roles in Walt's story. One of these allies is Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, played by Laura Fraser, an executive of Madrigal Electromotive who, among other things, uses her resources at the company to help Gus launder money and provide chemicals for the superlab. She also has one of the most memorable and satisfying deaths of the show: Walt sneaks ricin into the stevia that he knows Lydia — a neurotic creature of habit — will put into her hot water.

Lydia certainly proved to be a memorable arc for viewers, but what was the experience like for Fraser in bringing Lydia to life? As it turns out, Fraser felt a bit of pressure to fit in with her co-stars — here's what the actress has to say about her time on the hit series.

Fraser sometimes got distracted by how much she admired her cast members

In a 2013 interview with The Scotsman, Laura Fraser discussed her time on "Breaking Bad" in detail — after all, it was the same year that the acclaimed drama came to an end. One of the things that interviewer Claire Black wanted to know was if playing such a stressed-out character like Lydia made Fraser stressed out herself. Fraser admitted that she did feel the effects of playing such a high-strung character.

Fraser explained, "At the end of the day my body would feel in bits because I'd been holding it really tight." The actress then went on to explain that a part of the stress she was feeling had to do with the circumstance she found herself in. She continued, "Combined with that there was the pressure of trying to fit into the 'Breaking Bad' family. All of the cast and crew are absolutely at the top of their game and it was such an opportunity so sometimes I really felt the pressure. My husband kept reminding me to enjoy it because I might not get to play a character as brilliant as her again."

All in all, though, Fraser found that there was a lot of fun in playing Lydia, who was a deeply complex and mysterious character. "She's always in fight or flight mode," Fraser said. "It means there's always something to play with her – she's never got a normal scene where she's having a cup of tea or eating her breakfast ... Lydia vibrates at this high-pitched frequency, there is always nervous intensity."

Fraser took inspiration from two big-name actors to play Lydia

In a 2012 interview with Vulture, Fraser discussed landing the role of Lydia and what tactics she uses to portray the very specific nature of the character. During the conversation, interviewer Mina Hochberg brought up the fact that Lydia's nervous energy is even more heightened when she has scenes with Mike, who is a very calm and stoic character; Hochberg wondered if Fraser was channeling a person or another character when playing Lydia.

Firstly, Fraser described a technique that she uses: a specific type of breathing. The actress explained, "When I play Lydia, I was consciously trying to breathe from my upper body. No diaphragm breathing at all. Just chest breathing. Very light, fast breathing. I kind of felt lightheaded at the end of the day, and I kind of got a sour stomach sometimes because feeling that nervous energy constantly throughout the day, it kind of hurts a little bit."

With the breathing technique locked in, Fraser was then inspired by two big-name actors. "I watched people like Jodie Foster and Tilda Swinton, roles where they're kind of cornered and frightened, but they have a sort of dark, strong energy at the same time," she continued.

If you want to check out how Fraser channeled Foster and Swinton in her portrayal of Lydia, "Breaking Bad" is currently streaming on Netflix.