- Better Call Saul -Julie Ann Emery On The Return Of The Kettlemans
The phrase "the more things change, the more things stay the same" is fitting for the Kettlemans in the Breaking Bad universe. The Season 1 Better Call Saul characters, played by Julie Ann Emery and Jeremy Shamos (Betsy and Craig Kettleman), have made their return to Better Call Saul just in time for the final season. And despite the years that have gone by, and the prison sentences served, the crooked duo are still doing what they do best: scheming.
We spoke to Emery about her return to Better Call Saul after so many years to hear about Betsy's return, how (and if) her character has changed, and if we can expect the Kettlemans to pop up one final time before the series comes to an end. Here's what she had to say (in a very Betsy-esque way).
The Dipp: In Better Call Saul Season 6, the Kettlemans are back to scheming... back to ripping off people with Sweet Liberty.
Julie Ann Emery: That's Betsy, right?... In her mind, everything she's doing is for her family ... In the Sweet Liberty Tax Services offices, there is an accountant certificate for Craig and one for Betsy, and Kim looks at them when she first comes in... She's clearly smart and has her own degree and [is] the brains behind everything, and yet Craig is the one who they put forward to be county treasurer. [Betsy's] pulling the strings, but she's not seeking the external glory in a weird way ... She doesn't seem to have a desire for public glory necessarily, aside from at her husband's side.
The Dipp: She's definitely the one pulling the strings, although when Saul comes to them, Betsy's like, "Absolutely not, he's a crook," but then they discuss it.
Emery: This is going to sound crass, but Craig kind of grew a pair in prison, right? He's still like, "Yes honey, yes honey," but he's gotten a little more assertive in prison.
The Dipp: I didn't know if it was that or if it just shows how desperate Betsy is to get her life back.
Emery: I think it's both... In the past, he would never have dared to say, "Come on honey, let's do this." But also, if she wasn't desperate, she would've just said, "Absolutely not. Go drink your chocolate milk."
The Dipp: I took the end line of Saul saying, "wolves and sheep" to mean Kim being a wolf, but Betsy's also a little bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing. Do you see her that way?
Emery: She's definitely a wolf fronting as a sheep... At the heart of her, Betsy really sees what she's doing as for the good of her family, and she's very single-focused that way. I really don't think she can see anything outside of that.
The Dipp: Are you, as Julie, more of the Saul approach, where he kind of pities the Kettlemans? You've also got Kim, who thinks they deserve it. Do you think they deserve anything bad that comes their way, or do you feel bad for them?
Emery: I'm of two minds about it. As an actress, I think the most interesting thing to play is both sides of that coin. If we've done anything successfully, I hope we've done a little bit of that — that we've been like, "Oh my God, these people are horrible... and I feel bad for them." That's so much more interesting than just, "Oh my God, these people are horrible."
The Dipp: Do you think Betsy will learn anything from Kim's last threat—
Emery: Oh, Betsy doesn't learn things. Betsy only teaches. She doesn't learn. No.
The Dipp: Is this officially the end of the Kettlemans? Is there a chance we could see them one last time in the final season?
Emery: Well, the only thing I'm giving away is that shooting for Season 6 has wrapped. So I would never spoil anything on either side of that for the Better Call Saul universe. I love the show so much, as a fan, and love the little surprises that pop up.
The Dipp: Do you know what's going to happen?
Emery: If I did, I would have to send Betsy to punish you. Yes. I would say kill you, which I do think she's probably capable of, but, you know...
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Original reporting done by Caitlin Gallagher.
Photo credit: Ryan West Photo, AMC