I saw discussion of this over the weekend, but I didn’t get around to reading the story until today. I think this is a riot. On Saturday, they unveiled bronze statues of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Many of the cast, including Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul and creator Vince Gilligan, were there, along with the mayor and city officials. And the statues of the drug-producing duo will welcome visitors to the Albuquerque Convention Center for a long time to come.
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul had a mini Breaking Bad reunion when they attended the unveiling of bronze statues honoring their multi-layered characters from the iconic TV show.
Cranston and Paul were joined by Albuquerque, New Mexico Mayor Tim Keller, other local politicians as well as the AMC hit show’s creator Vince Gilligan for Friday’s unveiling of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman statues at the city’s convention center.
According to The Associated Press, no tax dollars were used to erect these statues. It was commissioned, the news agency reports, by Gilligan and Sony Pictures.
The show had a tremendous run from 2008 to 2013, spawning the hit prequel Better Call Saul. And it’s the success of those shows that prompted Keller to acknowledge the show for the positive economic impact it’s had in the area that now enjoys a thriving film industry.
There’s some discussion about the optics of casting a bronze likeness of two meth dealers in a state that struggles with drug addiction and homicides. Gilligan noted in his speech that they weren’t mocking those statistics but honoring the actors who brought such acclaim to the city. But two things to note, one is that Gilligan and Sony paid for the statue, not the taxpayers. The second is that Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul have brought so much to Albuquerque with production jobs and tourism, they felt it outweighed the implications. Rep Rod Montoya of Farmington, NM disagreed. He tried to rain on everyone’s parade by saying, “I’m glad New Mexico got the business, but really? We’re going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers?” But he sounds like a wet blanket, so he probably wasn’t invited to the BB party at the Convention Center. I don’t know. It’s pretty cool now, but it seems like something that’s going to have to be explained in a few years’ time. Maybe they’ll move the statue to the Smithsonian when people start forgetting who they are. Or, maybe they’ll start rewriting history and before long, these two will be the founders of Albuquerque and there will be entire oral histories of their epic adventures and how the traversed the state in a VW van bringing Biscochitos to every town on the first day of Summer.
Dean Norris, Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt were also there to celebrate their former castmates. Michael Mando, Patrick Fabian, and Rhea Seehorn from Better Call Saul were on hand to wish their mother show well. Giancarlo Esposito was not there, unfortunately. Has anyone else heard he is being considered for Professor X? Yes please.
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