Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul attended the Breaking Bad statue unveiling

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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.

[From ET]

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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10 Responses to “Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul attended the Breaking Bad statue unveiling”

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  1. FancyPants says:

    Awww I rewatched several episodes when AMC was playing a Breaking Bad marathon a few weekends ago, and maybe it hasn’t been enough time to officially “age well/poorly” but man it is still so good! I kinda thought the Skylar character was annoying the first time I watched it, but upon seeing it again, Anna Gunn really knocked the acting out of the park. I don’t personally see the statues as “honoring meth dealers”- if the show had been about anything else and brought the same attention and economic impact to the area, would they still be making the statues? I think they would, so that makes it about the actors, not the characters.

  2. Giddy says:

    I love Breaking Bad. Those statues certainly aren’t life sized…they look about 8 feet tall.

  3. Nick G says:

    In the Insider podcasts for both shows, Vince Gilligan seems like such a great guy. We live in times of strife so this could feel iffy, but it’s stories that make places great and mythical. I’m glad they did this for Albuquerque.

  4. HeyKay says:

    That beard needs to go!
    I don’t think a statue was needed but whatever.
    For Cranston and Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad is a career making show.
    They can and will go on to other roles but whenever I see either of them, BB comes to mind right away.
    Especially Aaron, his big breakout role was BB and he was so good in a cast full of more experienced actors.
    I think about re-watching it but it was so great, I want to keep it as I remember it.
    The ending was perfect.

  5. DeltaJuliet says:

    I absolutely loved BB and also BCS. Amazing television. It feels weird to me to put up statues of (fictitional) drug dealers but that’s my opinion.

  6. susan says:

    BB and BCS are huge achievements in TV entertainment. Walt and Jesse are iconic ABQ characters. Deadwood SD celebrated the TV series the same way, I don’t recall too many complaining that the town’s fame was based on a whorehouse whose proprietor couldn’t get a sentence out of his mouth that didn’t have at least one word ending in “uck”.

  7. bettyrose says:

    ABQ lobbied hard to have the show filmed there and it was great for their economy. I don’t see any conflict with statues honoring that. And the show did not for *one second* glamorize meth. I’ve always respected that about the show. Comparing it to a movie like Blow, for example, or even Narcos, where you see people living glamorous uber wealthy lives before it all falls apart. BB never ever glamorizes the life of the manufacturers, dealers, and definitely not the users.

  8. Bobbie says:

    Heisenberg forever! 🙂

  9. The Recluse says:

    Cranston also auctioned off a lot of memorabilia for charity at this event too.