“Breaking Bad” fans have a new cause to celebrate, namely two life-sized statues of the show’s unscrupulous protagonists.
Bronze statues of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, as portrayed by actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, will be unveiled at the Albuquerque Convention Center on July 29, Sony Pictures Television said in a statement.
Fans are well aware that “Breaking Bad” and its “Better Call Saul” prequel spinoff, as well as the 2019 Netflix movie “El Camino,” were filmed entirely in New Mexico. Showrunner Vince Gilligan said his fondness for the city spurred him to “return the favor.”
“Over the course of fifteen years, two TV shows and one movie, Albuquerque has been wonderful to us,” Gilligan said in the statement.
“These larger-than-life bronzes of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman exist thanks to the generosity of Sony Pictures Television and the artistry of sculptor Trevor Grove, and I love them,” Gilligan continued. “It makes me happy to picture them gracing The Duke City for decades to come, attracting busloads of tourists.”
Grove’s statues were cast in bronze by the American Fine Arts Foundry and were donated to the city by Gilligan and Sony, which distributed “Breaking Bad.” They’re set to be unveiled at a ceremony featuring Cranston, Paul, Gilligan and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.
“We are thrilled and humbled to be getting bronze statues of our characters from Breaking Bad permanently placed at the Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque,” Cranston and Paul said in a joint statement. “This city has meant so much to us over the years, and we want to thank everyone in ABQ, for not only being great hosts through our show and Better Call Saul but being an important character in the storytelling as well.”
While statues celebrating meth dealers might seem questionable, “Breaking Bad” has majorly driven Albuquerque tourism, with excursions of recognizable locations and show-centric events regularly offered. The mayor said the show played an “unmistakable role in our city’s meteoric rise.”
Never afraid of keeping things light, Cranston and Paul thanked the city for placing the statues indoors to protect their likenesses “from pigeons depositing their critiques on our heads.”