When Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul showed up for the presentation of bronze statues honouring their complex characters from the legendary TV series, it was like a mini-Breaking Bad reunion.
At the unveiling of the Walter White and Jesse Pinkman statues on Friday at the city’s convention centre, Cranston and Paul were joined by Mayor Tim Keller of Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as other local officials and Vince Gilligan, the creator of the popular AMC television series.
The Associated Press reports that no government money was used to create these sculptures. According to the news source, Sony Pictures and Gilligan ordered it.
From 2008 through 2013, the show had a fantastic run, giving rise to the popular prequel Better Call Saul. And it is due to the popularity of such shows that Keller felt compelled to recognise the show’s contribution to the region’s growing film industry.
The stories could be made up, but jobs exist every day, according to Keller. “The city itself plays a role. We have so many positive and negative perceptions of ourselves.”
Paul’s character is his former student who has transitioned into a cook and dealer of crystal meth, while Cranston plays a chemist turned drug lord. Those present at the reveal were aware of how the plot of the show is based on a very real issue affecting New Mexico, where there have reportedly been more than 43,000 overdose-related deaths in the previous three decades.
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“In all seriousness, there will undoubtedly be some people who will comment, “Wow, just what our city needed.” I get that “said Gilligan. “I recognise two of America’s best actors ever. I think of them as two sad, larger-than-life figures who serve as examples for others.”
However, not everyone loved the statues. Despite being a fan of the stars, Republican state Rep. Rod Montoya told The Associated Press that he believes the monuments will attract the wrong type of attention.
I’m happy for New Mexico that they won the contract, but really,” he replied. “We’re literally heading down the path of glorifying meth producers?”