Breaking Bad statues illuminate actors in Albuquerque

Bronze statues of mythical methamphetamine stoves Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were installed at a convention center in Albuquerque on Friday to celebrate the Breaking Bad TV series and its entertainment legacy, won applause in a city that plays its own intrepid support.

Ocal politicians, including Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller, joined Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and director Vince Gilligan to help unveil the artwork sponsored by Gilligan and Sony Pictures .

The 2008-2013 show and ongoing Better Call Saul prequel helped fuel a filmmaking renaissance across New Mexico, while cutting close to Albuquerque’s real-life struggles with drug addiction and criminal.

Gilligan said he realized that statues of “two fictional, notorious drug dealers” would not be widely loved in New Mexico.


Statue of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (Chancey Bush / Albuquerque Magazine via AP)

“Seriously, some people are sure to say, ‘Well, what does our city need,’ and I get it,” Gilligan said.

“I saw two of the best actors America has ever produced. I see them, in character, as two larger-than-life tragic figures, wary stories.”

Still a Netflix fixture, AMC’s Breaking Bad follows the fictional underworld trajectory of a high school science teacher, played by Cranston, and a former student played by Paul, as they co-produce. drug production and distribution in the context of violent and dramatic plots.

The show and its main characters have been emblazoned on T-shirts and airport merchandise, while tour guides in Albuquerque shepherd fans visit former filming locations in a replica of RVs from the program that doubles as a meth lab.

New Mexico has long struggled to combat addiction numbers, with more than 43,000 deaths linked to alcohol and drug overdoses over the past three decades.

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Albuquerque is also currently facing a string of record-setting murders.


Aaron Paul, left, and Bryan Cranston, view the statues (Chancey Bush / Albuquerque Magazine via AP)

The spike in drug use and fentanyl deaths has surpassed heroin and prescription opioids as the leading causes of drug overdose deaths statewide in 2020.

Keller heralded the positive economic impact of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul on Albuquerque, noting the dollar and rejoicing as it brought the city.

“Although the stories may be fictional, the deeds are real every day,” Keller said.

“The city is also a character. We see ourselves in so many ways, good and bad.”

Republican Representative Rod Montoya said he admires Cranston as an actor but the statues don’t get attention the right way.

“I’m glad New Mexico got the business, but really?” Montoya said. “Are we walking down the path of literally honoring meth makers?”


Aaron Paul greets fans (Chancey Bush / Albuquerque Magazine via AP)

He also questioned the logic of the tribute after Albuquerque in June 2020 removed a statue of the Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate.

Protesters tried to topple that bronze artwork to denounce Onate’s brutal treatment of Native Americans some 500 years ago.

A fight broke out at the rally that resulted in a shooting that left one man injured.

New Mexico politicians, including Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, have pinned their hopes on the film industry to boost economic opportunity in a state with the highest unemployment rate in the country.

New Mexico’s film and television industries recently hit a new high in production, with spending in the state setting a record for the fiscal year ending June. Recent video projects attracted to the state include Netflix’s Stranger Things series.

New Mexico offers a 25% to 35% discount on in-state spending on video production, helping filmmakers big and small do their jobs. Breaking Bad statues illuminate actors in Albuquerque

Fry Electronics Team

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