ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WTVO) — The town that played a supporting role in the gritty crime drama “Breaking Bad” now has statutes to commemorate the hit show.
Bronze statues of fictitious methamphetamine cooks Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were unveiled at a convention center in the New Mexico town, according to SFGate. The show, along with prequel “Better Call Saul,” has been lauded for helping to fuel a renaissance in filmmaking across the state.
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, who played White and Pinkman on the show respectively, joined series creator Vince Gilligan and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller to help unveil the artwork. While the show is a work of fiction, it is known for hitting on the city’s real life struggle with crime and drug addiction.
Gilligan said that he knows the statues will not be universally praised in the state for this reason.
“In all seriousness, no doubt some folks are going to say, ‘Wow, just what our city needed.’ And I get that,” Gillian said. “I see two of the finest actors America has ever produced. I see them, in character, as two larger-than-life tragic figures, cautionary tales.”
The critically acclaimed drama follows the life of White, a high-school science teacher diagnosed with cancer who starts cooking meth to pay for medical bills, and Pinkman, a former student and meth cook in the city, as the rise through the ranks of the business.
Keller praised the show and the positive economic impact it has had to Albuquerque.
“While the stories might be fictional … jobs are real every single day,” Keller said. “The city is also a character. … We see ourselves in so many ways, good and bad.”
On the other hand, Republican State Representative Rod Montoya said that it would bring the wrong kind of attention to New Mexico.
“I’m glad New Mexico got the business, but really?” Montoya said. “We’re going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers?”