Bronze statues of Breaking Bad characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman have been unveiled in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, who played White and Pinkman respectively, attended the unveiling of the statues at the Albuquerque Convention Centre on July 29. The statues themselves were sculpted by Trevor Grove.
Others in attendance include co-star Dean Norris, Better Call Saul actors Rhea Seehorn and Michael Mando, and show creator Vince Gilligan.
Speaking at the event, Cranston said: “We’re delighted, slightly embarrassed to have statues. There’s no preparation for saying you’re getting a statue. I’m just rather grateful that it’s indoors so that the pigeons won’t crap on our heads.”
The statues, which were commissioned in 2019 by the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, are designed to commemorate the hit Netflix series about a terminally ill teacher who becomes a meth dealer in order to financially support his family.
According to the Albuquerque government [via The Guardian], Gilligan and Sony Pictures Television donated the sculptures in the hope it would attract “busloads of tourists” to the city, which served as the setting for the series, as well as Better Call Saul and the spin-off film El Camino.
“Over the course of 15 years, two TV shows and one movie, Albuquerque has been wonderful to us,” said Gilligan.
However, the decision to honour two fictional drug dealers has been criticised by some, given the city has a notorious history of drug trafficking and a high rate of overdose deaths.
“They’re erecting statues in honour of characters who were meth dealers, addicts, and murderers in a city known for rampant meth addiction and drug problems,” wrote one person on Twitter. “Wtf is going on in the world.”
Another user tweeted: Amazing performances on an amazing show and I’m sure both the production dollars spent and tourist money brought in have been significant but still amusing to see such beloved, um, meth makers, get this tribute.that although the show had “amazing performances”, it was “still amusing to see such beloved, um, meth makers, get this tribute”.
Earlier this year, Paul revealed that he’d chosen Cranston to be the godfather of his newborn son.
After joking that Cranston rejected the offer, he said: “No, he’s very excited, very honoured. I love that man to death. He’s one of my best friends in the world so it was a no-brainer.”