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There’s Nothing Purer Than the Joy on Bryan Cranston’s Face While Looking at His ‘Breaking Bad’ Statue. NOTHING

Just replace every confederate general and Columbus statue with these babies.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in Albuquerque New Mexico posing with statues of themselves

We are down to the last few episodes of Better Call Saul, with its latest episode giving homage to the show that started it all in its title: Breaking Bad. But the spinoff isn’t the only one that’s been honoring AMC’s iconic series. The show’s setting and hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has also recently decided to cement the legacy of TV’s legendary and infamous methamphetamine peddlers. 

The bronze statues were unveiled inside the Albuquerque Convention Center and depict Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman standing side-by-side, with Walter holding his signature hat and signifying his ruthless Heisenberg persona. Both the actors themselves were also in attendance, along with Dean Norris (who played DEA agent and Walt’s brother-in-law Hank Schrader on the show), series creator Vince Gilligan, and Better Call Saul cast members Rhea Seehorn, Michael Mando, and Patrick Fabian. 

The statutes were commissioned by showrunner Gilligan back in 2019 by sculptor Trevor Grove. The proceeds were donated to the city of Albuquerque itself as a thank-you for its hospitality through the years, as well as to Sony Pictures Television.

“Over the course of fifteen years, two TV shows and one movie, Albuquerque has been wonderful to us. I wanted to return the favor and give something back. 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. It makes me happy to picture them gracing The Duke City for decades to come, attracting busloads of tourists,” Gilligan said in an official statement via Sony Pictures Television, which announced the unveiling of the statues. 

Based on photos from the July 29th unveiling event, it seems Cranston and Paul love the statues just as much as Gilligan. I mean look at Cranston smiling at his terrifying, morally corrupt alter ego. Adorable. Beautiful. PURE JOY.

 Actor Bryan Cranston reacts while looking at a bronze statue depicting television character Walter White, played by Cranston from the series "Breaking Bad" at the Albuquerque Convention Center on July 29, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

Cranston and Paul, who have remained very good friends following the show’s finale, also said in jest, “We also appreciate that the statues will be indoors, and therefore protected from pigeons depositing their critiques on our heads.”

According to Gilligan, what had inspired him to commission the pieces was a small statute of Walter White Grove had previously made. He did, however, also note that some residents may not like the idea of two meth lords being put up as some sort of tourist attraction.

“Some folks are going to say, ‘Wow, just what our city needed.’ I get that. But let me tell you what I see when I look at these two works of art: 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, world-famous ones at that,” he said. 

The city’s Mayor, Tim Keller, took it to Twitter to express his thanks on behalf of Albuquerque for the show’s impact. He writes, “The positive impact that the cast and crew of Breaking Bad have had on our economy and film industry can’t be minimized. The franchise has had over $385 million in economic impact, helped elevate local businesses, and employed over 200 locals per episode.”

Breaking Bad ran for five seasons and followed the lives of high school chemistry teacher Walter White who, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, finds a way to secure his family’s financial future after his death (through cooking and selling meth) with the help of an old student, Jesse Pinkman. The iconic show has since spawned one sequel film and a spin-off series Better Call Saul, which is set to end in a few weeks. 

(featured images: Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

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Danielle is a twenty-something writer and postgrad student based in the Philippines. She loves books, movies, her cat, and traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys shooting 35mm film and going to concerts.