ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Copyright © 2013 Albuquerque Journal
David Layman was on set when Walter White was brought to life in 2007.
The Los Lunas resident was also one of 10.3 million viewers to see White die in the final episode of AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”
Having White around for six years, Layman grew to love the character and the TV show.
The series finale inspired Layman and members of the Facebook group “Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour” to place an obituary for White in today’s Journal. It is on Page A4.
“I’ve been a humongous ‘Breaking Bad’ fan since the beginning,” Layman said. “I was actually in the pilot, and putting the obit in the paper was fitting, because the series was based in Albuquerque and it provides some of us some closure.”
“Breaking Bad” was based and filmed in Albuquerque for six years and ended its five-season run last Sunday. It followed White – a chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin – as he teamed up with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, to manufacture a special blue methamphetamine. Bryan Cranston played White, and Aaron Paul played Pinkman. Both picked up Emmy Awards for their roles.
As a die-hard fan, Layman said show creator Vince Gilligan did a fantastic job tying up loose ends in the show.
“Of course, there are a lot of us sad to see the show and Walt go,” he said. “But being able to see that part of Albuquerque and the local talent was wonderful, and many of us could feel some pride.”
As for White, Layman said fans grew to know his character and watch his transformation.
“Here’s a guy that was living paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “He ends up with cancer, has a son who is disabled, a wife who is going to have a baby and he finds some way to work it all out. He becomes unstoppable, he thinks. He’s a little man who kind of made it, even if he didn’t make it the right way.”
Not only did White transform on the show, but Layman said the show helped raise Albuquerque’s profile around the world.
“It’s brought Albuquerque into the light, and we’re no longer a stopover,” he said. “We’re a destination.”
Layman also shares a few similarities with White – he’s a high school science teacher, at Los Puentes Charter School in the North Valley, and he has a student named Jesse.
“Though I’m not a chemistry teacher,” he points out.