The signature porkpie hat that instantly turned Walter White into the infamous drug kingpin Heisenberg in Breaking Bad has officially become a part of American history. Sony Pictures Television has donated the headwear to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Bryan Cranston, who played the lead in the popular AMC show, threw on the hat one last time to mark the event during a ceremony that took place earlier this week. Speaking about his iconic role as the meth cooking high school teacher who forged an empire, Cranston put things in the simplest of terms: “This character changed my life.”
Additionally, the two Tyvek suits and gas masks that Cranston and Aaron Paul, who played his sometimes reluctant sidekick Jesse Pinkman, were also donated to the showbiz artifacts section of the museum. The Smithsonian tweeted that 10 items in total from the show would be part of the display, but did not confirm what the other items might be. They did, however, verify that “roof pizza” would not be one of them. For obvious health reasons, of course.
— Smithsonian (@smithsonian) November 10, 2015
The items will join other iconic TV props on display, like Archie Bunker’s chair from All in the Family, Fonzie’s jacket from Happy Days, Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Seinfeld’s “puffy shirt.”
Dwight Bowers, the museum’s Entertainment Curator, said they ultimately chose to add the props to the display because of the show’s impact on American society, and the way it dealt with issues of “ambivalence.” Known as an anti-hero in the show, the Walter White character was one that had many viewers torn over whether to love, loathe, or pity him — and often left us feeling all of the above.
You’ll have to wait some time before you get to see the props for yourself, though. The Breaking Bad paraphernalia won’t officially go on display until 2018 as part of the large exhibit on American culture, which will be located on the National Mall in the facility.
Vince Gilligan, who both created and executive produced the series, joined Cranston for the occasion, along with Steve Mosko, Chairman of Sony Pictures Television and other Sony executives.