Matt Jones grew up in Southern California, but when he attends Sunday night’s game at the Los Angeles Coliseum, he’ll be cheering vociferously and unapologetically for the Bears to defeat the Rams.
An actor who has appeared in dozens of TV and movie roles but is best known for portraying Brandon “Badger” Mayhew on the popular AMC crime series “Breaking Bad,” Jones is an avid lifelong Bears fan. His love for the Monsters of the Midway came from his stepfather, a diehard Chicago sports fan who lived near the Cubs’ spring training facility in Arizona.
Jones, 38, has attended about a dozen Bears games, including last Sunday’s win over the Lions at Soldier Field. He watched the game from the stands while wearing a navy blue No. 52 Khalil Mack jersey. Jones is hopeful that the Bears will salvage this season but remains traumatized by the team’s loss to the Packers in the winner-take-all 2013 season finale.
“Of course I have faith because we have a young defense and there are so many great pieces,” Jones said.
Jones attended the Lions game last weekend with his fiancée, actress Kristen Hager. They star together in the movie “The Turkey Bowl,” which will be released this Friday. The comedy is about a bunch of friends who persuade their old quarterback to return to their hometown to replay an unfinished game against their hated rivals from high school.
It’s just the latest project for Jones, a raspy-voiced actor who has appeared in dozens of films and shows, including “The Office,” “Mom,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Key & Peele,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Reno 911!,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Community” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
Jones has garnered the most attention, however, for his role as Jesse Pinkman’s friend in “Breaking Bad.” That’s especially true after appearing this year in the film, “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.”
“It’s never-ending,” Jones said of his association with “Breaking Bad.” “My first episode was 2007. So it’s been 12 years. I was a kid when I started and now I have a son, I’m divorced and I’m getting remarried. So much has happened. It’s weird. It’s such a big part of my life. It’s like this weird pseudo-family thing.”
Jones is eager to spend time with another pseudo family he’s proud to belong to—the huge contingent of Bears fans who live in Southern California, many of whom will be attending Sunday night’s game.
“I’m really excited,” Jones said. “I’d say that L.A. is the No. 2 Bears city in the United States. Everybody I know in L.A. is a Bears fan. This is going to be like a home game for the Bears in a lot of ways.”
With the Bears set to play in Los Angeles Sunday for the first time since 1994, senior writer Larry Mayer ranks his top 10 celebrity Bears fans.